Best external hard drives & SSDs for Chromebox Android Central 2021
Chromeboxes aren't laptops. You're not tossing one into a backpack and setting it up at Starbucks. Instead, it sits quietly behind a screen of some sort and is always ready. That means there's no reason to try and get by with 16 or 32GB of storage. Most models are easy to take apart and upgrade if you're the DIY type, but adding more storage is as easy as plugging in a cable. These are the best external hard drives and SSDs for your Chromebox.
- The affordable choice: WD 1TB My Passport Portable External Hard Drive
- When you wanna go fast!: SAMSUNG T5 Portable SSD 1TB External Solid State Drive
- Take everything with you: SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD
- Bring your own: ORICO USB 3.0 SATA Hard Drive Enclosure
- Slot in an SSD: Sabrent 2.5-inch USB 3.0 Hard Drive Enclosure
- Use with a drive enclosure: Samsung 860 EVO 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD
- Use with a drive enclosure: WD Blue 3D NAND SATA III 2.5-inch SSD
- Plug and play: Seagate Expansion Desktop HDD
- Fast data transfer: CalDigit Tuff Nano - Compact Rugged External NVME SSD
- For your fast SSDs: Sabrent M.2 NVMe SSD Enclosure
- Faster storage: WD Black SN750 NVMe SSD
- Additional heat protection: Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe SSD
The affordable choice: WD 1TB My Passport Portable External Hard DriveStaff Pick
WD My Passport is the best Chromebox hard drive you can buy at a bargain. It's a spinning disk drive so you won't be breaking any read speed records, but it's perfect for storing photos, music and video. It's also available in 1TB to 5TB options.
When you wanna go fast!: SAMSUNG T5 Portable SSD 1TB External Solid State Drive
If you need a big boost in storage for your Chromebox but need to have SSD speeds, the Samsung T5 drive is one of the best ways to make it happen. It uses Samsung's own V-NAND to bring read/write speeds of up to 540MB/s over a USB 3.1 connection, is future-proof with a USB-C port, and isn't much bigger than a credit card. You can store and retrieve all of your stuff really fast if that's what you need, and it's available in 1TB and 2TB versions.
Take everything with you: SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD
If media portability is a leading criteria then you'll definitely want an SSD — but SanDisk takes things one step further by putting the drive in a heavy-duty case that includes a loop to connect to a lanyard. It uses USB-C and USB 3.1 for fast read speeds, and capacity options start at 250GB and go all the way up to 2TB.
Bring your own: ORICO USB 3.0 SATA Hard Drive Enclosure
A drive enclosure lets you safely use almost any 3.5-inch drive as a USB 3.0 device that can plug right into your Chromebox. Just slide it open and slot any HDD inside, slide it shut and you're ready to plug it in. You don't need any tools and it only takes a few minutes.
Slot in an SSD: Sabrent 2.5-inch USB 3.0 Hard Drive Enclosure
Sabrent's 2.5-inch hard drive enclosure is ideal if you want to use an existing internal SATA SSD with your Chromebook. The enclosure holds the SSD securely, and you get a USB 3.0 cable to connect the drive to your Chromebook. The affordability makes it a great choice.
Use with a drive enclosure: Samsung 860 EVO 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD
Again we'll recommend Samsung's SSD for being among the fastest and well-designed drives you can buy. Pricing varies based on the amount of storage you want, but your best value would be the 500GB drive. Bought along with the Sabrent 2.5-inch enclosure, it gives your Chromebox instant access to a sizable media collection for under $100.
Use with a drive enclosure: WD Blue 3D NAND SATA III 2.5-inch SSD
Just like with the external drives, WD manages to undercut Samsung's prices by a fair margin while still offering a solid state drive with comparable read speeds. Choose from drive sizes starting at 250GB up to 2TB and slot it into a drive enclosure to add all the extra storage you need to your Chromebox.
Plug and play: Seagate Expansion Desktop HDD
The Seagate Expansion Desktop offers storage options starting at 4TB and goes all the way up to 8TB. That should be more than enough storage, and all you will need is the included USB 3.0 cable and the 18W power adapter to get your storage solution up and running. Plus, you won't have to worry about carrying this with you as it just sits on your desk.
Fast data transfer: CalDigit Tuff Nano - Compact Rugged External NVME SSD
This external NVMe SSD from CalDigit comes with USB 3.2 Gen 2 thanks to the USB Type-C connector. This provides speeds up to 10GB/s and is backward compatible with both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0. Plus, with the IP67 certification, this portable hard drive can withstand water up to 3 feet deep for 30 minutes, along with dust and shock absorption.
For your fast SSDs: Sabrent M.2 NVMe SSD Enclosure
If you already have an NVMe SSD but can't fit it into your Chromebox, you can take advantage of an enclosure and still get the same experience. The Sabrent Enclosure is made from aluminum and provides a USB 3.1 Gen 2 port for even faster transfers, coming in at up to 10GB/s. The best part is that the Sabrent makes it easy to "hot-swap" and switch between SSDs if you need to upgrade to a larger one in the future.
Faster storage: WD Black SN750 NVMe SSD
When it comes to NVMe SSDs, these are some of the fastest hard drives you can get your hands on. With the WD Black SN750, you'll get storage options ranging from 250GB to 2TB and a five-year limited warranty. However, you'll need to make sure that it will work with your Chromebox before installing it, or just grab an external enclosure.
Additional heat protection: Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe SSD
Samsung's 970 EVO Plus NVMe SSD offers read and write up to 3,500MB/s and 3,300MB/s while being backed by the company's 5-year limited warranty. This SSD also offers additional protection against heat with the Dynamic Thermal Guard monitoring temperatures to ensure that it doesn't get too warm. As with all hard drives, you will need to verify that it works with your specific Chromebox, or you can snag an NVMe enclosure and use it as an external drive.
Adding extra storage to a Chromebox is easy
Chromeboxes make great computers for plenty of people. In households where there are kids, they're the perfect desktop computer for homework, and attached to your TV they bring the internet and everything that comes with it to your big screen.
Connecting an external drive to your Chromebox is easy thanks to Chrome OS working well with a lot of file systems. Most external drives these days will basically be plug and play which makes them easy and convenient for anyone to set up and use. Your best value comes from the WD My Passport, which gets you 1TB of storage for roughly $50.
Another option is to use a drive enclosure that lets you dock an internal drive and use it to connect to your Chromebox via USB. For internal drives, we'll recommend Samsung Evo 860 SSD, which is one of the best-selling drives around, and also a good option if you've got a laptop or PC that could use a storage upgrade.
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