The best PS4 external hard drive
As most gamers know, large open-world games and role-playing games take up massive amounts of space on a Playstation 4. And most gamers have probably had to make this painful choice: which of my old games should I delete in order to download a new one? That's never a fun decision.
However, an external hard drive for the Playstation 4 can store all those old games you don't want to get rid of and can give you room to download new titles.
PS4 external hard drives vary in their speed and storage capacity. We recommend trying our top pick, the Fantom Drives External Hard Drive, for its convenient design and impressive memory. To learn more about the types of hard drives available for PS4s, continue reading our buying guide.
Considerations when choosing PS4 external hard drives
Storage, or lack thereof, is most likely why you are looking into purchasing an external hard drive for your gaming needs. Storage capacities typically include 500 gigabytes (GB), 1 terabyte (TB), 2TB, and 4TB. The capacity of more expensive options may reach as much as 8TB -- though it is unlikely most users will need this much storage. When deciding how much extra storage you will need, it's better to overestimate than to underestimate. Most games require about 35GB to 40GB of storage, which means about 25 games can fit into 1TB. Remember that other applications and features on the Playstation 4 will use up memory as well.
Compatibility is a necessity. You won't be able to use an external hard drive if it's not compatible with a PS4. There are various requirements that must be met in order for an external hard drive to be PS4 compatible. It must offer at least 250GB but not more than 8TB of storage. The size of the drive itself must be 2.5 inches. In some instances, a docking station may be used to fit a 3.5-inch drive. Most importantly, the drive must be formatted to hold PS4 data -- otherwise, you will need a computer to properly format it to connect with the operating system.
Design can be important for gamers who value the aesthetic of their setup. Some models can be stored vertically with a stand, while others are larger and take up more space. External hard drives can be sleek and stylish or utilitarian in design. In addition, some models may feature LEDs to indicate statuses and processes. Some gamers may like the lights, while others may find them distracting.
Cord length determines where the hard drive can be stored. If want it right next to your PS4, a shorter cord will suffice. If you plan on storing it out of sight, a longer cord may be necessary.
Durability comes into play only if you frequently travel with your PS4. Some hard drives are designed to withstand the wear and tear of travel. Others aren't made to be jostled at all.
Speed can be just as important as storage and can improve the overall performance of your console. For faster loading times look for a hard drive with speeds of around 7,200 rpm.
External hard drives for Playstation 4 cost considerably less than the console itself. They range from about $50 to $200 depending on the storage capacity, speed, design, and other features of the drive.
Q. Is it better to use multiple external hard drives to store data or just one large one?
A. It's really up to you. If you plan on taking the hard drives with you while you travel or to a friend's house, it will be easier to take one large one. If you're unsure how much space you'll need, it's better to start off with one smaller hard drive, so you don't need to spend too much.
Q. Can I stack my external hard drive on the top of my PS4?
A. This is not a good idea because both systems produce heat while they operate. If they are stacked on top of one another they will both heat up quicker, which can affect performance and damage your devices.
PS4 external hard drives we recommend
Best of the best: Fantom Drives External Hard Drive
Our take: No matter how much storage you're looking for, this hard drive can provide it. It's offered in sizes ranging from 1 to 14 terabytes.
What we like: Aluminum casing is durable and also absorbs heat while operating to ensure that the hard drive isn't damaged.
What we dislike: The product is large and bulky for a hard drive, measuring 11 x 4 x 9 inches.
Best bang for your buck: Silicon Power Rugged External Hard Drive
Our take: Maybe you like to game at a friend's house and want to bring your games with you. This hard drive is portable and easy to connect.
What we like: The three-year warranty provides protection against issues and malfunctions. It's also highly durable and scratch-resistant.
What we dislike: Customers have reported randomly losing data.
Choice 3: Avolusion HDD Gear
Our take: If you aren't sure what kind of external hard drive you want, this is a stellar option for first-time users. It comes with a power adapter and a certified USB 3.0 cable.
What we like: The drive offers 3TB of storage as well as an operating speed of 7,200 rpm.
What we dislike: The unusual design makes this drive somewhat bulky.
Samantha Loomis is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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