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Best wireless drives 2021: external hard drives without the wires

The best wireless drives are incredibly versatile devices, offering a cleaner, cable-free setup for convenience. These portable backup devi...

The best wireless drives are incredibly versatile devices, offering a cleaner, cable-free setup for convenience. These portable backup devices allow you to store and access your files without having to think about plugging a drive into your laptop or desktop PC. What’s more, they are capable of connecting other devices that typically cannot connect to an external storage – like smartphones and tablets. 

Wired external storage drives may be worth considering as well, especially in terms of speed and reliability. However, you’d want to go for the best wireless drives if you travel a lot and don't want to pack a lot of cables, you just want to keep your space clutter-free, or you deal with multiple devices for work.

We gathered all the best wireless drives currently on offer in one place, and included our price comparison tool. No matter which one you end up buying, you know you’re getting the best deal.

The best wireless drives at a glance

  1. Western Digital My Passport Wireless SSD
  2. Asus Travelair N
  3. LaCie Fuel
  4. Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro
  5. Seagate Wireless 500GB Mobile Storage

Western Digital My Passport Wireless SSD

The Western Digital My Passport Wireless SSD is a sturdy external hard drive for carrying your data around with you. (Image credit: TechRadar)

1. Western Digital My Passport Wireless SSD

Wireless wonder

Capacity: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB | Interface: USB 3.0, Wi-Fi, SD Slot

In-built SD card reader
Drop-resistant rubber bumper
Premium price
Extra SSD speed useless over Wi-Fi

Western Digital is building a good collection of wireless drives, and the My Passport Wireless SSD is an excellent addition. As the name suggests, it has an SSD (Solid State Drive) which means it's an excellent performer when it comes to data transfer speeds. However, it's worth noting that when using this wirelessly, you're not getting the full benefit of SSD speeds. However, the solid state technology means it's more robust than traditional hard drives, and with a drop resistant rubber case, the My Passport Wireless SSD is a sturdy external hard drive for carrying your data around with you. Its wireless connection is useful, and it includes a memory card slot as well, making this an excellent choice for photographers.

Asus Travelair N

The Asus Travelair N has a water-resistant design which keeps your data protected while you're out and about. (Image credit: Asus)

2. Asus Travelair N

Fast wireless storage

Capacity: 1TB | Interface: USB 3.0, Wi-Fi, NFC, SD Card

Compact design
Fast hard drive
Not the longest battery life

Not only does Asus make great laptops, monitors and gaming components, it's also got a fantastic wireless drive with the Asus Travelair N. It offers 1TB of capacity, comes with a built-in 3300 mAh battery that provides up to 8 hours of streaming time, and even has a water-resistant design which keeps your data protected while you're out and about. You can connect up to five devices at once to access the data on the drive, and there's an SD card slot for quickly and easily backing up photos. Its 7,200 rpm drive is faster than many other Wi-Fi drives, which often stick to 5,400 rpm.

LaCie Fuel

LaCie Fuel is the company's first attempt at a Wi-Fi drive. (Image credit: LaCie)

3. LaCie Fuel

Dependable wireless storage

Capacity: 1TB, 2TB | Interface: USB 3.0, Wi-Fi

Fast USB 3.0 performance
Good battery life
Not the most exciting features

LaCie is a company that has made some of our favorite external hard drives, and the LaCie Fuel is the company's first attempt at a Wi-Fi drive. LaCie has a reputation for making good-looking devices, and the Fuel is certainly eye-catching, with a square design and modular design that allows you to use it with a variety of ports. It has a decent 10-hour battery life, which is essential if you want to use it wirelessly. It uses an app that allows you to stream content on the drive to compatible devices, such as smartphones.

Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro

For photographers, Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro will stand out. (Image credit: TechRadar)

4. Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro

Wireless wonder

Capacity: 2TB | Interface: USB 3.0 and Wi-Fi

Wireless AC
USB 3.0 support
Good battery life
No USB-C
Expensive due to Wi-Fi features

Even if we had mixed feelings on past versions of the My Passport Wireless, the 2016 “pro” variant of the external HDD restores faith in the Western Digital name. The design, for one, has been overhauled and no longer resembles the My Passport Ultra or My Passport for Mac. Instead, there’s now a more premium feel to the My Passport Wireless Pro. It resembles an external DVD drive, but considering the onboard SD card slot, don’t worry about getting it confused with anything else. For photographers, this will make the Wireless Pro stand out.

For everyone else, there’s a massive 6,400mAh battery built into the device. This lets the drive be used completely free of wires over 2.4GHz or 5GHz channels. When it’s wired up, however, don’t expect cutting edge connection tech, as the My Passport Wireless Pro uses only USB Type-B to Type-A. Completely absent is the latest and greatest USB-C connection.

Where the My Passport Wireless Pro compromises on affordability, it’s able to benefit in just about every other area. Of course, not everyone needs a wireless hard drive or SD card support, but for those who do, it’s almost essential.
 

Seagate Wireless 500GB Mobile Storage

Seagate Wireless 500GB Mobile Storage is one of the most affordable wireless drives. (Image credit: Seagate)

5. Seagate Wireless 500GB Mobile Storage

Wireless wonder

Capacity: 500GB | Interface: USB 3.0 and Wi-Fi

Supports three devices at once
Compact
Only six hours battery life

Seagate is a well known brand when it comes to storage, and it's the parent company of LaCie, which has its own wireless drive in this list, so it's not too surprising to find that Seagate also does its own very good wireless drive, the Seagate Wireless 500GB Mobile Storage. At 500GB, it's not the largest wireless drive on this list, but it's one of the most affordable, so if you want one of the best wireless drives on the market, but you don't need that much storage space (and you certainly don't want to pay for capacity you're not going to use), then this is a great choice. It comes with a 6 hour battery, and is compatible with iOS, Android, Kindle and PC and Macs.



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