The 8 Best 8TB External Hard Drives of 2021

You'll never run out of storage space with these picks

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The Rundown
Includes all the reliability, performance, and convenience you could want in a personal storage solution.
Designed to provide a simple, easy-to-use, and frill-free file-storage experience.
Doubles as a USB hub for connecting and charging other devices.
The 8-TB model comes ready to go in a RAID 0 configuration.
You can save your files on the hard drive and access or manage them from the My Cloud Home app.
Designed specifically for plug-and-play use with gaming consoles.
Best for Media Professionals:
G-Technology 8TB G-RAID at Amazon
The biggest differentiator for media pros may be its HDMI port, a rare feature for dedicated hard drives.
The Rugged Raid Shuttle from LaTie is a huge, durable 8TH external hard drive that can take a beating and a dunking.

The best 8TB external hard drives should offer fast read/write speeds, secure data backup options, and compatibility with both PCs and Macs. Given the large size of 8TB hard drives, it's also important that companies stand by their warranty and offer a data recovery service in case something goes wrong. Our top pick for the category is the WD 8TB My Book Desktop External Hard Drive at Amazon. It's a trusted brand name in storage, has fast transfer speeds, and comes with backup software for both Windows and Macs, along with a three-year warranty.

If your storage needs aren't so robust, you should glance at our general list of the best external hard drives. They vary in storage size, speed, and warranty, but you're sure to find what you need. Otherwise, read on to see the best 8TB external hard drives.

Best Overall: WD 8TB My Book Desktop External Hard Drive

 WD 8TB My Book Desktop External Hard Drive
What we like
  • Relatively affordable

  • Wide compatibility

What we don't like
  • No redundant systems

  • Slow transfer speeds

Western Digital is one of the most trusted names in data storage, and trust is important for a device that will hold so much of your valuable memories, media, and information. WD’s My Book external hard drive comes in an 8TB size and includes all the reliability, performance, and convenience you could want in a personal storage solution.

Mainstream hard drives of 8TB capacity generally can’t fit into a very portable size, but the WD My Book is still a fairly compact unit that houses a 3.5-inch hard disk drive (HDD). It’s meant to stand upright and fit right in on a desktop, measuring 6.7 inches tall, 1.9 inches wide, and 5.5 inches deep. It also has to be plugged into the wall with a power adapter, so it’s not the easiest to tote around to different places.

In terms of performance, the My Book transfers files as fast as any comparable hard drives today through its single USB 3.0 port (USB 2.0 compatible). If you’re looking for a quick and easy backup process, it comes with WD Backup software for Windows and is compatible with Time Machine for Macs. WD Security software is included, too, along with a nice three-year warranty for extra peace of mind.

"Weighing in at 3 pounds, the 8TB My Book is heavier than most external hard drives, and will weigh down your backpack. This is for good reason though, seeing as it holds a gigantic eight terabytes of storage space." — Jordan Oloman, Product Tester

Best Budget: Seagate Expansion 8TB

What we like
  • Affordable price per GB

  • Simple to use

What we don't like
  • Slow read/write speeds

As a top digital storage brand, Seagate’s external hard drive offerings are dependable even at lower price ranges. The Expansion desktop hard drive, weighing just over two pounds, is designed to provide a simple, easy-to-use, and frill-free file-storage experience, leading to an attractive price per gigabyte for 8 TB of capacity. Just plug the power cable into an outlet and insert the USB 3.0 cable into your computer and Windows will recognize it out of the box (or you can reformat it for Mac). No additional software is included, but you may want to use or find your own backup software anyway.

File transfers to and from the 3.5-inch HDD are quick, with a listed max speed of 160 MB/s. It doesn’t boast the fastest speeds out there, but it’s fast enough to get the job done. Some users reported it generating worrying noises and some heat, which doesn’t necessarily mean any trouble. If do you have any issues, though, a one-year warranty is included. 

Best USB Hub: Seagate Backup Plus Hub 8TB Desktop External Hard Drive

What we like
  • Seamless backup utility

  • Good storage space

What we don't like
  • Poor transfer speeds

If you want to get a bit more than file storage out of the external hard drive sitting on your desk, try one like Seagate’s Backup Plus Hub. Not only does it hold 8TB of data (up to 10TB capacity is available), but it also doubles as a USB hub for connecting and charging other devices. Two speedy USB 3.0 ports right on the front of the glossy black case make it easy to plug in a phone or tablet or anything else that uses a USB-A connection. You can then transfer and manage your files and media on those devices as well as charge with 1.5 Amps / 5 volts of power from each port.

In its main function as a hard drive, you can count on the Backup Plus Hub to provide dependable storage and quick transfer speeds. It comes pre-formatted for Windows, but after you format it for Mac, you can use it interchangeably with both types of operating systems.

Seagate backup software is included, along with a two-month free membership to Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography Plan so you can try out Photoshop and Lightroom photo services.

Best RAID: Western Digital 8TB My Book Duo Desktop RAID External Hard Drive

What we like
  • Affordable per-GB cost

  • Includes complete backup solution

  • Has a dual USB hub

What we don't like
  • Replacing hard drives is difficult

  • Sub-par warranty

In addition to the popular single-drive My Book hard drive, Western Digital also offers home users an accessible RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) set up through the My Book Duo. The 8TB model comes ready to go in a RAID 0 configuration, with the data “striped” across two 4TB HDDs. This means the data gets segmented and split up among the drives. With both processing files at the same time, the result is better performance—in this case, a listed speed of up to 360 MB/s.

The My Book Duo can also be switched to a RAID 1 setup, which “mirrors” data across the two drives. You’ll effectively only get 4TB of space, but the redundancy gives you extra reliability in case one copy or hard drive fails. You can also go with a JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disks) setup and simply use them as two individual 4TB hard drives.

Helping give the My Book Duo high transfer speeds and impressive connectivity are its flexible input options. It features a USB Type-C port that’s compatible with the speedy USB 3.1 Gen 1 standard as well as USB 3.0 and 2.0, and it comes with a USB-C to USB-C cable plus a USB-C to USB-A cable. There are two standard USB 3.0 Type-A ports that let the device serve as a hub.

Best Network-Attached Storage: Western Digital 8TB My Cloud Home Personal Cloud Storage

Western Digital 8TB My Cloud Home Personal Cloud Storage
What we like
  • Simple setup

  • Affordable

  • Fast transfer speeds

What we don't like
  • PC app isn't great

  • Can't stream over the cloud

Backing up your data to an external storage device is smart, but in today’s always-connected world, why not take advantage of the cloud as well? With network-attached storage (NAS) like WD’s 8TB My Cloud Home, you can save your files on the hard drive and access or manage them from the My Cloud Home app anywhere you have an Internet connection.

The app lets you easily search through your content and stream videos from your drive. You can also upload files to the drive remotely and automatically back up / sync your phones, tablets, or laptops. Being online means that sharing content is easy, too, but on the flip side, you can create separate private spaces on the drive for each person in your household.

The My Cloud Home plugs directly into your Wi-Fi router through a Gigabit Ethernet port, so you don’t have worry about losing wireless connection. Next to the Ethernet port on the back is a USB 3.0 port for wired file transfers. If you need extra performance or reliability, there’s an 8TB My Cloud Home Duo version of the product available, with dual HDDs set up in a RAID 1 mirror configuration by default.

Best for Game Consoles: Avolusion HDDGear 8TB External Gaming Hard Drive

What we like
  • Compatible with Sony and Microsoft consoles

  • Sturdy build quality

  • Relatively compact

What we don't like
  • The front-facing power light is irritating

Finding yourself with more saved games and downloaded content than your PlayStation or Xbox console’s internal storage can hold? It’s easy to expand your space with any external hard drive that holds more than 250 GB and supports USB 3.0. Avolusion offers an 8TB drive designed specifically for plug-and-play use with gaming consoles, with one pre-formatted to work with PS4, PS4 Slim, and PS4 Pro consoles, and a separate product for Xbox One, Xbox One S, and Xbox One X.

Adding 8TB of storage should tide you over for years and years to come (and it’s the highest-capacity drive a PS4 can support). You can store 200 full games, depending of course on the file size of each one. A faster hard drive means shorter load times, but the difference isn’t significant enough for speed to be a huge factor. The Avolusion HDDGear’s 7200-RPM hard disk is more than fast enough to get you back in the game, and its angular design will fit right in with your gaming setup. 

Best for Media Professionals: G-Technology 8TB G-RAID with Thunderbolt 3

What we like
  • Cool design

  • Fast performance

What we don't like
  • Expensive

  • Doesn't come equipped with a thunderbolt cable

G-Technology is a Western Digital brand that specializes in storage solutions for professional media and entertainment purposes, and the high-end G-RAID with Thunderbolt 3 is a great example. The dual-bay 8TB drive is made up of two removable 4TB 7200 RPM HDDs. As the name implies, it supports RAID configurations—RAID 0 for striping the drives to improve speed or RAID 1 for mirroring data to boost reliability—as well as JBOD. The device comes formatted for Mac, but it can be easily reformatted to use with Windows PCs, too.

The other part of the hard drive’s name highlights its two Thunderbolt 3 ports, which, along with a USB-C (USB 3.1 Gen 2) port, allows for a lot of flexibility in the media you can connect. You can even use Thunderbolt 3 to daisy-chain up to five other devices through a single connection.

But the G-RAID’s biggest differentiator for media pros may be its HDMI port, a rare feature for dedicated hard drives. The HDMI connection can support all sorts of video output, from Full HD to high-definition 4K content with High-Dynamic Range (HDR).

Best Rugged: LaCie Rugged Raid Shuttle 8TB External Hard Drive

LaCie Rugged Raid Shuttle 8TB External Hard Drive
What we like
  • Extremely durable design

  • Tons of bundled cables included

What we don't like
  • Type-C connector isn't protected from water

The LaCie Rugged Raid Shuttle is an 8TH external and portable hard drive that has everything you need to keep your data safe on the go. It's shock, dust, and water-resistant and comes with a vivid orange bumper along its sides so you don't have to worry about drops. It supports USB-C to USB 3.0, making it compatible with both Mac and PC and offering faster file transfer and connectivity options.

Among its features include the ability to configure RAID 0/1 with the built-in wizard, a self-encrypting password system, and a complimentary one month membership to Adobe Creative Cloud. Even better, the hard drive comes with a three year warranty, including data recovery services should something go wrong.

Final Verdict

The best 8TB external hard drive to buy is the WD 8TB My Book (view at Amazon). It's relatively compact for the size, being housed in a 3.5-inch unit. It has fast transfer speeds, backup software for both WIndows and Mac, and it includes a three-year warranty. For a more budget-friendly option we like the Seagate Expansion 8TB (view at Amazon). It's affordable and offers the same storage and speeds, but it doesn't have the backup features.

About Our Trusted Experts

Anton Galang started writing about tech in 2007 as an editorial contributor to PC Magazine and PCMag.com. He was also previously the Editorial Director of print and digital media at A+ Media. 

Jordan Oloman is a Newcastle-based tech writer whose work has appeared in PC Gamer, TechRadar, Eurogamer, IGN, GamesRadar, and many other publications.

FAQs

Should I buy an external hard drive or a USB flash drive?
If you're looking for a large amount of storage, faster transfer speeds, and don't mind a large form factor and higher cost, an external drive is the best option. For smaller amounts of data in the most portable size available (and even greater plug and play convenience), check out our list of the best USB flash drives.

Are external hard drives good for backing up data?
For long term backup, traditional HDDs, including external options, are the best solution, providing the most data stability and capacity for the price (or for a faster solution at a higher price tag, an SSD, possibly an SSD in an external enclosure).

What's the difference between USB 2.0, USB 3.0, USB-C, etc. external drives?
The USB standard an drive relies upon to connect to your devices will determine a number of things about its potential performance, including maximum transfer rate. The transfer ceiling for USB 3.0, for instance, is theoretically ten times higher than 2.0. Letters following a USB designation (like USB-A, USB-B, or USB-C) indicate the physical type of connection; USB-A is the familiar rectangle most associated with the standard, while USB-C is a reversible flat oval.

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