Plex is a great media software solution for any and all of your digital media. The platform allows you to easily store any of your files in your own private library so you can access them whenever you want. Even better, Plex lets you stream movies and shows on other devices, making it very useful for people who juggle a lot of electronics.
That then begs the question, how do you easily store all of that data in one location? The answer is an external hard drive. In this guide, we will break down the best external hard drive options for Plex to give you all of the storage space and quick access you need to view your favorites any time, on any device.
- The WD My Book External Hard Drive is a solid choice for Plex users everywhere. This option is available in large sizes of up to 24TB, which means you can rest easy knowing all of your storage needs will be met.
- Another quality option from a trusted brand in the external hard drive game is this Seagate Expansion External Hard Drive. This provides you with a large amount of storage for your Plex library.
- If you’re looking for a durable hard drive that can be easily transported without worry, check out the LaCie Rugged External Hard Drive. This model is almost indestructible as long as you don’t go swimming with it.
Who Should Get This?
If you actively use Plex in any capacity, it’s a good idea to get an external hard drive. You can easily use up all of the storage on the main computer, which then limits your ability to run other programs or apps. An external hard drive will give you a much larger storage capacity than what’s available on most standard computers. It comes in handy for other purposes outside of Plex as well.
The external hard drives you’ll find on this list are all available in a variety of options, ranging from fairly common sizes to extremely large ones. That range makes them great to not only help you use Plex effectively but also store all sorts of other data on the drive. If you have a small video library and don’t use Plex very often, you might not need an external hard drive for additional space.
Best External Hard Drive for Plex: What to Consider
Storage size is an important initial consideration with any external hard drive. You want to make sure that you have enough storage capacity to cover all of your needs or else you’ll be in a position where you need to get another hard drive to store everything and make important backups as well. The amount of storage you need depends on many factors, all of which you need to gauge for yourself.
I would suggest getting an external hard drive that offers at least a few TBs of storage capacity. If you have a huge Plex library and still want room for other things as well, I would increase that and go between 5TB and 10TB. You can get even more than that but just know that the more storage capacity you have, the more expensive the hard drive will be.
Another important consideration to think about when purchasing an external hard drive is compatibility. You need the hard drive to function with your existing system, which means it needs to be fully compatible. The options here are all compatible with iOS, Windows, and some Linux systems. Just be sure to check the technical specifications when shopping around to ensure the drive will work with your computer.
You should also consider physical size when you’re looking at an external hard drive for Plex. If you’re keeping the drive setup at home, you probably can get away with a larger model, but you still want it to blend in so it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb in your entertainment room. If you’re thinking about traveling with the drive, you’ll want a smaller option that can easily be packed up and carried around.
Best External Hard Drive for Plex: Our Picks
The WD My Book External Hard Drive is a great all-around option that works wonders for Plex users everywhere. My Book makes some great storage solutions, and this external drive is reliable and effective for a variety of situations. It’s great for Plex because it enables you to choose from a number of large storage sizes ranging from 3 to 14TB. That’s enough to easily handle even the largest video libraries.
This drive also features 256-bit encryption so you can be assured that all of your files and data will be safe and protected. It’s also easy to use and has almost universal compatibility. It’s also ready to plug in and use directly out of the box. It uses USB 3.0 connections to quickly transfer files from any device onto the drive and also comes with a 3-year warranty against any manufacturer defects.
- Reliable storage solution
- Available in large sizes
- Good compatibility
- 256-bit encryption
- USB 3.0 connections
- Needs to be reformatted for systems other than Windows
Another one of the best external hard drives for Plex is the Seagate Expansion External Hard Drive. This option is available in a number of shapes and sizes that you can match to your specific needs. It’s also available in sizes up to 16TB, which gives you all of the storage you’ll ever need. You can get more portable sizes or SSD options as well.
- Reliable and safe storage solution
- Large storage sizes available
- SSD options
- Easy to set up
- Comes with 18-inch USB 3.0 cord
- Needs to be reformatted for Mac
- Only a 1-year warranty
Sometimes the technologies we use everyday aren’t truly intended for everyday use. That’s not the case with the LaCie Rugged External Hard Drive. This is a rugged storage option built for life on the move. It can take a few drops and dings without worry and comes in sizes up to 8TB. It also utilizes an impact-resistant design to keep your data safe and secure.
- Durable design
- Available in sizes up to 8TB
- Great for travel
- 3 years of data rescue services included
- Thunderbolt and USB-C connections
Useful Tips & Resources
Using an external hard drive alongside Plex can open up your possibilities and give you easy access to many of your favorite titles. However, setting everything up can be confusing. If you’re having trouble, here’s a video showing you how to use an external hard drive with Plex.
If you use Plex, I would recommend that you get an external hard drive to use with the platform. It helps you make the most of things and allows you to enjoy your media any time you want. The options listed above all come highly recommended for that purpose.
Do you have any other recommendations for a good external hard drive to use with Plex? Let us know in the comments below!
Chris is a lifelong tech enthusiast with a broad range of interests including coding, data analysis, traveling, and more. He used to work as a software programmer immersing himself in the world of codes, now he finds it more interesting talking to real people.