Best PS4 external hard drives 2024: The best HDD and SSD options

Best PS4 external hard drives for 2023
(Image credit: WD, Toshiba)

The best PS4 external hard drives might give you better load times than the standard console HDD - especially since portable SSDs are getting faster with each new release. In truth, there are a million reasons why an external hard drive can come in handy, but with gaming on PS4 at this stage, it'll either help you move game data around, increase storage, or transfer screenshots and the like from console to computer. No matter your reason for looking, the list of external HDDs and SSDs down below will set you on the right path.

If your PS4 is anything like ours, it's probably getting louder with every boot. A bit of expanded storage never goes amiss, but in particular, that launch model's 500GB of HDD won't fit many contemporary games. While you might not be able to get the performance we've come to know from the best SSDs for gaming, or even the best PS5 SSDs, there are plenty of great PS4 options that will work.

The best way to narrow down your selection is to decide on how much capacity you need – naturally, the bigger the better generally applies, and getting the largest space for the lowest price should be your goal. Next, you need to work out if you'd prefer an SSD or an HDD. If you didn't know already, even the fastest HDD is massively outperformed by the speed of an SSD. If you know for a fact you're in the market for one, we've collated a more specific list of the best PS4 SSDs for folks who want to modify their console into a PS4.5.

We've rounded up our top picks below. There are quite a few crossovers with the best PS5 external hard drive, though, so if you plan on graduating to the next generation any time soon, it might be worth having a look at that page. We've tried to include various capacities, cater to different budgets, and give you a mix of the best HDD and SSD options. So without further delay, here are the best PS4 external hard drives.

The best PS4 external hard drives 2023

1. WD My Passport 4TB Portable Hard Drive

The best PS4 external hard drive - storage and reliability on a budget

Specifications

Capacity: 4TB
Storage Type: HDD

Reasons to buy

+
Masses of storage
+
Really great price
+
Great transfer speeds

Reasons to avoid

-
Not as fast as SSD

The My Passport drive from Western Digital is one of the most reliable, convenient, and versatile HDDs you can buy. Anyone looking for a standard, reasonably priced PS4 external hard drive will be fine with this. It's USB 3.0 compatible, importantly, and only requires a quick reformat the first time you use it. It's small and sturdy too, about the size of a larger smart phone like the iPhoneX or the Galaxy S9 Plus, and the My Passport series is even styled to look a little like the PS4 console itself, so you should be able to slot it right into your set-up. The new aesthetic is arguably even more pleasing and brings further style to a quality HDD.

We'd go for the 4TB version, for several reasons. Right now, you see the biggest savings on the 4TB, and you tend to get better value the bigger the storage capacity. With 4TB, you've easily got space for 50+ AAA games, and loads more indies and smaller downloads from the PS Store. Essentially, this HDD will last you for about 2-3 years before you ever need to manage your storage, and that's with heavy use and loads of games installed on it. Definitely the best PS4 external hard drive today.

2. WD_Black P40

The best external SSD overall

Specifications

Capacities: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB
Storage type: SSD
Sequential read: 2,000 MB/s
Sequential write: 2,000 MB/s

Reasons to buy

+
Smaller design
+
Slick speeds
+
Nice RGB lighting
+
Sturdy build

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricey
-
No 4TB model

The WD_Black P40 SSD is the latest in WD's gaming-focused external hard drives, and it's one of the best performers you can get your hands on. It takes the robust design and speedy specs of the P50 and carries both over to a small form factor body that emits some lovely ambient RGB lighting. 

Unfortunately, the P40 is one of the more expensive options to go for because it's a recent release from one of the biggest brands in the storage market. For your purchase though, you get the drive itself, a USB-C cable and USB-A adapter, a quick install guide, WD's Windows dashboard, and a 5-year warranty I'd be surprised if you need to use.

Read and write speeds were great in testing. The 2000MB/s speed you see on the box is as good as you'll get in an external hard drive, but in reality, it translates to some great load times and transfer speeds on PS5 and PC. For instance, I had a load of game capture footage stored on my PS5 I had been meaning to move across to my computer for video editing, and even though it was about 30 clips spanning a total of 22GB, the P40 swallowed it up from the PS5 in about a minute. The same was true of games once I formatted the drive for some extra storage. I transferred three games that added up to 18GB, and it moved across in just shy of a minute.

If you can afford it, this is the best external SSD for PS4 you'll find.

3. Micron Crucial X6

The best external SSD for PS4 players on a budget

Specifications

Capacity: 1-2TB
Storage type: SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Super compact design
+
Cheaper than the competition
+
SSD speeds!

Reasons to avoid

-
Cable is short

While we are all moving slowly but surely to SSDs becoming the go-to for PS4 external hard drives, they can still be pricey units; an HDD will still offer way better GB to $/£ value, of course. However, there are chinks forming in the prices of SSDs and the Crucial X6 offers a quality, slightly cheaper offering while still giving you that excellent performance and decent capacity.

Demonstrating this clearly is the fact that you can get a 1TB X6 for a similar price of SSDs with less than half of the storage. The Crucial X6 is fantastic for storing and playing PS4 games and will ensure you have the speediest of file transfers, loads, and games at your fingertips. A big benefit is that of getting a PS4 external hard drive that's likely faster than your PS4's internal one, and this will also be a drive that will go incredibly well with the new-gen PS5 console when and if folks upgrade.

The drive's USB-C connection means you'll have to use the adapter that comes with it to plug into your PS4, but you'll just have to be aware of the short cable that might force it into some weird positions. If you like the look of this one, but want an even faster version, you'll want to take a look at the Crucial X8.  

4. Toshiba 1TB Canvio Advance

The best budget PS4 hard drive

Specifications

Capacity: 1TB
Storage Type: HDD

Reasons to buy

+
Budget price
+
Decent transfer speeds
+
Available in different colors

Reasons to avoid

-
Is 1TB enough for you?

If you're on the hunt for cheap and cheerful HDD storage, it doesn't get much easier for us than pointing you in the direction of an absolute staple of the market. The Toshiba Canvio Advance is a lovely piece of kit that continues to get updated every year or so: you can find it with a glossy shell, a simple design, and a neat, blue power light on the top. More recently, it sports a fancy Sackboy-esque mesh outer material and comes in loads of colors.

It doesn't require an additional power source and simply plugs into the USB port on your PS4. We try not to lean into this hardware-reviewing trope too much, but this is a product that "just works". It has read and write speeds that are standard for any HDD device and comes with a two-year warranty as standard. If you want to use it for a PC too, it has password protection and automatic file back-up, which are both useful features that elevate this model above our previous budget pick, the Canvio Basics. 

You should be able to grab the 1TB version for around $50 / £50, which makes it a genuine bargain too.

5. Crucial X10 Pro

The most portable SSD for PS4

Specifications

Capacity: up to 4TB
Storage type: SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Tiny size
+
Great speeds
+
Splash, dust, and drop resistant

Reasons to avoid

-
Fairly pricey even for 1TB
-
Annoyingly short cable

Crucial by Micron's latest and greatest external SSD is the Crucial X10 Pro, and the brand gives you the choice of either 1TB, 2TB, or 4TB of space in a tiny drive you can easily fit in your pocket. While I was a bit too scared to test its durability properly, it's marketed as being resistant to splashes, dust, and drops. For those reasons, we award it with the best external hard drive for portability.

Its speeds aren't too shabby either. Used with the PS5, I managed to move a hefty 439.5GB from the console to the X10 Pro in 34 mins. While that might seem like a small eternity with today's Gen 5 SSD speeds, just imagine the time it'd take to download that much raw data. Transferring 46GB worth of 2018's God of War from the hard drive to console storage, meanwhile, took only 5 minutes and 16 seconds. The speeds on the box here are 2,100MB/s read, and 2,000MB/s write, so it wouldn't shy away from the absolute best options on the top of this list. 

The only problem is, this is meant for professionals, not necessarily gamers. That means its shorts cable is designed for being sat next to a laptop, so sitting it atop a PS4 in an aesthetically pleasing way isn't the easiest. On that "meant-for-professionals" note, it is also fairly pricey thanks to being quite new still. Regardless, this is definitely one of the best PS4 external hard drives on the market if you want a portable solution for gaming, work, or content creation.

6. WD_Black P50 Game Drive

A fast, robust, and quality gaming SSD for PS4

Specifications

Capacity: up to 4TB
Storage type: SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent speeds
+
Great design
+
Robust build
+
Purpose-built for gaming

Reasons to avoid

-
A little pricey

The WD BLACK P50 SSD is pretty much the complete package. And what a robust package it is. Starting from the top, the P50 is a rectangular-shaped drive that is about the size of a small-ish (nowadays, anyway) smartphone. It's still handheld size though so it's extremely portable while also staying firmly away from the 'so small I might lose it' territory. The case is a very cool-looking military style with molded metal and the traditional sleek WD_Black aesthetic and marking.

It comes with a USB-C port into the drive but this can be implemented as a USB-A or USB-C connection depending on what device you're using it on. In our testing, we got the same speeds through either port so it shouldn't matter which you have free or available, or if you change the device it's used with during its lifetime. There's a small but clear LED indicator on one of the short ends which is always a help, but one small downside is that it does get a little warm when in use so it'll pay to keep that in mind when positioning it.

When it comes to speeds, what you're told you're getting and what happens is pretty much bang on. It's incredible performance for an external SSD and the stated speeds of 'up to 2000MB/s' were on the money in our testing. Real-world performance-wise, the P50 gives you everything a high-quality external SSD should do: games were loaded incredibly quickly, files were retrieved in the snap of a finger, and the performance levels were incredibly consistent. It's a surefire SSD that will rapidly improve your gaming experience by far reducing the time looking at loading screens and increasing the time when you're actually playing. 

While you will pay for the performance and privilege of using the P50, it absolutely justifies the investment and will not let you down. It really is right up there when it comes to the best PS4 external hard drives.

7. Seagate Expansion 6TB HDD

The best for big storage

Specifications

Capacity: 6TB
Storage Type: HDD

Reasons to buy

+
Great price
+
Holy hell, that's a lot of storage

Reasons to avoid

-
Again, HDD speed

Increase your storage again with this ridiculously well priced 6TB offering from Seagate. It's slick, slim and you can get versions from 2TB upwards - although this 6TB model represents the best value for money. It's a simple plug and play setup on two counts: mains power; and USB 3.0. The latter being excellent for transferring speedily. The price is kept low by the fact this is a standard HDD, so read speeds won't be as fast as the SSD hard drives like the Samsung. If you get a 6TB drive... that'll probably store between 80-100 PS4 games, so you'll never need to worry about space again.

Samsung T7 Shield

(Image credit: Future)

8. Samsung T7 Shield

The best Samsung SSD for your PS4

Specifications

Capacity: 1TB
Storage type: SSD
Sequential Read: Up to 1,050 MB/s
Sequential Write: Up to 1,000 MB/s

Reasons to buy

+
Fast sequential performance 
+
Small form factor 
+
Tactile, rugged design 

Reasons to avoid

-
Cable isn't the longest around

The Samsung T7 Shield is the newest in a long and storied line of high-speed and high-performance drives from the company, with a newly refined focus on being rugged. This is one of the fastest PS4 external hard drives that you can get your hands on right now, with sequential performance of up to 1,050 MB/s read and 1,000 MB/s write respectively. Priced at $159.99 / £134.79 for a 1TB model or $289.99 / £250.99 for 2TB, this is also one of the most expensive, too. 

You're paying a premium on the tactile design here, though. While we didn't exactly run drop tests ourselves, we do believe that the Samsung T7 Shield can take a decent beating. If you're in the market for a PS4 external hard drive to throw into your bag without fear of damage, then this is one for you. Samsung itself claims that the hard drive can survive drops of up to 3 meters into the air onto concrete, with their case testing happening four times before they're shipped out. 

The best PS4 internal hard drive options

1. Seagate FireCuda 2.5" 2TB SSHD

The best internal HDD you can buy

Specifications

Capacity: 2TB
Storage Type: SSHD

Reasons to buy

+
Four times the size of the standard PS4 hard drive
+
SSD-like performance

Reasons to avoid

-
More expensive than traditional HDD

If you're looking for a more permanent solution to your PS4's storage, the Seagate Firecuda is the SSHD to pick. It's a 2.5" drive, so it'll fit neatly into your console (doubling the storage of your PS4 Pro, and potentially quadrupling the size of a regular 500GB model), and Seagate is a big, well-established name in PC HDDs, so this model is always going to be reliable and efficient.

While most now choose external PS4 hard drive storage, as you can set-up an external HDD as extended storage, there's a lot to be said for keeping a clean gaming set-up by having an internal drive. What's more, the Firecuda offers better read and write speeds than a standard HDD, which means you get near-SSD performance at a cheaper price. That's common sense, right there. Check our video above for learning how to install an internal SSHD into your console.

2. Samsung 860 EVO 1TB SSD

The best internal SSD for PS4

Specifications

Capacity: 1TB
Storage Type: SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Full SSD, brilliant speeds
+
Reliable and comes with a warranty

Reasons to avoid

-
An expensive option

Now is the time to swap an SSD into your PS4 Pro. With the price of SSDs constantly tumbling, thanks to a vibrant PC market, drives like the brilliant Samsung EVO 860 are now affordable and easy to use. When it comes to SSDs, the EVO series has long been the gold standard, and the 860 EVO replaces the 850 series, thanks to superior performance and more modern design and parts. It's actually cheaper than most 850s now too. 

While the EVO is mid-range in terms of price, it's one of the best SATA drives for performance, putting it ahead of rivals like Crucial and WD Blue in terms of value. What's more, you'll often find the EVO series on sale via sites like Amazon, so you'll rarely pay full price for it. SSD speeds are x3-4 quicker than those of HDDs, and while there are a number of other factors at play when it comes to console gaming, you will notice a boost in performance with a pure, internal SSD. What's more, this is actually a cheaper option than buying an external SSD drive for your PS4. Highly recommended.

3. Seagate 1TB Gaming SSHD ST1000LM014

The best budget internal SSHD

Specifications

Capacity: 1TB
Storage Type: SSHD

Reasons to buy

+
SSD-like performance without the SSD price
+
Doubles storage capacity over stock PS4 HDD

Reasons to avoid

-
5400RPM spindle speed

The Seagate 1TB Gaming SSHD offers some of the improvements granted by a full SSD (shorter load times, faster installs, etc) without the enormous markup. The caveat, of course, is that since this SSHD does also rely on a physical disk spinning at 5400RPM, the improvements may not be as dramatic as with a traditional SSD. In practice though, this isn’t that huge of a concession to make for the money you’re saving, as different games will/won’t take advantage of your drive’s enhanced capabilities on a case-by-case basis. Regardless, this drive will double your storage capacity and in many cases increase performance, which are great benefits to walk away with for less than $100/£100.

Best PS4 external hard drives: FAQs

Is it worth putting an SSD in the PS4?

Although the process is a bit of a pain with all the data backups, transfers, and DIY, it is definitely worth putting an SSD in the PS4. In terms of performance, an SSD could make your PS4 around 30% faster. You'll also get a massive quality of life boost as well, seeing as whatever SSD you buy will likely have much more capacity than your console's base HDD.

Are PS4 external hard drives worth it?

In short, yes. One of the best PS4 external hard drives will be more than worth it when you take into account how many games you'll be able to store when you use one. There are so many great PS4 games in the PS+ library, and having all of them ready to go on a hard drive will save you the fuss of deleting, downloading, and reinstalling other games you don't want to get rid of. Not to mention, they can bring about excellent performance boosts for your console, since even an external SSD will bring you faster load times than the HDD you get inside your console.

What kind of external hard drive do I need for a PS4?

There aren't any specific types of external hard drive you'll need to use with the PS4. Any USB 3.0 HDD or SSD will work, and capacity shouldn't be an issue either. Although, it's worth noting that you will need to format whatever drive you get to make it compatible with the PS4's software and storage type. Once you do format a drive to this type, you most likely won't be able to use it for any other purpose, which is a bit of a shame.


If you're thinking about upgrading your storage capacities on your other consoles, then be sure to check out our picks for the best Xbox One external hard drive and Nintendo Switch SD Cards.

Duncan Robertson
Hardware Editor

Ever since playing Journey at the age of 15, I’ve been desperate to cover video games for a living. After graduating from Edinburgh Napier University with a degree in Journalism, I contributed to the Scottish Games Network and completed an Editorial Internship over at Expert Reviews. Besides that, I’ve been managing my own YouTube channel and Podcast for the last 7 years. It’s been a long road, but all that experience somehow landed me a dream job covering gaming hardware. I’m a self-confessing PlayStation fanboy, but my experience covering the larger business and developer side of the whole industry has given me a strong knowledge of all platforms. When I’m not testing out every peripheral I can get my hands on, I’m probably either playing tennis or dissecting game design for an upcoming video essay. Now, I better stop myself here before I get talking about my favourite games like HUNT: Showdown, Dishonored, and Towerfall Ascension.
Location: UK Remote

With contributions from