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4 Best External SSDs for Linux Users to Pick in 2021

Are you on the lookout for a new external SSD hard drive to use on Linux? Can’t figure out what to use for your storage needs? We can help! Here’s our list of the 4 best external SSDs to use on Linux! 

Best external SSD for Linux

SSDs on Linux

Before you buy an SSD to use on Linux, understand that you will need to be using a Linux filesystem format to get the most out of it. While excellent and compatible with Linux, all of the devices on this list are formatted in NTFS, a Microsoft Windows format.

To get the most out of your external SSD on Linux, please check out our guide on optimizing your SSD. Be sure also to read our guide on the best Linux filesystems for SSDS.

Best External SSDs for Linux Users (Our picks)

There are so many external SSDs out there with Linux support. That being said, there are many mediocre external SSDs, and the average user might not know how to tell the good from the bad. That’s why we’ve made this list. Here are our top picks for the best external SSDs to use on Linux.

1. SAMSUNG T7 Portable SSD 1TB

Samsung is the undisputed king of solid-state drives, and for a good reason. They have incredible read and write speed, and they’re affordable, too (unless you opt for massive storage space). When it comes to external SSDs to use on Linux, look no further than the SAMSUNG T7 Portable SSD.

Why? For starters, the T7 is a superfast SSD with ample storage space, starting at 1 TB in space and going up to 2 TB. Secondly, the device supports both standard USB connectivity and USB-C with included cables, and the drive can optionally be encrypted using Samsung’s software.

Pros

  • Superfast SSD with ample storage space, starting at 1 TB in space and going up to 2 TB.
  • Samsung includes their own SSDs in the product, which are the fastest, most reliable drives on the market.
  • Despite the extensive data storage size, the price is extremely reasonable.
  • The drive supports data transfer rates of up to 1050 MBs per second, 4.9 times faster than external HDDs.
  • The drive can optionally be encrypted using Samsung’s software (which is compatible with Linux).
  • The device supports both standard USB connectivity as well as USB-C with included cables.

Cons

  • The filesystem is formatted in NTFS, which is compatible with Linux but not great for those who only plan to use Linux.

2. SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD

If Samsung isn’t your style, another excellent choice for a portable Linux SSD is the SanDisk Extreme. It’s highly mobile, and it even has a built-in carabiner hook for easy transportation. Also, it comes in a wide variety of storage options, ensuring you have enough space to keep all your stuff.

The Sandisk Extreme is excellent and super-fast, too with rates of up to 1050 MB per second, support for USB-C, as well as a shock-resistant design that protects your data from accidentally dropping it.

Pros

  • The design has a built-in carabiner hook for easy transportation.
  • The external hard drive supports both standard USB connectivity as well as USB-C with included cables.
  • It comes in a wide variety of storage options, starting at 250 GB and ending at a massive 4 TBs.
  • It has a blistering fast transfer rate of up to 1050 MB per second (USB-C).
  • Shock-resistant design protects your data from accidental drops.

Cons

  • The drive is meant to be a USB-C device and includes a USB adapter rather than two separate cables. This is a bummer for those who do not want to use USB-C and want a good quality cable.
  • The drive comes formatted in NTFS, the Windows filesystem format. Linux can read it, but Linux users may need to reformat it to get the most out of it manually.

3. WD 1TB My Passport External Portable Solid State Drive

Aside from Samsung, Western Digital makes pretty good SSDs, and their entire product line is a testament to that. This WD 1TB external SSD is no different. Excellent quality and works perfectly on any Linux system. 

Linux users looking for a great external should take notice of the My Passport, as it is pretty impressive, from its super-fast read and write speeds (1050 Mbps read and 1000 Mbps write) to its support for 256-bit encryption and USB connectivity. If you require an excellent external SSD on Linux, give this WD 1 TB My Passport a look!

Pros

  • The enclosure comes in a wide variety of colors, and customers can choose the case that matches their personality the best. 
  • The drive inside is a super speedy NVMe chip-based SSD that delivers incredible speeds of 1050 Mbps read, and 1000 Mbps write. 
  • It supports password 256-bit encryption technology.
  • The SSD enclosure is shock-resistant, and your data is protected from accidental drops.
  • It supports traditional USB connectivity as well as USB-C. Both cables are included, so there is no need to purchase extra accessories.

Cons

  • It comes formatted in NTFS, which works on Linux but isn’t a great filesystem to store data on a Linux system. Users may need to manually format the drive before getting the most out of it.
  • Unclear if the encryption feature is supported on Linux.

4. Seagate Expansion SSD 500GB Solid State Drive

Are you on a budget? Can’t get something that will break the bank but need a reliable, speedy external SSD for use on Linux? If so, take a look at the Seagate Expansion SSD. It’s 500 GBs, and though slower than Samsung or Sandisk, or WD, it offers excellent performance and reliability. 

The Seagate Expansion SSD is pretty impressive. It comes with a super-fast USB 3.0 cable that delivers decent read and write speeds over any computer (coming in at 400 Mbps). It also comes in a tough, rugged shock-resistant case which is sure to protect your data.

Pros

  • Super-fast USB 3.0 cable delivers a respectable 400 Mbps read speed and a great write speed as well. 
  • The 500 GB model is incredibly affordable. Those who want a quality external hard drive from a trusted brand like Seagate can get one without breaking the bank.
  • The drive can work on USB-C devices, and Seagate has an adapter available for those who need it.
  • The tough, rugged shock-resistant case means your data is protected during traveling.

Cons

  • The USB-C cable adapter is not included, and users need to buy it separately. 
  • The SSD, though fast and more affordable, is a traditional SATA SSD and delivers much slower rates than NVMe portables from other brands.

Conclusion

In this list, we went over 4 excellent SSDs to use with Linux. However, there are more than 4 external SSDs out there on the market. So, what is your favorite external SSD hard drive to use on Linux? Tell us in the comments below!

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