Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our
review process here.
We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
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.
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.
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.
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.
LaCie manufactures a dependable selection of hard drives that go particularly well with Mac operating systems, and the d2 Thunderbolt 3 series is an excellent 8TB option. One reason is the Thunderbolt 3 port touted right in the product’s name. Utilizing a USB-C connector, Thunderbolt 3 is used on modern MacBooks to both transfer data at blazing speeds and charge the device at the same time. Though you won’t reach the connection’s 40 Gbps maximum data transfer speed, you still get a very fast 240 MB/s with its HDD—as Seagate’s premium brand, LaCie takes advantage of a high-quality 7200 RPM Seagate BarraCuda Pro internal hard drive.
The two Thunderbolt 3 ports and one USB 3.1 port are found on the back of the device, which is a sturdy white box with a striking big blue power light front and center. The enclosure is made from a single sheet of aluminum for extra durability, and a built-in fan keeps it from overheating.
For the many creative professionals the drive might appeal to, one free month of all Adobe Creative Cloud apps comes included. In terms of protection, LaCie’s generous warranty covers the product for five years, while many other hard drive warranties last only one to three years.
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.
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.
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).
A solid-state drive (SSD) has a number of advantages over a hard disk drive (HDD). Since it uses flash-memory chips instead of spinning platters like an HDD does, an SSD can be smaller, faster, and more durable, as well as more expensive. But in terms of storage capacity, you don’t really see SSDs at 8TB sizes or larger.
That’s where Other World Computing’s ThunderBlade comes in. You most definitely pay a premium for 8TB of storage in an SSD format, but it could be worth the cost if your job calls for the absolute fastest transfers of large amounts of data.
The ThunderBlade can reach up to 2800 MB/s read speeds and 2450 MB/s write speeds. OWC highlights that this can jump up to 3800 MB/s with SoftRAID, which uses software-based RAID to get better performance than hardware RAID can get out of the external drive’s processors. This means a lot of very fast file transfers, and the ThunderBlade’s two Thunderbolt 3 ports are more than equipped to handle it. You can also daisy-chain up to additional Thunderbolt 3 devices.