If you need to backup, store and transfer a lot of important information, then making sure you have the best rugged hard drive for your needs is incredibly important.
These rugged hard drives are a lot like conventional external hard drives, but they have extra durable bodies that allow them to withstand knocks and drops, and many will also be protected from extreme temperatures, water and dust.
The best rugged hard drives will therefore grant extra protection to your important files and documents, so if you're often on the road, or you work outdoors, then these storage solutions are essential.
Even if you don't do much travelling, or you work in a standard office, having a rugged hard drive can still be incredibly useful.
The best rugged hard drives will have large storage capacities, and fast file transfer rates as well.
There's a large range of rugged hard drives on offer, and they often come with various different tools and features, so we've put together this list of the best rugged hard drives to help you find the perfect one for your needs.
If you're not too concerned with rugged hard drives, check out our list of the best external hard drives instead.
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1. Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC
Capacity: 2TB | Interface: USB 3.0
The Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC is very flexible, and comes with a rugged case that's dust and water resistant, along with a built-in USB 3.0 cable. It's actually our top choice in our best external hard drive list as well.
Not only is your data kept protected from knocks and drops with the rugged shell, but it's also got 256-bit AES security features and NFC (Near Field Communication) features as well.
Essentially it allows you to unlock the drive to get to your files quickly and easily by tapping the supplied NFC card onto the drive's body. Pretty neat!
2. Adata SE730
Splash proof wonder
Capacity: 250GB | Interface: USB 3.1
The Adata SE730 makes our list of the best rugged hard drives thanks to its clever casing that uses a concealed port to ensure it's water-resistant, so splashes and even very quick drops into water won't faze this drive. It has an IP68 rating, so it's also dust-proof, and it has been drop tested to check that it complies with MIL-STD-810 military standards. It features a solid state drive, so it's nice and quick as well as rugged.
3. Transcend StoreJet 25M3
Big space, tough body
Capacity: 2TB | Interface: USB 3.1
The Transcend StoreJet 25M3 is encased in three layers including a shock absorbing silicone shell, and reinforced outer case. It has also been drop-tested to US Military standards, and it shows. This is a seriously sturdy hard drive that can take most knocks and drops - ideal if you often take your external hard drive travelling with you. It also comes with plenty of additional features, such as a one touch Auto-Backup button, and a quick reconnect button to make sure there's no issues when you unplug it.
4. Adata SD700 External SSD
A terabyte in the palm of your hand
Capacity: 256GB, 512GB or 1TB | Interface: USB 3.0
The Adata SD700 will suit those looking for a rugged storage device that can provide ample capacity without costing too much. It performs superbly well and remains the only SSD we’ve seen that is IP68 rated.
Thanks to the solid state drive that resides in this external hard drive, it's a lot faster than external drives that use traditional spinning hard drives - so you're getting great transfer speeds as well as rugged protection.
It also comes in capacities up to 1TB, so you don't have to worry about missing out on storage space just because it uses an SSD - this drive really does hit all the right notes.
5. Silicon Power Armor A80
Fast and water-proof
Capacity: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB | Interface: USB 3.1
The Silicon Power Armor A80 proves that you don't need to be big and bulky to be rugged and waterproof. It's an impressively compact hard drive that manages to fit in plenty of storage space, and IPX7 waterproofing, allowing it be be submerged in up to 1m of water for up to 30 minutes. It's also dust proof and can withstand up to 300kg of pressure.
6. Lacie Rugged Mini
Tiny yet sturdy
Capacity: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB | Interface: USB 3.0
If you want something small, yet still rugged, then the Lacie Rugged Mini is a great choice. Lacie is a well regarded brand when it comes to hard drives, and its expertise shines through with this device. Although it isn't an SSD, it still performs very well when it comes to data transfer speeds, and its small size means it's easy to carry about. It's small stature does mean it's not the most durable hard drive in this list, but for every day use, this is an excellent hard drive that does a great job of protecting your data.
7. Adata HD710
Capacity: 1TB | Interface: USB 3.1
The Adata HD710 is certainly an eye catching rugged hard drive, and it's also one of the best, thanks to a durable case made of a unique silicone material that includes military-grade shock resistance that's also waterproof and dustproof. It can withstand being submerged in up to 1.5 meters of water for up to 60 minutes, and with a 1TB capacity, it also offers plenty of storage space.
8. Lacie Rugged RAID
RAID support for the utlimate speed
Capacity: 4TB | Interface: USB 3.0, Thunderbolt
If you need to protect a huge amount of data, with incredibly fast data transfer speeds, then the Lacie Rugged RAID is the best rugged hard drive for you. With two hard drives set up in RAID 0 configuration, this drive is capable of an impressive 240MB/s speed. You can also use it in RAID 1, which mirrors your data give essentially gives you a built-in backup in case one drive gets damaged. It's also built to last with a case that's water, dust and drop protected.