Best External SSDs for M1 MacBook Pro and M1 MacBook Air in 2021

M1 MacBook Air

Buying an External SSD for your M1 Mac separately from a third-party vendor is a much better choice than upgrading it from Apple at the time of purchase.

This is because the upgrade option is significantly costlier. Also, once you decide, it is pretty much irreversible as you cannot upgrade it later after getting your M1 Mac.

The M1 Mac’s storage option starts at 256GB, and you can upgrade it up to 2TB by paying an additional $800 to Apple.

But why do that when you can get so much more storage than that for less than half the price when you buy an external SSD from a third-party vendor other than Apple?

Related: Best accessories for the M1 Mac mini 2021

So, here are some of the best external SSDs that you can buy for your M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air in 2021 from Amazon.

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Best External SSDs for M1 MacBook Pro and M1 MacBook Air in 2021

SAMSUNG T7 Portable SSD 500GB-2TB

The Samsung T7 Portable SSD with 2TB storage space is one of the best and the fastest external SSDs you can get for your M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air in 2020.

Related: Best 4K UHD External Monitor for M1 Mac mini in 2021

The SSD is currently on sale on Amazon for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend with 25% off, and it is more than 50% less than what you had to spend if you are upgrading your Mac’s SSD directly from Apple.

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The Samsung T7 SSD has Read speeds up to 1,050 MB/s / and write speeds up to 1,000 MB/s on your M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air, which is almost ten times faster than standard hard drives making your image and video editing workflows much faster and tasks like app and game development significantly more efficient even with the 8GB variant of the M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air thanks to the memory swap technology.

External SSD M1 Mac

The external SSD also supports dynamic thermal guard technology, automatically reducing the read and write speeds if the SSD starts to heat up to make it more reliable in handling your data.

Related: M1 Mac mini is 8GB RAM enough? | All your questions answered

It is also built to be shock-resistant and can withstand drops from up to 6ft in height. You also have the option to password protect your Samsung T7 External SSD for added protection.

There are also 500GB and 1TB variants available if you want to save more money and think that 2TB is a lot of storage for your use case scenario.

Crucial X8 Portable SSD 500GB-2TB

The Crucial X8 Portable SSD is a versatile external SSD for your M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air that you could use for many different devices like your PS4, Xbox, Windows, Linux, Chromebook, and iPad.

This is a perfect external SSD to buy for your M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air if you frequently switch between devices and have constant access to all your huge files on any device you are working on.

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The Crucial X8 SSD can survive drops from up to 7.5ft, and on top of that, it is also resistant to extreme temperature and shock conditions, so you can be confident that all your data will be safe.

External SSD M1 Mac

 It is also extremely fast with read speeds up to up to 1050MB/s, and you can also use it as a backup device for your M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air by using the macOS Time machine utility to take a complete backup of your device.

RAVPower Portable External SSD for M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air

The RAVPower Portable External SSD is ideal for anyone with a limited budget who wants a fast external SSD for their M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air to handle day-to-day tasks like booting, launching and launching, running apps, and gaming with ease.

The External SSD has a complete metal design making it highly durable. It is also compatible with almost any device with USB-C support so that you can transfer your data across multiple devices without any issues.

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You can also take advantage of the ATA lock technology of the RAVPower External SSD to add a password and protect all your data with advanced level AES 256-bit hardware encryption for added safety and security.

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The SSD uses NAND flash technology, and it also supports accelerated data transfer speeds of up to 540MB/S, helping you smoothly manage both everyday tasks and power-hungry applications.

Seagate Barracuda Fast SSD

The Seagate Barracuda external SSD is a great-looking and fast-performing SSD for your M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air with transfer speeds of up to 540 Megabytes Per Second using the USB 3.0 USB-C connection.

I like the sleek design of the external SSD with a green LED accent light, which might go well with your gaming setup. It is excellent for storing and directly playing a ton of games from the SSD on your M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air, and it also has fast booting and shutdown speeds.

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You also get a backup and Sync plus software with the SSD that could easily configure regular automatic backups and transfer files across all your devices.

External SSD M1 Mac

Related: Mac mini M1 real-world Benchmark and performance results in Late 2020

Seagate also provides three years of rescue services for your SSD, and you can currently get it on Amazon for an additional 20% discount for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend.

G-Technology G-DRIVE mobile SSD

The G-Technology SSD is a uniquely designed external SSD and is also highly durable with IP67 water and dust resistance, drop resistance and even crush resistance up to 1000lb.

The External SSD supports transfer speeds of up to 560 Megabytes Per Second and has a storage capacity of up to 2TB with five years limited manufacture warranty.

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You can use the G-Technology SSD with USB-C and USB-3.0 thunderbolt compatible devices, making it an excellent choice for your M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air.

External SSD M1 Mac

The external SSD is designed with a protective aluminum core that prevents it from overheating even while performing power-hungry tasks, thus providing a sustainable performance and high reliability.

U32 Shadow External SSD for M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air

The U32 Shadow External SSD is a reasonably priced SSD for M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air, and the 4TB storage option costs more than $200 less than the 2TB SSD upgrade option on Apple’s website.

You can get the external SSD from 500GB-4TB storage variants, and there is also a rugged version available if you want to add an extra layer of protection to your SSD.

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The Aluminum body helps the SSD maintain a consistent temperature even when multitasking and playing high-end games. It also supports high-speed data transfers up to 550MB/Sec.

External SSD M1 Mac

Related: How to install iPhone and iPad apps on Apple M1 Mac

The U32 Shadow External SSD supports the Highest-grade 3D NAND Flash, and with the plug-and-play design, you can easily connect the SSD to your M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air start using it right away.

SAMSUNG X5 Portable SSD

The Samsung X5 portable SSD is probably the fastest external SSD you can get for your M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air as it supports read and write speeds up to 2800MB/s and 2300MB/s, respectively.

The X5 is the first-ever NVMe based external SSD from Samsung. It is perfect for video editors to deliver up to 40gb/s data transfer speeds for your M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air, making the transfer of 4K and 8K videos extremely fast.

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It also comes equipped with the Dynamic Thermal Guard technology to help the SSD maintain optimal temperature and performance even when performing high-intensity tasks like 8K video editing on your M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air.

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The Samsung X5 SSD is lightweight and durable, with shock and drop resistance up to 2 meters. You can also use the AES 256-bit hardware encryption technology to password protect your SSD and secure all your files and data.

VectoTech Rapid External SSD for M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air

The VectoTech Rapid External SSD offers a wide range of storage options for your M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air ranging from 1TB and up to 8TB for reasonable price points.

The SSD utilizes the latest 3D NAND technology to provide high-speed read and write operations at 540MB/s, making it five times faster than traditional hard drives when using it with the USB-C connection.

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The aluminum body of the VectoTech SSD provides ideal heat dissipation making it a perfect external SSD for long periods of usage. It also includes scratch and drops resistance for added safety.

vecotech rapid

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The SSD is also compatible with both Windows and macOS machines and can be used as a backup drive by configuring it with the macOS backup utility, Time machine.

WD My Passport Go SSD

The WD My Passport Go SSD will be an excellent choice for your M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air if you are under a tight budget but still want to get as much storage as possible.

The SSD offers read and writes speeds of up to 400MB/s with a USB-C connection, and it is designed to have a rugged outlook and is incredibly durable with scratch and drop resistance support.

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The WD My Passport Go SSD also includes a free backup solution software for your Mac, which you could configure to take automatic backups of your M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air regularly.

wd my passport

You can trust the WD SSD to be reliable, and you also get a 3-years limited manufacturer’s warranty, which is like an added advantage.

Netac Portable SSD

The Netac Portable SSD is probably the cheapest and the lightest external SSD in this list that you can buy for your M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air.

The SSD storage options vary from the smallest at 256GB and go all the way up to 2TB with a marginal increase in the price points.

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With read and write speeds up to 500MB/s and data transfer speeds up to 10GB/s using the USB-C connection, the Netac Portable SSD is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to upgrade their storage M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air and has a limited budget.

Netac

Related: M1 Mac mini 2020 Performance, RAM and stress test

The high-performance Netac External SSD also reduces latency when you are gaming, and it also performs high-intensity tasks like video editing, software development, and 3D animation.

SAMSUNG T5 Portable External SSD

The Samsung T5 Portable External SSD is an excellent choice for your M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air if you are looking for a high-speed external SSD at a reasonable price. The SSD ticks many vital boxes like data transfer speeds of up to 540MB/s, portable and lightweight design, 256-bit hardware encryption, and more.

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The SSD also comes with a USB type C to C and type C to A cables in the box, which you can use for connecting the Samsung T5 SSD to your M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air, to any laptop, desktop, or even to smartphones and gaming consoles.

External SSD M1 Mac

You also 3-year limited warranty with the Samsung T5 Portable External SSD purchase, and it comes with multiple color options, including Gold, Red, Black, and Blue. You can also choose between different storage options ranging from 250GB to 2TB.

It also comes with Samsung’s proprietary software that you could use to set the password for the SSD and update the firmware.

WD My Passport External SSD

The WD My Passport external SSD is one of the fastest External SSDs that you can buy for your M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air right now. It is also very reasonably priced for the amount of storage and the features it offers, especially when you compare it with the cost of the built-in storage upgrade options provided by Apple.

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The WD My passport external SSD is designed with the latest NVMe technology, which supports read speeds of up to 1050MB/s and write speeds of up to 1000 MB/s. Other exciting features include password-enabled 256-bit AES hardware encryption and shock, vibration, and drop resistance up to 6.5ft.

wd my passport

The external SSD is also cross-compatible, and it offers one of the most extended warranties for an external SSD in the market for up to 5 years. It also comes with an included backup software that you could use for automatically backing up all your essential files to the drive or even to your cloud account. The SSD is also compatible with Apple Time Machine on your M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air.

Seagate Firecuda Gaming External SSD

The Seagate Firecuda SSD is a crazy fast external SSD that you could buy for your M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air, and it is perfect for you if you work with a lot of 4K or even 8K video files regularly. Besides blazing fast with transfer speeds of up to 2000MB/s, the SSD also has a unique design with customizable RGB LED lights that sync with the Seagate gaming dock.

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The Seagate Firecuda SSD uses the latest and the fastest USB 3.2 gen 2×2 technology, and it also comes with a USB-C and a USB-C to USB-A cable in the box so you can use the SSD with any of your compatible devices.

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It has been designed with an aluminum build that offers cooling and heat dissipation that could be useful if you continuously use the SSD for long periods. You can also choose between multiple factors like the storage option ranging from 500GB to 4TB and the SSD technology at the time of the purchase.

KingDian External SSD

KingDian External SSD is probably the smallest SSDs you can get for your M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air, as it is practically the same size as a pen drive. However, this does not compromise the transfer speeds of the SSD as it still offers rates of up to 510MB/s, which is ten times faster than a regular HDD.

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You can easily connect and use the KingDian External SSD to your M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air, laptops, desktops, TVs, and even your smartphones, and the plug and play functionality allows you to instantly access the contents of the SSD from any compatible device.

External SSD M1 Mac

The storage options offered in the KingDian range from 120GB up to 2TB with a three-year manufacture warranty that also comes with free technical support. The average access time of the KingDian External SSD for your M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air is just 0.15ms.

Seagate One Touch SSD

If you don’t care much about the data transfer speeds of your external SSD, then the Seagate One Touch External SSD is one of the best looking and premium feel external SSDs that you can buy for your M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air.

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The Seagate One Touch SSD is equipped with a USB 3.0 cable that supports maximum data transfer speeds of up to 400MB/s. In addition, the SSD is compatible with both Mac and Windows machines, and it is also shock resistant.

seagate one touch

One of the exciting things about the Seagate One Touch SSD is that you also get a free 1-year subscription to Mylio Create a plan and a two-month subscription to Adobe CC photography plan with the SSD purchase.

ADATA SE800 External SSD for M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air

If you are someone who is known for breaking stuff a lot, then the ADATA SSD would be an excellent choice for you as it is a perfect SSD for your M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air that comes with a combination of high speed transfers up to 1000MB/s and a rugged build quality that is designed to withstand drops and scratches.

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The ADATA SE800 SSD is also IP68 certified water and dustproof, and it is equipped with the latest SuperSpeed USB 3.2 Gen 2 technology with USB-C support. In addition, you can get the SSD in two different colors, including black and blue, and it also comes with a three-year limited warranty.

Adata

Sabrent Rocket Nano External SSD for M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air

The Sabrent Rocket Nano SSD is an ultra-fast SSD with impressive throughput of up to 10Gb/s, a USB 3.2 interface, and a slightly bigger Pendrive. The capacity and the data transfer speeds offered by the Sabrent SSD are pretty remarkable.

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This SSD is an excellent choice for your M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air as it is significantly smaller than other external SSDs in this list, giving your desk a minimalistic look, and it also does not occupy much space either in your desk or in your bag, making it an ideal option if you frequently travel.

External SSD M1 Mac

The Sabrent SSD is crafted from high-grade Aerospace Aluminum using CNC machines that guarantee uncompromising durability and protection from overheating, thus significantly increasing the life expectancy of the SSD.

LaCie Portable External SSD for M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air

The LaCie external SSD is a high-performance storage drive for the M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air equipped with USB 3.0 technology with a USB-C interface.

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The SSD has a unique and rigid design, and it supports file transfer speeds of up to 540MB/s, which is ideal for transferring high-quality video files and editing videos right from the SSD.

External SSD M1 Mac

The LaCie SSD is also shock-resistant. In addition, you get a 3-year warranty with the purchase of the drive along with the rescue data recovery services in case your SSD malfunctions or you accidentally lose your data.

Silicon Power External SSD for M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air

The Silicon Power external SSD is probably one of the thinnest SSDs you can get for your M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air that does not compromise on the slightest storage capacity or performance. 

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The Silicon Power SSD is equipped with 3D NAND technology, and it also has a rugged design, super-fast read and write speeds of up to 520MB/s and 420MB/s, respectively.

Silicon Power

The SSD is also preformatted as FAT32 format, making it a perfect choice for your M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air as you can directly plug in and start using the drive with your M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air. The SSD is also military-grade shockproof and drop resistant and has a led indicator, which gives it a unique look.

SSK Portable SSD 

SSK Portable SSD is an external SSD for your M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air that comes with the USB 3.1 Gen2 technology with up to 6Gbps throughput and transfer speeds of up to 550MB/s.

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The SSD has a durable aluminum build that is scratch-resistant and also provides excellent heat dissipation performance. It is also incredibly lightweight and is compatible with multiple OS, and works without much initial setup.

SSK

Suppose you are looking for a portable and affordable external SSD for your M1 MacBook Pro or your M1 MacBook Air with plenty of storage space and high-speed transmission speeds. In that case, the SSK Portable external SSD is a great option to consider.

Raja
Technology and Cybersecurity Enthusiast with a passion for writing and sharing knowledge. Podcasts occasionally and loves to keep watching the same TV series over and over again during my free time.