What Is a Portable SSD, and How Does It Differ from Other Types of External Storage?

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A Portable SSD is an external storage device that can transfer data across different computers. Its functionalities resemble an external hard drive or a USB flash drive. However, the user experience and several other qualities differ.

What makes a portable SSD different from other types of external storage?

Here are the main aspects in which a portable SSD differs from other types of external storage.

Highest data storage speeds

One of the main requirements from external storage is to have good data transfer speed. The external hard drives were not fast, while the USB flash drives were limited to a few GBs. The portable SSDs solve all these problems since they come at transfer speeds of up to 2.5 Gbps, much faster than most people need.

Such SSDs make a great option for content creators who often have to transfer files from their cameras to laptops.

Portable SSD

Compact size despite huge storage space

Portable storage devices did not provide a high storage capacity for a very long time. The reason why SSDs were not introduced in this market was that they were expensive. However, now the SSD technology is matured a lot and become cheaper. So, while a USB stick is limited to a few hundred GBs, portable SSDs can give up to 4TB of storage space in a compact size.

Latest connection types

The portable SSDs, unlike traditional hard drives and USB sticks, do not use USB 2.0 or 3.0 interface. These use the latest connection interface based on USB C technology. The most commonly used interfaces include USB C 3.1 or thunderbolt ports. Thus, these SSDs can connect to the latest devices with USB C ports and provide blazing-fast data transfer speeds.

Longer lifespan

The operational lifespan of an SSD depends on the read and write cycles. When you use a small USB stick, read and write cycles get consumed quickly if files are put and taken frequently. At the same time, portable SSDs can last for years without any issues since their large size decreases the chances of consuming the read and write cycles on SSD chips.


Another major difference between these SSDs and other external storage devices is durability. These don't have any mechanical parts inside, and the case is made with great structural strength. A few drops will do nothing to these SSDs, while a slight drop can make a hard drive useless.


One of the best things about these SSDs is their upgradability. You don't get many upgrades for external hard drives, but the SSD technology is new. So, you may get a case with a faster interface that supports the internal SSD hardware. In such cases swapping that case will bring major performance upgrades. Similarly, swapping the internal SSD hardware for more storage capacity is easy.

Learn more about the portable SSD that meets your needs.

A portable SSD is not that old, yet it has gained much popularity. SSDs are relatively cheaper compared to the older times, making it possible to use SSDs as portable storage devices. While these are better than other external storage types, there are several variations you must consider before buying yours.


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