Cloud services like OneDrive and DropBox offer convenient ways of accessing files on PCs in different locations, but there are still reasons to lug data the old fashioned way—in your pocket (or your purse or fanny pack or whatever). Unlike online services, physical storage devices like USB flash drives are immune to Internet outages. They’re also more secure in the sense that hackers won’t be infiltrating your external storage solution while you sleep, not unless you leave your storage device connected to a PC with an online connection (don’t do that).
It’s also oftentimes much faster to cram large files onto an external storage device than it is to upload them to the cloud. That might change when ISPs finally take the brakes off of upload speeds, but for now, dragging and dropping your data onto a flash drive or whatever you’re carrying around is just plain faster and easier.
Of course, not all portable storage solutions are created equal. Some favor raw performance over price and capacity, while others take the exact opposite approach. There are different tools for the job. Here are the ones we’ve pegged as the best.