The more game developers continue to push the boundaries of what the PlayStation 4 can do by adding open world environments, downloadable content, better graphics, and the litany of other additions we have seen in recent games wanted or not (we’re looking at you microtransactions).
Because of that gamesk can easily take up 50 GB plus of hard drive space, and that’s before all the updates, patches, and downloadable content becomes available. And it isn’t as though you are only going to play one game at a time, you’ll likely have five to six games that you like to play at any given moment, and that’s if you’re just the average gamer.
When you accompany that with all of the apps that you download for streaming movies, tv shows, youtube, or twitch, you will find that you run out of hard drive space almost the moment you purchased your system.
Plus, it is highly recommended that you backup all of your game progress, in the event that your hard drive craps out you. Believe me, there is nothing more frustrating than losing all of your game progress because there is a power surge at the most inopportune time.
The point is, if you own a PlayStation 4, it will behoove you to go ahead and get an external hard drive to backup your system and add some much-needed storage space.
The Quick Rundown
Hate reading? We got you covered.
TVGB's #1 Overall Pick
Western Digital 4TB My Passport Portable
If You Value Storage...
Seagate Backup Plus Hub
If You Value Speed...
Samsung T3 Portable SSD
TVGB's #1 Overall Pick
Western Digital 4TB My Passport Portable
The Best External Hard Drives for Your PS4
There are several different options for external hard drives to choose from, with different capabilities and used for various reasons. Some need to be plugged into the wall outlets to power up, while others only need to be plugged into your console’s USB port in order to turn on.
Today’s purpose is to give you seven different external hard drives that will serve your unique needs. If internal hard drives are what you’re looking for though, check out our article covering the best 2TB hard drives for the PS4 or great hard drives (HDs/SSDs) for gaming in general.
Else, let’s get started.
This drive is meant for those on the move gamers who need to hold a lot of data in a device that will not take up too much room. My Passport drives have proven to be reliable and perform well during extended times of extended use.
Let’s look at some of the pluses you should expect to get from using this external drive:
- Works well with your PlayStation right out of the box
- Up to ten percent faster than previous My Passport models
- Comes with a three-year warranty
- Optional 256-bit AES hardware encryption
The WD My Passport 4 terabyte hard drive is a simple device that holds a ton of data. You will have to format the hard drive to the “exfat” format that is required for the PlayStation. It will come with a host of WD software; WD Backup, WD Security, and WD Drive Utilities (these are for backup purposes).
This 2016 version of the Passport has much better specs than the previous version, but the real world test the added transfer speed is just barely noticeable. Outside of that, the device will work very well for the purpose of holding your games. But don’t expect high-speed data transfers.
Runner-up for Best Portable Hard Drive with Large Storage Space: Seagate Backup Plus
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The Seagate Backup Plus is a portable PS4 compatible external drive that holds an incredible four terabytes of storage space (although it does have options of 1, 2, and five terabytes). Being a portable drive, all you have to do to get it powered on is plug it into your console.
Here are some of the benefits of this external hard drive:
- The included Seagate Dashboard allows the user to create customized backup plans
- Draws very little power from your system, helping to save money on your electric bill (who doesn’t appreciate that)
- Even if your system is in rest mode, this hard drive will turn itself off, prolonging its lifespan
- Can sustain 100 MB/s transfer speed rather than the typical 40 MB/s standard USB hard drives have
Let’s look at the minuses with this device:
- It has decent speed when transferring data, but it doesn’t hold up nearly as well when playing games from this hard drive
- Having two HDD’s inside of the device makes it more susceptible to failure over time
If you are using a portable external drive, typically you will use it solely for transferring data and backing up your data. If you want a decently priced backup drive for your system, this is a good item to look at.
Seagate Expansion 5TB Desktop External Hard Drive USB 3.0 (STEB5000100)
- Easy and simple to use - simply plug in the power adapter and USB cable
- Fast file transfers with SuperSpeed USB 3.0
- System Requirements : Windows 8, Windows 7 operating system. Compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0
- Drag and drop file saving for Windows, right out of the box
- Please note: For Mac compatibility this Hard Drive requires reformatting. Reformatting the drive will erase all content unless it is backed up to another drive. Refer to Application Guide for guidance on this.
The Seagate Expansion holds a ton of data, 5TB should be more than enough for the majority of gamers. It is a plug and play system that gives you an easy solution for storing data, all you need to do is plug in the power supply and USB cable, then begin transferring data. The built-in power management helps to keep energy use down to a minimum.
Let’s look at some of the features and benefits you get with the Seagate Expansion
- Tons of space with five terabytes of storage capacity
- Quickly transfer files from your PS4 to the hard drive and back
- 7200 RPM spindle rate
- No software installation is necessary
Here are the cons of this hard drive
- This needs to be plugged into a power source to use it
- Does not go into sleep mode when you turn the PlayStation on rest mode
- The plastic body is susceptible to heating up and doesn’t displace heat very well
If you are looking for a high capacity expansion drive, then this is a device you will undoubtedly find useful. Be sure to unplug it when you are not using it, if you neglect to you will be overworking the hard drive causing the heads to burn out quicker than they usually would.
If you spend a lot of time on the move, then you need a portable hard drive. If you deal in environments and climates that are less than favorable, then you need a rugged hard drive. Thankfully, LaCie has made a portable hard drive that can withstand rough handling and still be able to handle all of your gaming needs. Oh, by the way, it holds 2TB worth of data for you.
Here are some of the pluses you will find with the Thunderbolt
- Transfer speeds of up to 387 MB/s
- Shock, dust, and water resistant
- Automatic backup capabilities
- Two-meter drop resistance
- IP 54 protection for dust and liquids
The Rugged Thunderbolt is an all-around good performing hard drive that allows you to take it places that you can’t take most hard drives. It is amazingly durable and extremely reliable, giving you the peace of mind to know that you won’t lose your data if it gets dropped.
The Passport wireless pro offers anywhere from 1 terabyte to 4 terabytes of storage capacity. It allows you to transfer data wirelessly by connecting it to the same wifi connection as the device you are moving the data to or from. Of course, you are still able to transfer data with the provided USB cord.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of the Passport Wireless
- Wireless 802.11ac allows for fast data transfers
- USB 3.0 lets you transfer data even faster
- You can transfer data from another external source by using the included USB 2.0
- Extended battery life gives you up to ten hours of operation
- Super lightweight (1 pound) for easy portability
Some downsides of this product are:
- Transferring via Wifi is not always quick, it can be spotty at times
- Being such a small device makes it a little more susceptible to damage
Having the ability to transfer data wirelessly is a godsend. However, it doesn’t always offer the fastest transfer speeds. For the times you need quick data transfers you definitely should use the provided USB cords. It is also an extremely convenient way to share the media on your device with people.
Seagate Expansion 8TB Desktop External Hard Drive USB 3.0 (STEB8000100)
- Easy and simple to use - simply plug in the power adapter and USB cable
- SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port (required for USB 3.0 transfer speeds or backwards compatible with USB 2.0 ports at USB 2.0 transfer speeds). Compatibility may vary depending on user's hardware configuration and operating system
- System Requirements : Windows 8, Windows 7 operating system
- Drag and drop file saving for Windows, right out of the box.Dimensions (L x W x H):6.93 x 4.75 x 1.44" (176.00 x 120.60 x 36.60 mm)
- Mac compatibility Requires reformatting. Reformatting the Drive will erase all content unless it is backed up to another Drive. Refer to application guide for guidance
The Seagate Backup Plus Hub has an incredible 8TB storage capacity, making it one of the most massive external hard drives you can purchase. It is meant as a backup for your desktop computer but can be a valuable external drive for your PlayStation as well.
Let’s look at some of the benefits you get with the Seagate Backup Plus Hub:
- Has a ridiculous amount of storage space
- Having two additional USB 3.0 ports lets you free up even more space to expand your capacity to plug in PlayStation peripherals
- Includes Seagate’s Dashboard backup software
- Comes with two years of 200GB of online data for free
- 181 MB/s for writing and 195 MB/s for reading
Pitfalls of the Backup Plus Hub
- Like all desktop drives, it needs to be plugged in
- The hub doesn’t always work with USB 2.0 (PS4 uses USB 3)
- Not portable at all
The Seagate Backup Plus Hub is perfect for the gamer who just needs to be able to house endless amounts of games. It yields some of the fastest results possible for external non-Solid State Drives and can transfer even the most extensive games in just a matter of minutes.
Samsung has been at the forefront of innovation in electronics for some time now, and their hard drives are one of the places they shine the brightest. This hard drive is for those who prefer speed over storage space. It offers extraordinarily high read and writes rates, letting you transfer your data at ridiculously fast speeds.
Let’s look at some pluses of the Samsung T3:
- Solid State Drives offer the fastest transfer times you can get
- 450 MB/s read speeds
- 390 MB/s write speeds
- Shock resistant
These are the negatives of this hard drive:
- Solid state drives are significantly more expensive than other hard drives
The Samsung external SSD is going to give you a considerable boost in transfer times. The design is light and compact weighing less than two ounces. And the USB 3.1 Type – c port offers the most reliable connection, to ensure you don’t experience any interruption when transferring data.
Quality Test: Factors We Considered When Reviewing
When doing our research on the best external hard drives for your PlayStation 4, we considered several things. We looked at the combination of pricing, storage size, speed, and compatibility to determine what products should and should not make this list.
The price of a product is always going to be important. But when you are looking at high-end technology like computer hard drives, you should never just go with whatever hard drive is the cheapest – Remember: by it nice or buy it twice
With that said, we wanted to find the hard drives that give us the biggest bang for our buck, the external hard drive with the biggest bang for your buck is the WD 4TB My Passport.
When you are in the market for a hard drive, you obviously are looking for additional storage space for your game, even more so when you are looking for an external hard drive. It was essential for us only to put devices that had no less than a 1TB capacity.
The hard drive with the most capacity is the Seagate Backup Plus Hub, with 8TB of storage.
Seagate Backup Plus Hub 8TB External Desktop Hard Drive Storage + 2mo Adobe CC Photography (STEL8000100)
- Two integrated high-speed USB 3.0 ports allow you to connect & recharge USB devices
- Backup hard drive formatted for Windows computers out of the box
- Install the provided NTFS driver for Mac and use the drive interchangeably between Windows and Mac computers without reformatting
- Run a one-click backup or schedule an automatic backup plan to protect your files
- Includes 2-month complimentary membership to Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan, which must be redeemed by January 31, 2020
Speed is arguably the most critical parts of your hard drive. Even if you have an 8GB hard drive, if your hard drive transfers data too slow then you have nothing more than a paperweight.
The winner in the speed category was the Samsung T3.
If you don’t have a PS4 compatible external hard drive then no matter how much storage capacity or how fast your hard drive’s writing speed is, it will be useless to you. All of these hard drives are going to be compatible with your PS4.
But the PS4 external hard drive compatibility is predicated on you downloading Sony’s 4.50 firmware. Without that firmware update, you will not be able to connect an external hard drive.
Why Upgrade Your PS4 Storage?
The days of being able to buy a game, pop it in your system, and begin playing are long gone. Now every game you get needs to be downloaded to your system. These games often top more than 50GB each.
And now that game developers are sending patches through on a regular basis and adding content to the game throughout its life cycle; you will run out of space on your hard drive sooner than you think.
So if you want to be able actually to keep the games, you purchase with you at all times, rather than spending hours deleting and redownloading them every time you want to play. Your best option to take is to upgrade your hard drive.
Furthermore, adding extra storage space to your gaming console allows you to take full advantage of the sales and giveaways Sony has every month. Each month sony allows you to play games for free, this month it is Metal Gear Solid (a 25GB game). Without enough storage space, you wouldn’t be able to take advantage of these free games we get on a monthly basis.
Along with having more room to store games, movies, apps, and music. Upgrading the storage on your console free’s up much-needed ram, helping your system to run more efficient when you are using it.
Recommended PS4 Hard Drive Brands
With a number of hard drives on the market today it can be difficult to decipher between the good brands and the mediocre brands. And of course, you want to make sure you get the best product possible for your money.
One way you will be able to tell the difference between the brands worth purchasing (outside of reading customer and professional reviews) is by looking at the brand names that are carried in some of the more reputable stores. If you see big box stores like BestBuy carrying Seagate, it is safe to assume that Seagate is worth looking into.
Here are some brands that have a reputation for producing high-quality hard drives:
Western Digital: WD is a brand that has been trusted for decades. Several different companies like Hewlett Packard use these hard drives on their computers. Their My Passport series is one of the most purchased portable hard drives on the market.
Samsung: We’re all familiar with Samsung products. They are major players in the cellphone and tablet market, wearable tech, televisions, heck they even lead the charge on innovation for home appliances.
But not nearly as many people are familiar with the innovations they have pushed with hard drives. In fact, Apple uses some of their technologies in their line-up of MacBooks.
Portable vs. Desktop
Most of us know that there are two different types of external hard drives; portable and desktop. They both are useful in different situations, and which is the best kind of hard drive is entirely dependent upon what you are looking for.
Here are the pros of using a portable hard drive:
- Able to take them with you anywhere you go
- Smaller than a desktop hard drive
- Don’t need to be plugged in when you want to use them
- Low cost per GB
Cons of portable external hard drives:
- They aren’t able to have a much storage space due to their size
- They can heat up easily
- They are often not as fast as desktop hard drives (assuming it isn’t a solid state drive)
- Slower read and write speeds
These are the pros of having a desktop external hard drive:
- Have the capability to add higher amounts of storage
- Usually, have more USB ports allowing you to plug in more peripherals
- Much faster read and write speeds than portable externals
- They use AC cords for power, making them more reliable and safer
Cons of desktop external hard drives:
- Will not turn on unless you plug them into an external power source
- Cannot be taken with you
All of the products discussed today can take your PlayStation console to the next level. After researching all of the products and going through all of the data, the hard drive that stood out above the rest was the Western Digital My Passport Portable Hard Drive.
It stood out above the rest because it offered an incredible four terabytes of storage while staying within an acceptable budget. It provides pretty good read and writes times for a portable hard drive, and the ability to take it on the go is a huge plus.
I would also say, that if you are willing to spend more money for a significantly faster hard drive, then you should take a serious look at the Samsung T3 SSD.