Best Western Digital external HDD to buy [2021 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.


Which are the best Western Digital External HDDS?

WD 4TB Elements Portable HDD         

  • 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

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.


WD 1TB Black My Passport Portable 

  • WD Auto Backup and Encryption software included
  • Works with both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 interface
  • Value for money hard drive
  • Requires reformatting to use with a Mac

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.


WD 8TB Elements Desktop Hard Drive 

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

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.


WD 8TB My Book HDD

  • Massive 8TB storage with good performance
  • Included WD backup software and hardware encryption
  • Little expensive than WD elements drive

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.


WD 4TB My Passport Ultra Silver

  • USB Type-C and USB 3.0 support
  • Massive 4TB storage space with a small footprint
  • 5400 rpm drive feels slow at times

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.


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?

The biggest external hard drives that are also affordable can offer somewhere around 5TB in storage.

  • Are WD hard drives good?

WD hard drives are among the most reliable external storage devices on the market. Check out our list of the best Western Digital external HDDs.

  • How long do external hard drives last?

The average lifespan of an external hard drive is 5 years. If you’re in need for a quick replacement, we suggest you check out this list of best external HDDs.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in November 2019 and was revamped and updated in November 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.