If you need to back up, store and transfer a lot of important information that you can’t lose, then making sure you have one of the best rugged hard drives is critically important.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the very best rugged hard drives on the market in 2018, and our price comparison tool will make sure you’re getting the best deal.
The best rugged hard drives will function similarly to any other hard drive, but they have extremely durable builds 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’re not on the road all that often, or if you work in a normal office, a rugged hard drive can still come in handy.
The best rugged hard drives come in every shape and size, and they’ll come with a wide variety of tools and features, so we went ahead and gathered up the best rugged hard drives to help you find the perfect match.
If you're not too concerned with rugged hard drives, check out our list of the best external hard drives instead.
- SSD vs HDD: which is best for your needs?
- Best portable SSD of 2019: top external solid state drives
- Best cloud storage of 2019 online: free, paid and business options
Download our ruggedised mobile computing guide and win a £399 CAT S41 ruggedised smartphone
Produced in partnership with Getac, Bullitt group and GooseVPN, the first of our "presented by" guides shed more light on the tough tech industry with a particular focus on the road ahead and how ruggedised devices will evolve.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tiny yet sturdy
Capacity: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB | Interface: USB 3.0
If you want something small, but still extremely durable, then the LaCie Rugged Mini might be the best rugged hard drive for you. LaCie is an extremely trusted brand when it comes to external hard drives, and its expertise shines through with this device. It’s not an SSD, but it still performs extremely well when it comes to raw transfer speeds, and its small size means it’s easy to carry around. But, its diminutive stature also means it’s not the most durable drive on this list, but for everyday usage, this is one of the best rugged hard drives you can buy today.
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.
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.
- Check out our list of the best rugged tablets