Sometimes it’s best not to store absolutely everything right on your Mac. For one, it clutters things up, and unless you’re willing to upgrade your SSD (which you can’t in the latest MacBook Pros), you’re gonna fill things up way too fast.
Grab one of these hard drives and know that your data is protected by a shock-resistant enclosure, so that you don’t have to worry about tossing it in a bag and going about your day.
Note: Always keep in mind that just because a hard drive is shock-resistant, that does not mean it is shock-proof. Shock-resistant hard drives can still die on impact.
CalDigit Tuff 2TB
CalDigit Tuff is PCMag’s top pick for best external hard drive and it’s little wonder it makes this list when it’s rated to be able to survive 4-foot drops. It’s also water-resistant (3 feet for up to 30 minutes) and dust-resistant.
This is the perfect hard drive if you’re going to have it with you absolutely everywhere you go. It’s compatible with Thunderbolt 3 and backwards compatible with the included USB-C to USB-A cable. You’ll get transfer speeds of up to 130MB/s and interface speeds of up to 10Gb/s. At $180, this is easily the best option on this list.
LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt USB-C 2TB
I’ve never had a LaCie hard drive do me wrong. I used one all through college and it’s still working even now (
eight years later). The LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt is a 2TB drive that features USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt for transfer speeds of up to 240MB/s, and it’s drop tested to 5 feet.
It’s powered via Thunderbolt so you can get work done no matter where you are and it’s compatible with RAID 0 and 1 configurations if you need a speedy network attached storage solution in the field. This one comes with a USB-C to USB-A cable for backward compatibility and you can snag it straight from Apple for $180.
Transcend StoreJet 2TB
Transcend’s 2TB hard drive is military drop-tested for shock resistance and features a strong outer case made of flexible rubber and an internal hard drive suspension system, which provides support and flexibility in the event of a drop.
The StoreJet also has a one-touch auto-backup button, which features 256-bit AES file and folder encryption, and you get access to Transcend’s “Elite” data management software.For around $100, this is an excellent drive with tons of space and a hardy build that’s sure to last. It features USB 3.0.
ADATA HD710 1TB
The HD710 from ADATA is 1TB of military-grade shock- and water-resistant goodness that has passed both the IEC 60529 IP68 test and the military standard drop test. This means it’s nigh-impervious to dust and can be submerged in 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes.
For around $70, you get a 1TB hard drive that features USB 3.0 and it’s made specifically for Mac, with Time Machine support. It’s made of three layers of protection, featuring a flexible silicone outer shell, and its wraparound cable makes it incredibly handy for travel.
G-Drive ev RaW SSD 1TB
Now, G-Drive’s drive is a bit of a cheat on this list in that it isn’t a hard drive — it’s a solid-state drive (SSD). It’s likely the most shock-resistant drive on this list because it has no moving mechanical components. It uses an electronic interface instead, and at $380 for 1TB, it’s definitely not the cheapest way to go.
But SSDs are quite a bit faster, this one allowing for up to 425MB/s in transfer rates, and it features USB 3.0, so it’ll be compatible with all Macs (you may just need a USB-C to USB-A cable for your newer MacBook Pro). G-Technology promises that this drive can withstand a 6-foot drop onto carpeted concrete thanks to its rubber bumper, and it features an IP66 rating, so it’s dust-resistant and can withstand being submerged in up to 1 foot of water for 30 seconds (just in case you drop it in a puddle).
How do you protect your data on the go?
Do you have a favorite rugged hard drive (or SSD)? Let us know in the comments below!
Updated January 2018: We’ve completely overhauled this list with new drives and pricing.
Best Shock-resistant Hard Drives for Mac in 2018