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Best rugged hard drives of 2021: top drop-proof storage

best rugged hard drive
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REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
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REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

If you're looking for the best rugged hard drives, then you've come to the right place. On this page you'll find the best drop-proof external hard drives that will keep your important files and data safe and secure - even if you're using them in difficult and even dangerous environments.

The best rugged hard drives aren't just able to withstand drops either, they can also survive high and low temperatures and being submerged in liquids as well.

By investing in the best rugged hard drive your budget allows, you can be certain that anything you store on the device will survive in the harshest of environments. To be certain that the rugged hard drive you purchase is robust enough to protect your data, make sure it has been thoroughly tested.

Welcome to our pick of the best rugged hard drives. On this page you'll find our hand-picked list of the best rugged hard drives that can withstand high temperatures, liquid spills and knocks and drops, all while keeping your important information safe and secure.

If you look up the specifications, you'll see that many of the best rugged hard drives have been tested to meet certain standards which ensures they are 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. 

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We've also featured:

Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC 2TB

1. Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC

Wireless security

Specifications
Capacity: 2TB
Interface: USB 3.0
Reasons to buy
+NFC security+Rugged design
Reasons to avoid
-Not the fastest drive

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!

Adata SE730 rugged hard drive

2. Adata SE730

Splash proof wonder

Specifications
Capacity: 250GB
Interface: USB 3.1
Reasons to buy
+Splash proof+Fast
Reasons to avoid
-Not the largest capacity

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.

StoreJet 25M3

3. Transcend StoreJet 25M3

Big space, tough body

Specifications
Capacity: 2TB
Interface: USB 3.1
Reasons to buy
+Triple layer protective case+Large capacity
Reasons to avoid
-Not the slimmest external hard drive

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.

Adata SD700 External SSD

4. Adata SD700 External SSD

A terabyte in the palm of your hand

Specifications
Capacity: 256GB, 512GB or 1TB
Interface: USB 3.0
Reasons to buy
+Great performance+IP68 rating
Reasons to avoid
-No USB Type-C

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.

Silicon Power Armor A80

5. Silicon Power Armor A80

Fast and water-proof

Specifications
Capacity: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB
Interface: USB 3.1
Reasons to buy
+Very good speeds+Compact
Reasons to avoid
-Short USB cable

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.

Lacie Rugged Mini

6. Lacie Rugged Mini

Tiny yet sturdy

Specifications
Capacity: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB
Interface: USB 3.0
Reasons to buy
+Not bad speed+Easily portable
Reasons to avoid
-Not the most robust-Not SSD

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. 

Adata HD710

7. Adata HD710

Best performance

Specifications
Capacity: 1TB
Interface: USB 3.1
Reasons to buy
+Very rugged+Fast
Reasons to avoid
-'Extreme' design may not appeal

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.

Lacie Rugged RAID

8. Lacie Rugged RAID

RAID support for the utlimate speed

Specifications
Capacity: 4TB
Interface: USB 3.0, Thunderbolt
Reasons to buy
+Very fast+Great protection
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

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.