The best rugged hard drives of 2018: top drop-proof storage

best rugged hard drive

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.

These rugged hard drives are pretty similar to conventional 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’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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Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC 2TB

1. Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC

Wireless security

Capacity: 2TB | Interface: USB 3.0

NFC security
Rugged design
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

Capacity: 250GB | Interface: USB 3.1

Splash proof
Fast
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

Capacity: 2TB | Interface: USB 3.1

Triple layer protective case
Large capacity
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

Capacity: 256GB, 512GB or 1TB | Interface: USB 3.0

Great performance
IP68 rating
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

Capacity: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB | Interface: USB 3.1

Very good speeds
Compact
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

Capacity: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB | Interface: USB 3.0

Not bad speed
Easily portable
Not the most robust
Not SSD

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.

Adata HD710

7. Adata HD710

Best performance

Capacity: 1TB | Interface: USB 3.1

Very rugged
Fast
'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

Capacity: 4TB | Interface: USB 3.0, Thunderbolt

Very fast
Great protection
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.