If you have to work with high-definition media files, 4k videos, and similar things, you definitely need a system that has high performance. Storage is a very important factor as it may cut down time you have to wait for files to transfer from an hour or so to just a few minutes.

This is crucial if your job is video and media file editing. You can’t afford to waste a half hour or so every day just on file transfer. This may not be a problem if you work at an office every day but what if you have to travel?

Take your content from one place to another and edit it directly onto your external hard drive? There is no doubt that you need an external hard drive with high performance and big capacity.

We have created a list of Top 6 Best external hard drives money can buy for editing high-quality videos. With these drives, you won’t have to wait for ages for something to load or transfer. 

How to choose the right external hard drive for video editing?

When choosing the right external hard drive, there are many criteria to consider. If you want to get more detailed about this, check our External Hard Drive Buying Guide. But if you are only interested in external drives meant for video editing then there are two main things: Performance or data transfer speeds and capacity.

You definitely need a drive that has high performance. Having a slow external hard drive can be irritating and annoying. The most important thing is that you lose your valuable time. Media content like 4k videos tends to take enormous amounts of space, so you also want a drive that features a capacity of at least 1TB. Let’s make it simple – you probably want an external hard drive that’s fast and has a huge capacity. Just don’t be surprised that these drives are not the cheapest ones on the market.

Our Top 6 external HDDs for video editing

Capacity Type Read / write speeds Warranty Check price
Samsung T5 Portable 500GB, 1TB, 2TB Ext. SSD 485MB/s / 480MB/s 3 years
Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim 1TB, 2TB Ext. HDD 169MB/s / 151MB/s 2 years
LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, 5TB Ext. HDD also available as Ext. SSD 289MB/s / 311MB/s 1 year
VectoTech Rapid 128GB, 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB Ext. SSD up to 450MB/s 3 years
SanDisk Extreme 500 120Gb, 240GB, 250GB, 480GB, 500GB, 1TB Ext. SSD 142MB/s / 170MB/s 3 years
Seagate Backup Plus Fast 4TB for fast version Ext. HDD 236MB/s / 206MB/s 3 years

Samsung T5 is one of our all-time favorites. It’s one of the leaders in the world of SSD. The main features of this drive are super slim form factor, data transfer speeds that can reach 485MB/s for sequential write and 480MB/s sequential read, and USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 2. All that combined in a very well made casing with great build quality makes Samsung T5 very desirable device. Featuring capacities of up to 2TB, it’s also very spacious. We recommend this external SSD to anyone who is or wants to get serious with video editing. Backed up by a 3-year warranty.

Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim is the cheapest drive on this list. It only offers capacities up to 2TB and has a mechanical drive inside its super slim casing. So why did we include it in our list? Because this drive is super cheap, very portable and offers decent performance. We would recommend it to anyone who just has started video editing or don’t do it frequently. Perfect external hard drive for video editing amateurs.

LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt is available as a 500 GB external SSD or can be much more spacious if it uses the regular mechanical drive. It’s fast in both versions. However, we would recommend the version with a mechanical drive as it features higher capacities. 500GB for video editing doesn’t sound too serious. You can get this drive with a Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 as well as USB type C. That’s not the only thing this external hard drive offer. It’s also rugged, meaning it will withstand shocks and drops.

Need a super fast external SSD that has tons of space? Want the best drive money can buy? Then VectoTech Rapid is made just for you. It features data transfer speeds of up to 450MB/s and have 4TB of SSD capacity. That’s huge. With this drive you will be able to manage the largest media files and edit them with no problems, just make sure your PC system is also very capable.

SanDisk Extreme 500 is quite small yet very durable external solid state drive. We will recommend getting 1TB version if you want to edit files on this thing. It may not offer as high data transfer speeds as Samsung T3 and VectoTech Rapid does, but it’s very fast and isn’t as expensive as those two competitors.

Ok, you need tons of space but don’t want to pay 200$+ for an external SSD. What now? The best choice is Seagate Backup Plus Fast. It features a mechanical drive that has a capacity of up to 4TB, and it’s pretty fast for an external HDD. The main feature is that it can combine capacity with decent performance in a good price range.



All of the external hard drives mentioned above are great choices. The only question is how much you’re willing to pay for a fast performing external drive? If you are a beginner and want something that comes cheap, then consider Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim. It’s not as fast as all the rest external drives on this list, it features a mechanical disk, not SSD flash memory, and in the result, it’s under 100$. However, it will still offer decent performance and will work just fine.

If you are serious about video editing, then you should probably look at external SSD like VectoTech Rapid and Samsung T5. These drives are super fast and offer capacities of up to 2TB for Samsung and 4TB for VectoTech Rapid. A higher capacity external SSD you can afford -the better. But if you really need tons of space and can’t pay so high price tag, consider Seagate Backup Plus Fast. This external hard drive has 4TB of capacity, and it offers very high data transfer speeds for a mechanical drive.

In the end, it all depends on how serious you are with video editing. If you spend a lot of your time editing videos, you should get a proper SSD external hard drive with at least 1TB of storage capacity.



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