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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best LaCie external hard drives

Last Updated July 2019

Most modern desktop and laptop computers come with adequate storage space, but eventually, most systems require some form of external memory to keep up with your growing collection of documents and media files.

The computer hardware company, LaCie — a trusted brand for over 30 years — specializes in external hard drives. LaCie offer an assortment of external hard drive products, some ultra-portable, others high capacity.

Choosing the right LaCie external hard drive for you will come down to a few different factors. We’ve put together a list of our favorites, and provided a brief overview of what to consider when shopping for a LaCie external hard drive in our handy guide.

If you’re a mobile photographer and shoot lots of RAW images or HD video, a 1TB or 2TB mobile hard drive is the best place to start. SSD are also great for mobile use because they’re slightly more durable.

Key considerations

Storage capacity

Most external hard drives offer at least 500GBs worth of storage. This capacity is commonly found in La Cie’s portable, mobile, and rugged designs. While that’s plenty of space for a casual user’s collection of photos, videos, and documents, some users may want more space for large HD video files, games, and photos.

The majority of LaCie external hard drives can be found in the 1 to 10 Terabytes (TB) range, including their rugged, mobile, and desktop options. Most users can find a quality product that meets all of their data storage and backup needs at a relatively affordable price.

For large organizations, businesses, and enterprise data storage solutions, LaCie also offers high capacity, 8TB to 168TB RAID storage options. RAID storage is basically multiple drives combined together to create one high-speed, high-capacity unit that provides a bit more protection from lost data. Massive storage capacity tends to be much more expensive.

Drive type

  • Standard Hard Drive (HDD): This is the oldest and most popular type of external hard drive. The major advantage of a HDD is that it’s capable of storing lots of data at a low cost. A HDD uses magnetism to store its data on a rotating platter, where a read/write head floats above the spinning platter reading and writing data. The faster the platter spins, the faster the hard drive can perform.

  • Solid State Drive (SSD): Solid state drives store information in microchips, thus making it typically faster than the HDD. It relies on an embedded processor (or “brain”) called a controller to perform different types of operations related to reading and writing data. This drive is typically smaller than a HDD, and tends to max out at around 4TB.

Connectivity

  • USB 3.0 and USB-C: Most LaCie drives are both USB 3.0 and USB-C compatible, but not all. USB-C connections tend to be speedier, and there are a few drives that are strictly USB 3.0, so be sure to check the drive specs.

  • Thunderbolt 3: These connections allow for high-speed transfers of up to four-times the speed of USB 3.0 connections. Thunderbolt 3 connections are common in desktop and RAID systems.

Massive space and universal compatibility

The LaCie d2 is a wonderful external hard drive for desktop use. The slim exterior case fits nicely on (or under) most desks and won’t take up too much space next to desktop or laptop machines. It has USB-C and dual Thunderbolt 3 ports for universal compatibility and also comes with Adobe Creative programs for media editing.

Features

Design

  • Desktop: Typically larger in size and more powerful, desktop designs tend to offer more compatibility and connectivity options. When it comes to RAID systems, their large frames allow them to hold more drives for more storage.

  • Mobile: LaCie mobile drives are sleek, low profile, and made to fit in small spaces. They hold up to 5TB of space and come USB-C and USB 3.0 compatible. Both HDD and SSD models are available.

  • Rugged: Portable hard drives designed for continuous transport and travel, LaCie rugged drives are known for their thick protective shell — a casing that is water resistant, shock resistant, and drop resistant.

  • Porsche Design: Here, LaCie adds a stylish touch to external hard drive solutions for mobile and desktop storage. These drives come compatible with either USB 3.0 alone or both USB 3.0 and USB-C ports. All drives come encased in a sleek, all-aluminum enclosure by Porsche Design.

Security

LaCie external drives are able to be both password protected and encrypted through Seagate Secure Technology. Users are also able to complete one-click backups and scheduled automatic backups, and to execute folder mirroring across multiple devices through the easy-to-use LaCie Toolkit software.

DID YOU KNOW?

Most LaCie external hard drives are standard hard disk drives (HDD) that use one or more rotating disks to read and write data. They are usually limited to a transfer rate of about 100-200 MBs.

DID YOU KNOW?

LaCie offers solid state disk drives (SSD) that use flash memory to store data and can usually reach transfer speeds of about 550 MB/s.

DID YOU KNOW?

LaCie drives are equipped with the LaCie Setup Assistant (LSA) to help in formatting the hard drive on either a Mac or a Windows computer. It’s designed to run only once, assisting in installing your device for the first time.

Price

Inexpensive: All of the 500GB LaCie hard drives and most of the 1TB to 2TB drives can be found in the $50 to $250 price range. LaCie hard drives that are USB 3.0 only will cost a bit less than their USB-C counterparts, so it’s possible to find a larger storage solution in this price range if it’s USB 3.0 only.

Mid-level:  In the $250 to $500 price range you’ll find a healthy mix of storage capacity and speed. 4TB to 8TB external drives that are USB-C compatible are generally found in this price range. High capacity SSD are also found in this price range.

Expensive: High-capacity drives with thunderbolt connectivity can be found for $500 and above. RAID systems will typically be much more expensive, costing well into the thousands.

Compact design, rugged protection, and lasting security

The high quality protective build makes this an extremely durable external hard drive. Its rubber edges keep it safe from scrapes and drops, and it comes with several connection options, including Thunderbolt and USB-C. Its security software features built-in password protection and encryption capabilities.

Tips

Speed is a huge factor in quality hard drive performance. There are many steps you can take to make sure that your storage products continue working properly.

  • Be mindful of how many other devices are connected to the same port or hub. Multiple devices moving large amounts of data at once can play a major role in slowing down transfer speeds.

  • Make sure that both ends of your USB or USB-C cables are firmly connected in their respective ports. If you’re still having trouble with your connection, try disconnecting both ends, waiting 10 seconds, then reconnecting them.

  • If you can’t seem to get faster speeds from your external hard drive, check your system’s USB port. Older machines with USB 2.0 ports will still transfer data more slowly than newer machines, even when using high-speed LaCie drives.

Other products we considered

We like the 2TB Lacie Fuel Wireless Storage for its unique wireless transferring feature. Its software works with all major operating systems, including iOS and Android, and it doesn’t require internet access to connect. The slim design works anywhere, and it possesses a battery life of up to 10 hours. The LaCie d2 Thunderbolt 3, 8TB USB 3.1 External Hard Drive is a slightly larger storage solution that combines 8TB of storage with standard USB and the lighting quick Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, which reaches speeds of up to 240MB/s.

Respective LaCie hard drives are compatible with all USB or USB-C cables. But, LaCie recommends using the cable that comes with your hard drive for the best results. Trouble with transfer reliability can often be found in the cable connection.

FAQ

Q. Do LaCie drives work with PC and Mac?
A.
 Yes. All LaCie drives are compatible with both PC and Mac. It’s important to format your new drive accordingly before transferring any files.

Q. What’s the fastest connection: Thunderbolt, USB-C, or USB 3.0?
A.
 Typically users will get the fastest connection and transfer speeds from newer Thunderbolt and USB-C connections. Other factors to consider are internet connection, file size, and any additional cable adapters or ports being used.

Q. Can I connect more than one hard drive to my computer at once?
A.
 Yes. Users are able to connect to as many LaCie external hard drives as their machine allows. This is determined by how many USB 3.0, USB-C, and Thunderbolt ports the machine has. Some hard drives will also allow users to string multiple drives together, creating a “daisy chain” of storage.

The team that worked on this review
  • Alvina
    Alvina
    Photographer
  • Amos
    Amos
    Director of Photography
  • Austin
    Austin
    Writer
  • Branson
    Branson
    Videographer
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Production Assistant
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Enid
    Enid
    Editor
  • Lauren
    Lauren
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Steph
    Steph
    Web Producer
  • Taji
    Taji
    Writer

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