PS4 owners have had to deal with 500GB and 1TB hard drives coming pre-installed for some time now. However, it doesn’t take long to fill those drives up in 2018 – especially with games like Red Dead Redemption 2 asking for upwards of 100GB or more of that space alone.
Half a decade into the console’s lifespan, you’ll probably want to increase your storage capacity. Thankfully, you’ll be pleased to know that upgrading your PS4’s hard drive storage space with an external hard drive is really straightforward. In order to help you make an informed buying decision, we’ve gathered up our top picks for the best PS4 external hard drive.
As a heads up just before we start going any further, in order to actually use an external hard drive with your PS4 console, you’ll need to have downloaded and installed the latest PS4 firmware (the first version to enable external hard drives was 4.50). Once you’re updated to firmware 4.50 or above, your PS4 will be able to support USB 3.0 external hard drives of up to 8TB in size, which is a massive improvement on the default 500GB that comes with the majority of PS4 consoles. With all things considered, if you have ever connected your PS4 to the internet by now, you will almost definitely have a firmware above this by now, but it’s always worth checking just in case.
Think of all that space. Think of all the things you could fill it with – install all your games at once, install other people’s games, fill it with high-quality photos of your family, fill it with high-quality screenshots from Marvel’s Spider-Man, the possibilities are endless!
If you’d like to take a look at the other side of the gaming fence, you can check out our guide to the best external hard drive for Xbox One as well, or have a look at the best Nintendo Switch Micro SD cards
Do I need an external hard drive for PS4?
In all reality, video games are getting bigger and bigger in size each year, with some recent titles topping 60-70GB at launch or more. As lovely as it might be for consoles to regularly come with a pre-installed 1TB drive, it’s very easy to see that sooner or later, an external hard drive is going to be a necessity. With a big enough external drive hooked up to your PlayStation box, you may never have to uninstall a game again.
As a heads up, if you do plan on picking up an external drive to use with your PS4, be aware that the drive will need to be formatted specifically for the console. This means you won’t be able to use it for any other type of files, it’ll be a dedicated PS4 drive. With this in mind, it’s usually better to pick up a completely new, fresh drive for this purpose rather than repurposing an older one.
As a short aside, if you’re looking to upgrade the internal hard drive of your PS4, you should check out Digital Foundry’s definitive guide to upgrading your internal PS4 driveover at Eurogamer. Internal drives max out at 2TB, though, so you may want an external at some point anyway.
So, which external hard drive is the best for PS4? Well, we’re here to run down some of our top picks for the best PS4 external hard drive.
Best PS4 External Hard Drive
If you need to take your external hard drive with you on-the-go or plan on moving your console often, then you’re going to want a portable hard drive. In that case, here are the best portable hard drives for PS4.
Samsung Portable SSD T5 – the fastest external drive for PS4
As the title suggests, the Samsung SSD T5 is an external SSD (or Solid State Drive), which means it is by far the fastest drive on this list and the most secure in terms of portability. With no moving internal parts, Samsung’s portable SSD is completely safe to throw into a bag and cart with you wherever you go.
That said, SSDs are not cheap and neither is this drive, as it’s by far the priciest drive on this list. If you value speed over budget, this one is your ideal choice. If you want more storage space for your money, however, you’re going to want to try one of the other drives below. If it does suit your situation, however, you’ll be getting one of the best external hard drive options around.
Toshiba Canvio Basics – Cheapest budget portable drive
If none of the other options here strike your fancy, you may be well-advised to try out the Toshiba Canvio range. The read/write speeds aren’t quite up to the same level as the Seagate or Western Digital drives featured here but the pricing is highly affordable, especially considering the capacity on offer. A 2TB drive will only run you around £70 / $80 on average, making this a very affordable backup drive to be able to take on the go with you wherever you like. As the title may suggest, the design is a little on the ‘basic’ side, but it’s hard to fault it for minimalism when you’re getting a whole lot of space for a low cost. This external hard drive is super small, goes at a standard HDD speed and is at a competitive price. It’ll also sit nicely next to your PS4, being just as sleek and shiny.
Viccoman VC820 A superb budget External HDDs with USB3.0 Interface
The portable version of the Viccoman is a sleek and stylish option, with a
Silicon Cover casing. Inside the box, the drive runs USB 3.0 and features the fastest transfer speeds of any portable drive on this list – a tested read speed of 5 GB per second and a write speed of 4.7GB per second. It’s a little on the heavier side, weighing 8.3 ounces . This is a superb budget option for an external hard drive that performs excellently and looks great, too. This drive is available with up to 2TB of space.