In today’s digital age, having ample, reliable, and fast storage is a necessity, especially for Mac users who deal with large files for creative work, gaming, or business. In this comprehensive review, we will evaluate five top-rated external Solid State Drives (SSDs) available in Canada. This review will cover detailed features, pros and cons, and customer reviews.
Best External SSD for Mac in Canada 2023
1. Crucial X8 4TB Portable SSD
- High Storage Capacity: The Crucial X8 offers a massive 4TB of storage, providing an ample amount of space for all types of files. Whether you’re a professional working with large media files, a gamer, or simply someone who needs a lot of storage space, this SSD has got you covered.
- Impressive Speeds: This SSD features read speeds up to 1050MB/s. This is thanks to the advanced NVMe technology and USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C interface, which ensures fast, efficient data transfer. This speed can reduce the time it takes to move or copy files significantly.
- Robust Design: The Crucial X8 has a robust design that’s built to last. It features a unibody core of anodized aluminum, which not only gives it a premium feel but also offers superior protection against physical damage.
- Broad Compatibility: The SSD offers broad compatibility, supporting various devices and operating systems. It works well with Windows, Mac, iPad Pro, Chromebook, Android, Linux, PS4, and Xbox.
- Plug and Play: The SSD is easy to use, with a plug-and-play design that requires no additional software or drivers. This makes it accessible for everyone, regardless of tech expertise.
- High-capacity storage for extensive file collections
- Superior read speed for efficient data transfer
- Robust, premium design for enhanced durability
- Broad compatibility across various devices and operating systems
- User-friendly with plug-and-play convenience
- Relatively higher price point due to the large storage capacity
- Lacks built-in encryption for added data security
A customer praised the Crucial X8 saying, “This SSD is a game-changer. The huge storage capacity of 4TB is perfect for my professional photography work, allowing me to store thousands of high-resolution images. The transfer speed is remarkably fast, which saves me a lot of time when copying or moving large files. The solid construction also gives me confidence that it’s built to last. I would definitely recommend this SSD to professionals who need a lot of storage and speedy performance.”
2. LaCie Rugged SSD Pro 1TB Solid State Drive
- Rugged Design: LaCie is known for its rugged hard drives and this SSD is no exception. The Rugged SSD Pro has a distinctive orange rubber shell that’s water, dust, and drop-resistant up to 3 meters. It also features a built-in shock resistance, meaning it can withstand a significant amount of physical abuse, and is perfect for users who are always on the go.
- High-Speed Performance: The SSD is equipped with NVMe technology for high-speed data transfers. The Thunderbolt 3 interface provides read speeds up to 2800MB/s, making it ideal for heavy-duty tasks such as 4K video editing, 3D rendering, and gaming.
- 1TB Storage Capacity: Although not as large as the Crucial X8, 1TB of storage is still substantial. It can hold a significant amount of data, including high-resolution photos, videos, games, and various files.
- Encryption Software: The LaCie Rugged SSD Pro comes with Seagate Secure self-encrypting technology, offering project confidentiality. It also includes a five-year limited warranty with Rescue Data Recovery Services, which is a nice safety net to have.
- Exceptionally durable and rugged design
- Ultra-fast data transfer speeds
- Adequate storage capacity for most users
- Comes with data recovery services and encryption software for extra data security
- Higher price tag due to premium features and rugged design
- Storage capacity might be inadequate for users handling larger files frequently
A user review stated, “The LaCie Rugged SSD Pro is a little powerhouse. It’s incredibly fast and reliable. I’m a professional video editor and this drive has made my workflow significantly smoother. I also love that it’s rugged. I’ve dropped it a few times, but it still works perfectly. The encryption software is a nice bonus, offering peace of mind knowing my projects are secure. It’s an investment, but it’s definitely worth every penny!”
3. Timetec 1TB Portable External SSD
- 1TB Storage: The Timetec SSD offers 1TB of storage, providing adequate space for backups, additional storage, or transferring large files.
- USB 3.1 Gen 2 Interface: The SSD uses a USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface, ensuring high-speed data transfers up to 540MB/s, reducing the time it takes to transfer files to and from the SSD.
- Compact and Portable: The SSD is compact and lightweight, making it easy to carry. This is ideal for those who often travel or move between workspaces.
- Broad Compatibility: The SSD is compatible with both Mac and Windows systems, providing flexibility and convenience to users of both operating systems.
- Adequate storage capacity for regular use
- Fast data transfer with USB 3.1 Gen 2
- Highly portable due to its slim design
- Broad compatibility with Mac and Windows
- The included cable may be shorter than some users prefer
- Some users have reported reliability issues over time
A customer shared, “The Timetec 1TB Portable SSD is a great value for the money. It’s compact, lightweight, and easy to carry around. The data transfer speed is commendable, making it a worthy investment.”
4. Gigastone 1TB External SSD USB 3.1
- 1TB Storage Capacity: The Gigastone SSD offers 1TB of storage, providing ample space to store files, photos, videos, and more.
- USB 3.1 Interface: The SSD connects via USB 3.1, providing high-speed data transfers.
- Shockproof and Vibration Resistant: The SSD is designed to withstand minor shocks and vibrations, increasing the longevity of the device.
- Compact and Lightweight: The Gigastone SSD’s compact design makes it easy to carry, perfect for those who often travel or move between workspaces.
- Ample storage space for most users
- High-speed data transfers with USB 3.1
- Durable design with shock and vibration resistance
- Portable design
- It does not include password protection or encryption features
- Some users have reported slower-than-expected data transfer speeds
A user commented, “The Gigastone 1TB External SSD is perfect for on-the-go use. Its compact design is highly convenient, and the storage capacity is ample for my needs. The lack of password protection was a bit inconvenient, but overall, it’s a good purchase.”
5. Dogfish Portable External SSD 128GB
- 128GB Storage Capacity: The Dogfish SSD, while offering less storage than the other options, is perfect for users who need a compact, portable solution for transferring files or backing up essential data.
- USB 3.0 Interface: The SSD supports a USB 3.0 interface, ensuring fast data transfers.
- Lightweight and Compact: This SSD is small, light, and easy to carry, making it perfect for users constantly on the move.
- Wide Compatibility: The Dogfish SSD is compatible with various devices, including Mac, Windows, and other USB-enabled devices.
- Compact and highly portable
- Good data transfer speeds
- Broad compatibility
- Lower storage capacity might not be suitable for all users
- The device gets warm with extended use
A customer stated, “The Dogfish 128GB SSD is perfect for my needs. It’s compact and lightweight, and the transfer speed is satisfactory. Although it heats up a bit with prolonged use, it’s an excellent option for transferring smaller data sets or keeping a backup of essential documents.”
How to select an external SSD for Mac
1. Compatibility: The first step is to ensure the external SSD is compatible with your Mac. While most SSDs will work with macOS, some are formatted for Windows out of the box and will need reformatting. Always check the product specifications for macOS compatibility.
2. Storage Capacity: External SSDs come in a range of sizes, from 120GB to a massive 8TB. Your choice depends on your storage requirements. If you handle large files regularly, such as video editing or graphic design, opt for a larger capacity. For regular file storage and backups, a smaller SSD might suffice.
3. Speed: SSDs are popular for their superior speed compared to traditional HDDs. Look at the drive’s read and write speeds, as these will determine how quickly you can transfer files. Drives that support USB 3.1 Gen 2 or Thunderbolt 3 will offer the best performance.
4. Durability: Consider the build quality of the SSD. Some come with rugged exteriors that can withstand drops, while others have water and dust resistance. If you travel frequently or work in challenging environments, a durable SSD is a wise investment.
5. Price: SSDs are generally more expensive than HDDs, but the benefits they offer in speed and durability often outweigh the cost. However, it’s essential to find a balance between the SSD’s price and its features.
6. Brand Reputation: Consider the manufacturer’s reputation. Well-known brands like Samsung, SanDisk, and Crucial often have reliable customer support and warranty programs.
7. Portability: If you’re always on the go, consider the SSD’s size and weight. Some SSDs are small enough to fit in your pocket, making them perfect for travel.
Buying an external SSD for your Mac is a significant investment, but with careful consideration of the factors above, you can find a storage solution that perfectly fits your needs. Whether you need an SSD for professional video editing, data backup, or simply to boost your Mac’s storage capacity, there’s an option out there for you.
Uses of an External SSD for Mac
1. Expanded Storage: With high-quality video and complex applications demanding more storage space, an external SSD can provide the additional capacity needed, especially for Macs with limited internal storage.
2. High-Speed Data Transfer: Thanks to their faster read and write speeds, SSDs can dramatically reduce the time it takes to transfer files between devices.
3. Running Applications: You can run applications directly from an external SSD, which can be especially useful if your Mac’s internal storage is running low.
4. Video Editing: The high data transfer rates of SSDs make them ideal for video editing, allowing smooth playback and real-time editing of high-definition video files.
5. Backup: Regular backups are essential to prevent data loss. MacOS’s built-in Time Machine can automatically back up your Mac to an external SSD.
6. Boot Drive: You can use an external SSD as a boot drive for your Mac, running macOS directly from the SSD. This can be useful for troubleshooting or when your internal drive is failing.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can any SSD work with a Mac?
Most SSDs can work with a Mac, but they may need to be reformatted since many come preformatted for Windows. Always check the product description for compatibility information.
2. How do I format an SSD for Mac?
You can format your SSD using Disk Utility on your Mac. Be sure to back up any important files before formatting, as this process will erase all data on the drive.
3. What’s the difference between USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 SSDs?
While both use the same physical connector, Thunderbolt 3 SSDs are typically faster than USB-C SSDs. However, to take advantage of this speed, your Mac must have a Thunderbolt 3 port.
4. How can I tell if my Mac is using USB-C or Thunderbolt?
You can check this by clicking on the Apple icon in the top-left corner of the screen, selecting “About This Mac”, and then clicking on “System Report.” Under “Hardware” in the sidebar, select “Thunderbolt.” If nothing is listed, your Mac doesn’t have Thunderbolt.
5. My Mac doesn’t recognize my SSD. What can I do?
First, try disconnecting and reconnecting the SSD. If your Mac still doesn’t recognize the SSD, try a different port or check for any necessary software updates. If the problem persists, there may be an issue with the SSD itself.
External SSDs can significantly enhance the functionality of your Mac, offering speedy data transfer rates and ample storage space. Understanding how to use them effectively can help you get the most out of your Mac.
When it comes to choosing the best external SSD for your Mac in Canada, it ultimately depends on your individual needs. If you deal with large files and need ample storage space, the Crucial X8 4TB SSD and LaCie Rugged SSD Pro 1TB are excellent options. The LaCie Rugged SSD Pro, in particular, provides impressive speed, making it ideal for professionals.
For everyday use and regular backups, the Timetec 1TB SSD and Gigastone 1TB SSD are excellent choices due to their ample storage and high-speed data transfer capabilities. They’re also compact and portable, making them ideal for those who often travel or move between workspaces.
If you’re on a budget or need a compact solution for transferring smaller data sets or backing up essential documents, the Dogfish 128GB SSD will serve you well.
Remember, when selecting an SSD, consider not only the storage capacity but also the transfer speed, durability, and portability based on your needs. Understanding these factors will help you make the best purchasing decision.
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