The largest hard disc drives (HDD) you can buy have a 10TB capacity, up from 8TB of last year. We review the three best external USB 3.0 HDD from Western Digital (WD), Seagate and LaCie. Spot prices for 10TB start under $250, with some sales dropping the cost under $200. The LaCie 10TB tops out closer to $400.
These 10TB drives are great for video editing, photography, music and small business back-ups. If you have a large amount of personal data, these may be worth the price for putting everything on one drive.
Prices tend to jump around a bit on these cutting edges 10TB external drives, so we highly recommend using the links provided to check the current cost on Amazon (where we’ve found the best deals so far).
Best Value – Western Digital (WD)
The WD 10TB Elements Desktop Hard Drive, about $225 (order code WDBWLG0100HBK-NESN), is a USB 3.0 (backward USB 2.0 compatibility) that delivers on transfer speed and reliability.
We like that it comes plug-and-play ready for Windows PCs, so all that’s needed to get started is to connect the USB cord from the drive to your PC. It’s NTFS formatted for Windows 10, 8.1 and 7.
If you are a Mac or Linux users, you’ll most like need to reformat the WD drive before using on you specific operating systems.
There is a single green light on the front of the unit to indicate when the drive is active.
The back of the device has the power input plug from the AD/CD adapter, the USB port, and a power switch. These are all located in the lower quarter, with the rest of the back vented for heat dissipation.
Overall, it’s a relatively quiet unit which is good since some HDD can be rather loud when the drive is spinning.
At 5.31 x 1.89 x 6.53 inches, it’s generally the same size as other desktop external hard drives.
You can find on Amazon regularly around $225, with periodic sales dropping the price below $200 – check current pricing or order using: WD 10TB Elements Desktop Hard Drive
Best Design – Seagate
The Seagate Backup Plus Hub 10TB External Desktop Hard Drive Storage, about $270, has two front-facing, high-speed USB 3.0 ports. These can be used for data and power – so you can connect to and recharge other USB devices like phones, cameras, and tablets.
The rear of the HDD has power input plug from the wall adapter, and the USB 3.0 port to connect to your main computer.
Transfer speeds across all ports can reach 170MB/s for Reads and around 120MB/s for Writes, which is pretty good.
We like the ability to have one USB port dedicated to a PC, and another 2 for transferring data from all the other devices (especially after shooting a lot of video on the camera).
This saves a big step, and time, of having to copy everything from a camera to the laptop, and then from the laptop to the HDD. It’s an especially nice feature as the older laptop HDD is getting full.
Like the WD HDD, the Seagate comes formatted for Windows computers out of the box. If you need to use this with both Windows and Mac, it’s an easy step to install the provided NTFS driver for Mac and use the drive interchangeably between the two operating systems.
The unit is quiet, and stays cool with the ample amount of venting holes.
Seagate has one of the best management software utilities as well. Just download the Seagate Dashboard to enable one-click backup as well as scheduled, automatic backup plans.
A nice bonus when ordering through Amazon, Seagate will include a 2-month complimentary membership to Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan (which is redeemable through January 31, 2020).
At 4.64 x 1.61 x 7.8 inches, it’s a similar size as the WD.
Check pricing or order on Amazon , Seagate Backup Plus Hub 10TB
Best Professional – LaCie
The LaCie d2 Professional 10TB features a USB-C 3.1 and two Thunderbolt ports. This is the fastest drive (7200 RPM) we’ve seen with transfer rates topping out around 240 MB/s.
It also tops out the pricing. Expect to pay between $400 and $500, depending on deals. The premium pricing will be made up quickly when you consider what you can bill your time for. It’s a professional grade product for a professional price.
The connectors are all on the rear, along with the power input from the wall adapter. There is also a locking port so that you can secure your pricey drive.
We like that this drive has a forced air fan, blowing out the back. Fortunately, it’s a quiet fan so you can concentrate on your work.
Cooling is also aided by the case construction. It’s stamped from a single sheet of heat-dissipating aluminum, allowing the enclosure to pull heat away from the HDD. It also looks really good while providing uncommon rigidity for long-term durability.
Another professional feature is the ability to daisy chain drives. Using the dual Thunderbolt 3 ports you can string dual 4K displays, a single 5K display, or up to six total LaCie d2 drives—all through a single cable connected to your computer.
Similar to the Seagate, the LaCie lets you charge your other devices, even laptops. You can power up to 15W through the USB-C (Thunderbolt 3 or USB 3.1) port. That’s one less cable cluttering up your desktop.
We like that LaCie includes 5 years of Rescue Data Recovery Service Plans. Hopefully, with the Seagate Barracuda Pro enterprise-class hard drives inside, you’ll never need the data recovery, but it’s great to have it just in case.
You also get a 1-month complimentary membership to the Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps plan.
At 8.54 x 2.36 x 5.12 inches, it’s just a little larger than the Seagate and WD, but still compact enough to easily fit in your workspace.
The LaCie d2 is our favorite, except for the higher price. But the features are excellent. Use this link to check pricing or order on Amazon – LaCie d2 Professional 10TB .
If you don’t need 10TB, or just don’t want to pay the price premium, we can recommend the 8TB Seagate USB 3.0 Drive for about $140, which is a good deal considering TB per $$.
FYI – at the other end, you can pick up a 1TB drive for around $50 (here’s our review and ordering info)
Here’s a quick recap, with links to check current price / order on Amazon, of the three 10TB drives in this review:
Value – WD 10TB Elements Desktop Hard Drive, about $225
Design – Seagate Backup Plus Hub 10TB , about $270
Professional – LaCie d2 Professional 10TB , about $400