For each hard disk, we ran HD Tune Guru, a benchmarking program that tests transfer speeds, access time, burst rate, and CPU usage across the whole disk. We also timed a streak of file transfers–a 7.07 GB folder of photos, a 19.7 GB music series, and also a 45.5 GB tear of a Blu-ray picture–from begin to finish, running every move three times and determining the average to rule out functionality hiccups. We explored each drive’s bundled applications to learn how useful and user-friendly it is.
For solid-state drives we utilized CrystalDiskMark and ATTO Disk Benchmark to check each drive’s sequential and random speeds, and we completed the exact same set of document transfers we use for hard drives. We ran all these tests on the Asus ROG G752VT-DH72, our very best gaming notebook. Its PCIe solid-state driveway was more than fast enough to prevent bottlenecking all the drives we tested.
The 2 TB Seagate Backup Plus Slim is the best portable hard drive for most folks because it’s reliable, and reliability is the most important factor for any data storage device. It’s also smaller and lighter than the majority of the other hard drives we tested, was consistently faster than the competition in our multifile audio and photo transfer evaluations, and it’s one of the least expensive drives per terabyte we tested, also. The Slim comes with useful backup applications and 200 GB of free OneDrive storage for a couple of decades.
The Slim has been our top pick since April 2014, except to get a three-month period when it had been superseded with its successor, the Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim.
Back in January 2017 , we recorded 587 failure reports from 8,948 user reviews for the Slim, providing the Slim a 6.5 percent reported failure rate–that is especially great for a drive that’s been in existence for three years. (You can read more about how exactly we calculate failure rates within our whole guide.) The 2 TB version we urge has an even lower failure rate at 5.9 percent. During our years of testing, we’ve found that anything under 10 percent is not cause for concern. This is far from a perfect measure, but it’s the best we have for today.