Looking for the best PS4 external hard drives in 2020? Then you're in the right place. There’s no denying that the PS4 is a tremendous console, but it’s not exactly overflowing with storage - especially when you consider the sheer size of today’s top games.
Sony’s huge game library means that people will be playing the PS4 for years, and that means more storage is necessary. Happily, Sony is admirably open about adding capacity to the console, with accessible internals and support for external drives.
Not everyone will want to crack open their console, and it’s easy to use an external product instead – simply hook up a drive to a USB port and you’ll be away.
There are loads of external storage options, and they fall into three categories: external desktop drives, external portable drives, and external SSDs.
If you need a huge capacity without spending loads, you’ll need an external desktop drive. However, these disks tend to have middling speeds, and their reliance on conventional 3.5in hard disks means they’re not very portable.
External portable hard disks are a little more expensive because they use smaller 2.5in hard disks, but they still offer huge capacities inside tiny packages. Don’t expect huge speed, though – most of these products only match or narrowly outpace what the PS4 can already offer.
If you’ve got the need for speed, you’ll need an external SSD. These products are far quicker than the PS4’s internal drives, which means better loading times – and many SSDs are so fast that they can be used without issue on future consoles, too. However, external SSDs are pricier than hard disks and they’re not as big, so you miss out on capacity.
Handily, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best external PS5 hard drives across the three categories – they’ve all got something to recommend them, whether it’s speed, features, or price. All you’ve got to do is figure out which one you need – and then start downloading your favorite games.
Best PS4 external hard drives at a glance
- Seagate 2TB Game Drive for PS4
- Toshiba Canvio Basics
- WD Black P10 Game Drive
- WD My Passport
- Crucial X8
- Samsung Portable SSD T5
- Seagate FireCuda Gaming SSD
- Seagate Expansion Desktop
- WD Elements Desktop
- WD Black D10 Game Drive
Best portable PS4 external hard drives
Seagate’s disk is the only product on this list to be officially licensed for the PS4, and that doesn’t just mean you get Sony’s logo – it also means it’s optimized to work smoothly with the console.
The Game Drive is available in a 2TB or 4TB capacity, so you have options when buying depending on how much you want to spend and how much storage you're after. However, we would generally recommend the 2TB option, which looks smart, with a robust aluminum exterior, while its 135g weight and 12mm thickness mean it’s the lightest and slimmest hard disk here. It’s also available in exclusive The Last Of Us Part II and Marvel Avengers designs. the Seagate Game Drive may not be the fastest or have the most features, but it’s good-looking, capable, and official.
Toshiba’s Canvio Basics drive is available in capacities between 1TB and 4TB, with prices that range between $40 and $100 - making it cheaper than any disk-based rival. The matt chassis looks smart, the 149g weight is modest, and it’s just 14mm thick.
Of course, a low price does mean compromise. The Toshiba doesn’t have a metal exterior, so build quality is middling, and its performance is average – fine for the PS4, but not quick enough to break speed records. Still, this is a great option if you want to expand your console without frills or expense.
The WD Black P10 Game Drive is at the opposite end of the scale when compared to the Toshiba, with the highest prices of any portable hard disk. The expense is justified with a rock-solid metal exterior that’ll handle frequent travel alongside eye-catching, military-style design.
The lack of USB-C connectivity isn’t a problem thanks to the PS4’s full-size USB ports, and the P10 is a solid performer – better than the Toshiba and able to keep up with the PS4’s internal hard disks. It’s slightly pricier than Seagate’s official drive, which offers similar speed, but the P10 has a more gregarious design and an extra year of warranty coverage.
The P10 is a little pricier than many portable hard disks, but it offers outlandish looks and robust build quality alongside good performance.
WD My Passport drives have been around for years in all sorts of form factors, and its portable hard disk has capacities between 1TB and 5TB and prices that sit between the cheap Toshiba and pricy WD Black P10.
The mid-range price is joined by a slim, unfussy design in several colors. It’s got decent performance levels that won’t show themselves up when compared to the PS4’s internal drives, and it has a three-year warranty. The only disappointment is the 194g weight, which is more than most portable disks – but that’s a minor complaint. This is ideal if you don’t want to shell out for the pricier alternatives.
Best PS4 external SSDs
The X8 uses NVMe SSD hardware and its USB Type-C connection is packaged along with a Type-C to Type-A adapter, so it can be used instantly with the PS4. It’s good for use on the road and in busy homes thanks to a robust design that’s been tested to withstand vibrations, drops, and extreme temperatures.
On the inside it offers a similar pace to the FireCuda – so it’s fast enough to saturate the PS4’s USB ports while offering the speed needed to keep up with PCs and next-gen hardware. If the FireCuda is too ostentatious and the Samsung isn’t quick enough, this is a great middle-ground option.
Samsung’s storage devices have been at the top of the internal SSD market for years, and its T5 brings its superb pedigree to the external market. The T5 is tiny thanks to an 11mm thickness, it weighs just 51g, and it has a good-looking metal finish.
It’s a reasonable performer, with reading and writing speeds that easily exceed the PS4’s internal disks but are unable to match the NVMe-based Crucial and Seagate SSDs. And, with prices ranging between $80 and $300, it’s a little cheaper than rivals, albeit without some of their features or speed. It’s a great option if you want a small, relatively affordable SSD for your PS4.
Read the full review: Samsung Portable SSD T5
The Seagate FireCuda Gaming SSD combines customizable RGB LEDs with bold, monolithic design – it’s unmistakeably a gaming product. Build quality and weight are both good, and performance levels are great – it’s about twice as quick as the Samsung. The PS4 doesn’t have the bandwidth to take advantage of all that speed, but the console will still run really quickly using this drive – and the extra speed means the FireCuda will perform well with your gaming PC, PS5, or Xbox Series X. Also bear in mind that you’ll need a USB-C to USB-A cable with this drive, but they’re easy to acquire.
The FireCuda is an impressive option, and Seagate also produces the FireCuda Gaming Dock – a 4TB alternative that has Thunderbolt 3, USB-C, and USB-A ports and an upgradeable NVMe slot.
Seagate’s SSD hardware is fast and attractive, and it’ll saturate the PS4 ports to the point where it’s overkill. If you want hardware that’ll work today and with future hardware, though, the FireCuda range ticks the box. It has a five-year warranty too, which is two years more than many rivals.
Read the full review: Seagate FireCuda Gaming SSD
Best PS4 external desktop hard drives
The Seagate Expansion prizes simplicity and effectiveness over flashier features. Once the power cable and USB 3.0 cable are plugged in, you’re ready to go – the PS4 will pick up the drive and you can start storing.
The Expansion has a subtle exterior that’s admittedly made from plastic, and there’s a little give in the material – but it’s strong enough to be plonked next to your PS4. On the inside, it uses hard disks with speeds that closely match those in PS4 consoles – so you won’t get much improvement, but it won’t slow you down.
It isn’t quick or packed with features, but it’s capable and its various capacities are a little cheaper than the equivalents in the WD Elements range. It’s an affordable, unfussy option.
The WD Elements is available in a broad range of capacities, from 2TB to 14TB, and on the inside there’s little to choose between this unit and the Seagate Expansion. They both offer similar performance levels to the PS4, and so this unit will add a huge amount of space without slowing the console down.
Elements drives tend to be a little more expensive than Seagate’s products because its exterior is better – sleeker and stronger. If you’re willing to pay extra for that, then the WD is a good mid-range option, but be aware that the Seagate offers similar speed for a little less.
The WD Black D10 is a markedly different product than other full-size desktop options. The 8TB capacity is the only one available, so this unit will clearly appeal to hardcore users, and the D10’s bold-looking metal chassis stands out when compared to subtler alternatives. Build quality is great, and the D10 also has a couple of USB ports that can be used for charging controllers and peripherals.
The metal chassis means better cooling, so the D10 can use a 7,200rpm hard disk. That’s quicker than the disks used in rivals, and it helps the D10 outpace both competitors and the PS4’s internal drives. It’s more expensive, but the D10 is a great option if you want loads of space and good speed.