Best Hard Drives of 2021

When it comes to storage, nothing’s cheaper per gigabyte than a good old-fashioned hard disk drive. They may not be nearly as fast as an SSD, but if you’re trying to acquire copious amounts of storage on a budget you can’t go wrong with a hard drive.

With the advent of Chia, a relatively new cryptocurrency that uses storage drives to mine, hard drive shortages are plaguing China and threaten to affect the United States soon if the mining frenzy catches on. Despite this, hard drives are still very affordable and attainable at the moment, and we’ve compiled a list of the best one for every use.

Speed will not be given very much consideration here, as this is not the primary purpose of a hard drive. Higher speed is a bonus but not essential. Total storage capacity and price per gigabyte are the most important characteristics when determining the value of a hard drive, so we’ve picked the following accordingly.

So without further ado, here’s our official compilation of the best hard drives of 2021.

Best Mining Hard Drive: Seagate 18TB Exos Enterprise

Seagate’s 18TB monster of a hard drive is the highest-capacity drive available at the moment, making it the best drive for storing Chia plots on a large scale. It comes in sizes ranging from 1TB all the way up to 18TB, and has a 3.5″ form factor. It’s currently the cheapest 18TB hard drive on the market, making it the best high-capacity option.

Best Value Hard Drive: Seagate BarraCuda 8TB

If you’re looking to squeeze the maximum amount of storage out of your money, the sweet spot between price and capacity is currently 8GB. Seagate’s 5400RPM BarraCuda 8TB model offer the most storage per dollar of any hard drive released within the last 8 years at the time of writing. For this reason, the 8TB BarraCuda is the best value hard drive, whether you’re using it for mining, storing pictures and videos, or stashing game files.

Best 2TB Hard Drive:

If you’re just looking for a drive to store some extra files in but don’t think you’ll ever be able to burn through 4 or 8 terabytes of space, the Western Digital Blue is probably the best fit for you. It’s the cheapest 2TB drive on the market, and is manufactured by one of the most reputable storage-makers in the world.

Best 1TB Hard Drive:

If it feels like you’ve just seen this drive before, you’re not wrong. We chose it as the best 1TB drive as well because, as with all of our other picks, it’s simply the cheapest available. It’s definitely worth considering forking over the extra $10 or so for the 2TB model, as that would be the more cost-efficient approach, but if you know you’ll only ever need a terabyte of storage this is the cheapest way to get it.