Are Portable/External SSDs Worth It?

Storage in electronic devices usually comes in two types. Volatile and Non-volatile storage.

SSD is a Non-Volatile storage type and the performance is lightning fast.

Unlike traditional Hard drives, you will not face any lags while surfing or accessing your files offline.

The introduction of SSDs has been considered a boon for gamers as the loading time in games gets reduced to almost zero. SSD has no moving part or spinning wheel inside it, it works on flash memory with floating gate transistors.

The first device to use SSD in the consumer market was Apple iPod in 2005. And as of now, almost all normal laptops support SSDs. Also, the SSD is very easy to install on the laptop. You just need to replace the existing HDD and fit the SSD into that place. However, some older devices don’t support SSD.

That is surely a point of unluck.

SSDs can be attached to your laptops in two ways. Either fix it in place of HDD or connecting it externally using a cable. In case you want to use HDD as well as SSD then you can consider using SSD externally.

Well, before starting, I would like to say that Portable SSDs are worth it when you don’t want to open your laptop or desktop CPU for manual installation. However, a portable SSD is a good option to add some extra and fast storage to your overall system storage.

SSD Lifespan: How Long do SSDs Really Last?

Benefits Of Portable SSDs

As mentioned above there are many benefits of using SSDs whether using it externally or internally. But there are some extra benefits that you get while using the SSDs externally. 

  1. Portability

As The name indicates, portable SSDs are easy to carry storage devices that can be easily stored in your pocket and connected with the device by means of a USB cable. 

  1. Speed & Reliable

SSDs are non-volatile flash memory which that deliver huge speed and reliability of the data saved. Also, it is worth mentioning that SSDs don’t get heated and you can carry them in the bag too. Unlike HDDs, you need not worry about the spinning wheel in SSD.

  1. Durability

If you are an adventure-loving person and carry your camera along with you then you can easily carry a portable SSD with you and back up your photos here. Since it has no spinning device inside it has no risk of getting broken down. The built quality material used in SSDs is quite durable and drop-proof.

  1. Efficiency

As SSD has no moving parts, as a result, they consume low power and make no noise. SSD weighs low, is mobile-friendly, and has risk free components.

Can We Install Any Program Inside A Portable SSD?

Yes, You can install any type of program inside your portable SSD. Well, not only in portable SSDs, you can install and run any program on any type of SSD. One thing you should keep a note of is that the port used for connecting external SSD must be USB 3.0 or above that one for seamless functioning. The average speed you get with a USB 2.0 port is 480Mbits/sec and the average speed that you get with USB 3.0 is 5Gbits/Sec.

You can do the same in the case of HDD too but sometimes the situation becomes too messy and you can experience lagging issues or your program might also get corrupt sometimes. 

However, you will need to set up the whole program from the scratch. You won’t be able to resume work from where you left. You can restore the back up though.

For more, Read: How to install a software in an external SSD?

Can We Install An Entire OS Inside A Portable SSD?

Yes, You can install an entire OS inside an external OS but you will need USB 3.0 or 3.1 Port with a type-c connection for smooth functioning. Well, this, not an easy task and the whole transfer process might not take more than 20 seconds[max] unless you have low quality equipment. 

If you are trying to install windows Os then sometimes it may refuse to install sometimes as it is against their policy. You can use any emulation tool for that. VMware is one known for this. One thing I want to tell you is that this process is not going to be a hassle-free(to be honest).

Are Portable SSDs Better Than Internal SSDs?

The answer to this question is both Yes and NO. Generally, the external SATA SSDs can be considered better because of their portability factors but in means of performance, internal SSDs sometimes sound better.

This is because of the bandwidth. Connection through the USB port to the external SSDs can impact the speed. Also, the M.2 socket type SSDs are a bit faster than SATA SSDs. We all know that M.2 types are installed internally only.

So, Internal SSDs win the race here. But the differences are not that big. External SSDs are also prone to dust particles. If you are buying an SSD only for files transfer from different devices then you can go with an external SSD and if you want to use it with your laptop only then you can go for an internal SSD.

Best SSD for gaming 2021: shorter loading times, smoother streaming •  Eurogamer.net

Getting The Most Out Of The Portable SSD

The Best Portable SSD for 2021 | Reviews by Wirecutter

Well here are some tricks and tips that will help you in making the best use of your portable SSD. Let’s start:

  1. Always keep 10 Gb of your portable SSD storage to get the best out of it. This can help in improved writing speed and it creates a balance between read/write rate. 
  2. Always use a self-monitoring program to check the health of your SSD. This will add to the longer life span of SSD.
  3. Always keep your firmware updated to get the peak speed of an SSD. This also ensures that bugs are corrected.

Should you buy an external/portable SSD?

Yes, portable SSDs are truly worth their price. Even the build quality of portable SSDs is good you still need to take care of them. You can buy a strong case for it from Amazon or any other platform.

One thing that I want to highlight here is that if you are already having a laptop with an internal SSD then you can rethink the idea of buying an SSD. Because you can buy a good quality flash drive with [type-c USB preferably] that will easily transfer your files. 

SSDs are placed higher in rates when compared to HDDs but when it comes to performance these prices are truly justified.

Portable/External SSDs have increased the convenience of carrying for different professionals from various fields. If you are still having any doubts about external SSDs then do tell me in the comments section. I will surely help you there. 

Cheers!