Best wireless drives of 2022: external hard drives without the wires

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Best wireless drives 2022
These best wireless drives will offer you speedy data transfer speeds. (Image credit: TechRadar)

The best wireless drives offer a whole lot of versatility, thanks to their cable-free setup. These wireless hard drives and SSDs come with many advantages as well as potential uses. 

The fact that they don’t have to be tethered to any laptop or desktop PC means that they’ll allow a cleaner and more minimalist setup, for example. They also offer easy access for multiple devices regardless of platform, including smartphones and tablets

Wired external storage drives may be a better option for some, especially in terms of speed and reliability. However, if you want a more flexible option, like a drive that you can take anywhere with you, won’t need to be tethered, and can be accessed by any PC or mobile device, you’ll certainly want to go wireless.

For that, we found the best wireless drives 2022 has on offer. To do so, we've compared everything from affordable hard drives that will give you a lot of storage space for less, to speedy SSDs that are more reliable and much more robust. As you peruse our picks, you’ll want to check out the included price comparison tool for the best storage drive deals.

Also make sure to check out our reviews of the best portable SSD and best cloud storage online.

Best wireless drives of 2022 in full

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Backup your wireless drive with cloud storage (opens in new tab)

Backup your wireless drive with cloud storage (opens in new tab)
IDrive, the cloud backup (opens in new tab) veteran, delivers tons of storage online for an incredibly small outlay. 10TB for $3.98 for the first year is unmatched till now and so is the support for unlimited devices and the extensive file versioning system available.

Western Digital My Passport Wireless SSD

The Western Digital My Passport Wireless SSD is a sturdy external hard drive for carrying your data around with you. (Image credit: TechRadar)
Top pick for photographers

Specifications

Capacity: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB
Interface: USB 3.0, Wi-Fi, SD Slot

Reasons to buy

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In-built SD card reader
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Drop-resistant rubber bumper

Reasons to avoid

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Premium price
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Extra SSD speed useless over Wi-Fi

Western Digital is building a good collection of wireless drives, and the My Passport Wireless SSD is an excellent addition. As the name suggests, it has an SSD (Solid State Drive) which means it's an excellent performer when it comes to data transfer speeds. 

However, it's worth noting that when using this wirelessly, you're not getting the full benefit of SSD speeds. However, the solid-state technology means it's more robust than traditional hard drives, and with a drop-resistant rubber case, the My Passport Wireless SSD is a sturdy external hard drive for carrying your data around with you. 

Its wireless connection is useful, and it includes a memory card slot as well, making this an excellent choice for those who work in creative fields like photographers and videographers who'll benefit from the ability to quickly and efficiently back up their work. 

Read our full Western Digital My Passport Wireless SSD review 

Asus Travelair N

The Asus Travelair N has a water-resistant design which keeps your data protected while you're out and about. (Image credit: Asus)
Top water-resistant choice

Specifications

Capacity: 1TB
Interface: USB 3.0, Wi-Fi, NFC, SD Card

Reasons to buy

+
Compact design
+
Fast hard drive

Reasons to avoid

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Not the longest battery life

Not only does Asus make great laptops, monitors and gaming components, but the company also has a fantastic wireless drive to speak in the shape of the impressive Asus Travelair N. 

It offers a mighty 1TB of capacity and comes with a built-in 3300 mAh battery that provides users with up to eight hours of streaming time. There are others that offer longer, and it's true that if you're on the road often you may seek something with a bit more staying power. 

Having said that, the Asus Travelair N is deservedly among this list of best wireless drives because it also comes with a water-resistant design, which adds robustness and reassurance by keeping your data protected while you're out and about. 

You can connect up to five devices at once to access the data on the drive, and there's an SD card slot for quickly and easily backing up photos. Its 7,200 rpm drive is faster than many other Wi-Fi drives, which often stick to 5,400 rpm.

Read our full Asus Travelair N review

LaCie Fuel

LaCie Fuel is the company's first attempt at a Wi-Fi drive. (Image credit: LaCie)
Best pick for style

Specifications

Capacity: 1TB, 2TB
Interface: USB 3.0, Wi-Fi

Reasons to buy

+
Fast USB 3.0 performance
+
Good battery life

Reasons to avoid

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Not the most exciting features

LaCie is a company that has made some of our favorite external hard drives, and the LaCie Fuel is the company's first attempt at a Wi-Fi drive. 

LaCie has a reputation for making good-looking devices, and the Fuel is certainly eye-catching, with a square design and modular design that allows you to use it with a variety of ports. 

But it's not simply a feat of design, as its 1TB of storage comes with a promise of 500 movies (or thousands of photos and songs). If that's enough, there's even a 2TB option on the market too.

It has a decent 10-hour battery life, which is essential if you want to use it wirelessly. Then there's the super-speed USB 3.0, and it also uses an app that allows you to stream content on the drive to compatible devices, such as smartphones.

Read our full LaCie Fuel review

Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro

For photographers, Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro will stand out. (Image credit: TechRadar)
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Ideal choice for those requiring SD slot

Specifications

Capacity: 2TB
Interface: USB 3.0 and Wi-Fi

Reasons to buy

+
Wireless AC
+
USB 3.0 support
+
Good battery life

Reasons to avoid

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No USB-C
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Expensive due to Wi-Fi features

Even if we had mixed feelings about past versions of the My Passport Wireless, the 2016 “pro” variant of the external HDD restores faith in the Western Digital name. The design, for one, has been overhauled and no longer resembles the My Passport Ultra or My Passport for Mac. Instead, there’s now a more premium feel to the My Passport Wireless Pro. 

It resembles an external DVD drive, but considering the onboard SD card slot, don’t worry about getting it confused with anything else. For photographers, this will make the Wireless Pro stand out.

For everyone else, there’s a massive 6,400mAh battery built into the device. This lets the drive be used completely free of wires over 2.4GHz or 5GHz channels. When it’s wired up, however, don’t expect cutting-edge connection tech, as the My Passport Wireless Pro uses only USB Type-B to Type-A. Completely absent is the latest and greatest USB-C connection.

Where the My Passport Wireless Pro compromises on affordability, it’s able to benefit in just about every other area. Of course, not everyone needs a wireless hard drive or SD card support, but for those who do, it’s almost essential.

Read our full My Passport Wireless Pro review
 

Seagate Wireless 500GB Mobile Storage

Seagate Wireless 500GB Mobile Storage is one of the most affordable wireless drives. (Image credit: Seagate)
Best affordable pick

Specifications

Capacity: 500GB
Interface: USB 3.0 and Wi-Fi

Reasons to buy

+
Supports three devices at once
+
Compact

Reasons to avoid

-
Only six hours battery life

Seagate is a well-known brand when it comes to storage, and it's the parent company of LaCie, which has its own wireless drive in this list, so it's not too surprising to find that Seagate also does its own very good wireless drive, the Seagate Wireless 500GB Mobile Storage. 

At 500GB, it's not the largest wireless drive on this list, but it's one of the most affordable, so if you want one of the best wireless drives on the market, but you don't need that much storage space (and you certainly don't want to pay for capacity you're not going to use), then this is a great choice. 

It comes with a battery that promises up to six hours - which is far from the best on this list of best wireless drives - but it is compatible with iOS, Android, Kindle and PC and Macs.

Read our full Seagate Wireless 500GB Mobile Storage review

How to choose the best wireless drives for you

As this list of best wireless drives shows, there are no shortage of options when it comes to deciding on which device is the best for you.

Although we've whittled down our picks to five, to further help in your decision you'll want to consider the following factors. 

Firstly, consider your budget. The wireless drives on this list have a wide pricing range, so knowing your upper limit will immediately help to narrow down your choices. 

Next, consider what you'll be using the device for. Are you a photographer keen on being able to back up your photos while out in the field? Then make sure you opt for a device that not only has sufficient storage capacity for at least a day's work, but also comes with an SD slot to allow you to backup straight from your camera.

Lastly, have a think about additional considerations that you'd require. If you do a lot of travel, you might want something especially robust, perhaps even water resistant. If the device is to be shared among family members or colleagues, you'll want a wireless drive capable of connecting with multiple devices. And then, of course, there's battery life and speeds to consider, too.

The best wireless drives: How we test

In order to test the best wireless drives, we take into account a number of key considerations and compare each device's top features and potential limitations.

We looked at port availability for each device, such as whether they came equipped with an SD slot, USB slot, or otherwise, and tested the battery life for each.

We also compared affordability, as well as how many devices each wireless drive can support at once. And while it may not be a consideration for some - and is, after all largely a subjective choice - we did also consider the look and design of each wireless drive.

You might also want to check out the best PS5 external hard drives.


Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.