Best Western Digital external HDD to buy [2020 Guide]

Tashreef Shareef
by Tashreef Shareef
Windows & Software Expert
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The modern laptops prefer SSDs over the traditional hard disk, for portability and performance reasons. However, this usually means users are left with little over 250GB of storage space. Add to that, high-resolution media files and a few AAA games, the free space on your SSD will vanish in no time.

This is where Western Digital’s external hard drives have become popular. They are cheap, offer tons of storage space along with decent performance. In this article, we have listed the best WD external hard drives that you should consider for your laptop.

Note: Deals are subject to change. Keep in mind that the price tag often varies. We recommend going on the vendor’s website to check the price. Some of the products may be out of stock by the time you’ve made your purchasing decision. So, hurry up and hit the buy button.


Top WD external hard drive deals to grab

WD 4TB Elements Portable HDD         

WD external hard drives

If you are looking for decent storage expansion, the WD 4TB Elements Portable is a good choice. It is a 4TB external hard drive with an affordable price tag.

It comes equipped with a USB 3.0 port which is also compatible with the USB 2.0 interface and an LED indicator. To protect your investment, it comes with 2 year’s manufacturer limited warranty.


  • Compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 interface
  • High capacity drive ideal for taking backups
  • Fast data transfer over USB 3.0 port


  • Formatted to work with Windows OS. Reformat necessary to use with other platforms.

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WD 1TB Black My Passport Portable 

WD external hard drives

The WD 1TB Black My Passport Portable is for those who are looking for not more than 1 TB of storage space and an extremely affordable hard drive.

WD’s My Passport is a lightweight hard drive with a USB 3.0 interface and comes with 3 years of limited warranty. The hard drive is compatible with both Windows and OSX running systems.


  • Value for money hard drive
  • WD Auto Backup and Encryption software included
  • Works with both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 interface


  • Requires reformatting to use with a Mac

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WD 8TB Elements Desktop Hard Drive 

WD external hard drives

WD 8TB Elements Desktop is not the slimmest or lightest hard driver out there, but it is built like a tank and offers tons of storage.

The device is built for desktop users with massive storage requirements. Similar to other WD driver, it also supports USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 interface with WD’s proprietary software for backup and encryption.


  • Massive 8TB of storage with an affordable price tag
  • Silent operation with up to 100 MBps of sustained data transfer


  • Requires external power source
  • Bulky at 2.09 lbs

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WD 8TB My Book HDD

WD external hard drives

WD 8TB My Book may offer a similar storage capacity of 8TB as of WD Elements drive but it is expensive than WD Elements. However, it has a few unique tricks up its sleeve to justify the price tag.

Apart from the standard USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 compatibility, WD 8TB My Book also requires an external power source to run. However, it comes with Auto-backup software and time machine compatibility, which is missing in the WD Elements model.

If you want WD backup, hardware encryption and support for Dropbox Cloud Srvc, WD 8TB My Book will serve you better.


  • Massive 8TB storage with good performance
  • Included WD backup software and hardware encryption


  • Requires external power sources
  • Little expensive than WD elements drive

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WD 4TB My Passport Ultra Silver

WD external hard drives

If you are looking for a hard drive that offers more than just USB 3.0 support, WD 4TB My Passport Ultra offers that modern touch with USB Type-C support.

It is a 4TB external hard drive with a rugged design. However, it also equipped with USB Type-C support along with with USB 3.0/2.0 compatibility. For data protection, it comes with password protection and hardware encryption features out of the box.


  • USB Type-C and USB 3.0 support
  • Massive 4TB storage space with a small footprint


  • 5400 rpm drive feels slow at times

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Final thoughts on Western Digital external hard drive

Whether you want an external backup drive or looking to expand the storage space on your gaming console, the Western Digital external hard drives in this list offer the perfect balance between price and performance.

This specific deal is part of our bigger selection of the external HDD deals you can find.

FAQ: Learn more about external hard drives

  • How big of an external hard drive do I need?

When buying an external hard drive, think about what you will be using it for. The storage capacity of your external HDD depends on what you’ll be storing on it. If you’re using your external hard drive to store software or videos, buy one that has at least 200 GB of storage. If you want to store audio files, your external HDD should have minimum 150 GB. If you need to store documents, an external HDD of 100 GB is more than enough.

  • Are WD hard drives good?

WD hard drives are among the most reliable extenal storage devices on the market. They come in various ranges of capacities and you can use them for years on end without any problem.

  • How long do external hard drives last?

The average lifespan of an external hard drive is 5 years. This depends on a variety of factors such as: how often you use it, whether your external HDD suffers physical damage or not, the quality of the materials it’s made of and so on.

  • Can a external hard drive get a virus?

External hard drives can get infected with viruses and other malware. To prevent viruses from spreading from your external HDD to your computer, you need to manually scan the drive once you’ve connected it to your machine.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2019 and then updated in February 2020 freshness, and accuracy.