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To properly backup and archive your pictures, the best external hard drives for photographers are key.

These must-have gadgets can store all your work, and you'll never have to worry about running out of space. Both portable and desktop versions exist, so as you look for the one that's right for you, think about how you plan to use your drive and where.

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The portable ones are more compact, still boasting at least 1 terabyte of storage, while bigger desktop versions designed to stay put provide even more storage space. For reference, you can store more than 13, RAW photos on a 1-terabyte external hard drive. Beyond your storage needs, if you plan to take your hard drive out on shoots, especially outdoors, it's a great idea to invest in a waterproof one with shock resistance.

Although storage and travel-friendly specs are important, don't forget to double check a hard drive's formatting options prior to making a purchase.

Best External Hard Drive for Photographers (3 Great Choices in 12222)

It should be compatible with your PC or Mac and have 3. Keeping all this information in mind, here's my list of the best external hard drive for photographers featuring both portable and desktop options.

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Read on to find a new home for all your hi-res images. The LaCie Rugged Mini external hard drive is compact and ideal for photographers on the go — especially if you frequently shoot and upload outdoors. Wrapped in an orange rubber sleeve, this drive is drop- and shock-resistant up to 4 feet, according to the manufacturer, plus it's water-resistant for extra protection against the elements.

Like others on this list, it has USB 3. It'll work with both PC and Mac, but it does need to be reformatted for Mac compatibility. Arguably the best part?

How to Transfer Photos From a MacBook Hard Drive to an External Hard Drive |

It has built-in password protection to keep your work safe. For my backup system, inexpensive USB external hard drives are just fine.

Drive performance does not matter to me here since my backup software is scheduled to run automatically at hours when I am not awake or working at the computer. The external hard drives that are the most portable, those little drives that fit easily in a shirt pocket and that do not require a separate power supply, are always more expensive than their full-size cousins. Small and light is wonderful but I would not choose to rely on this type of external hard drive unless you really are out on the road working all of the time.

Prepare your drive

With these distinctions in mind then here are the drives that I recommend for primary image storage and for use in a rotating external backup drive system. Likewise, many Mac users might find a Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter essential for connecting to a brand new Mac. You might notice that I have not included any RAID drive systems, or multi-drive enclosures, in this list. Remember that any external hard drive, regardless of the brand or model, must be formatted properly for use with the Mac Operating System before you put anything on to it.

How to Safely Move Your Mac Photo Library to an External Drive

See how to format an external drive for more details. All hard drives will inevitably fail. Sooner or later, all things electric will fail and no external hard drive manufacturer will ever compensate you for your lost data. Hard drive warranties cover the cost of the hardware only.

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