What hard drive to buy for iPad. iOS Storage Drive Buying Guide

More and more people are trading their laptop for an iPad. Apple tablets are a good replacement for users who work mainly with word processors and email, but have also proven to be reliable for video and photo editing.

Until now, it didn’t make much sense to buy an iPad with a lot of internal storage. Taking advantage of 256GB or 512GB on such a device was very complicated, unless it was intended as a media player and filled with a lot of movies, series and games. But with the arrival of iPadOS the rules of the game have changed.

What hard drive to buy for iPad. iOS Storage Drive Buying Guide
What hard drive to buy for iPad. iOS Storage Drive Buying Guide

The new operating system for Cupertino’s tablets accentuates the question of whether an iPad or a MacBook. Based on iOS 13, it offers a full version of the Safari web browser with an integrated download manager , mouse support and an improved file system.

With all these new features the 64 GB (or 32 GB, depending on the model) may be short . Fortunately, with iPadOS also comes the possibility of using external storage drives such as hard drives and pendrives.

Before we start looking at hard drive models we have to consider what kind of connector our iPad has. Although the vast majority of models use the Lightning connector, the 2018 iPad Pro uses USB-C, so we may need the Lightning to USB 3 camera adapter or the USB-C to USB 3.0 adapter .


Once we are clear, we must think about how much storage space we want it to have. The more capacity, the more files, but the price will also go up. We should also think about whether a mechanical hard disk is enough or if we prefer a solid state one to achieve higher reading and writing speeds.

Supported formats are FAT32, HFS+ (macOS Extended) and AFPS (a recent format of the Mac and iOS devices.

Toshiba Canvio Basics

Toshiba’s proposal is a hard disk with a sober appearance in black with a matte finish and 2.5″ format. It is powered by the device it is connected to , so we will not depend on an extra power outlet. Its SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port achieves a maximum transfer rate of 5 Gbits. The 1 TB version is priced at 44.22 euros, but is also available in 2 TB for 63 euros or 4 TB for 107.44 euros.

Toshiba Canvio Basics – External Hard Drive, 2.5 inch (6.4 cm), Black, 1 TB

Today at Amazon for 42,82 ? in PcComponents for 44,50 ? in El Corte Inglés for 55 ?

WD My Passport

Western Digital is one of the leading hard drive manufacturers in the market. It has an extensive catalog full of models, being the WD My Passport of the most popular. Available in 6 colors (black, yellow, blue, white, orange and red), it is designed to be Plug&Play .


It has additional software to protect our data, but it cannot be used with iOS devices. The 1 TB version costs 73.99 euro, but is also available in 2 TB (85.49 euro), 3 TB (113.99 euro) and 4 TB (116.99 euro).

WD My Passport For Mac – 1 TB Portable Hard Drive, Black

PVP in PcComponents for 69,80EURP in Amazon for 76,91EURP in El Corte Inglés for 69,80EURP

WD My Passport Ultra

A vitamin version of the above is the WD My Passport Ultra, with an elegant metal casing that is available in two colors, silver and blue. It is ready to be used directly with devices with a USB-C port , although it is also compatible with USB 3.0, so it is one of the best options if we have an iPad Pro 2018.

It is available in 1 TB for 82.77 euros, but also in 2 TB for 100.84 euros and 4 TB for 156.65 euros.

WD My Passport Ultra – 1 TB Portable Hard Drive and USB Type C, Silver

Today on Amazon for 70,49

Maxtor HX-M201TCBGM

Although not as well known as Toshiba or WD, this Maxtor M3 series model is manufactured by Seagate. Its casing has been designed to withstand scratches and that fingerprints are not marked on the surface.

Another of its main attractions is the price. The 1 TB version costs 42.98 euros. If we look for more capacity we have the 2 TB for 64 euros and 4 TB for 98.56 euros.

Maxtor STSHX-M101TCBM – 1 TB External Hard Drive (2.5″, HDD, USB 3.03.1), Color Black

PVP in PcComponents for 44.60EUR Today on Amazon for 55.73EUR Today on Ebay for 52.99

SanDisk Extreme

Let’s move on to solid state hard drives with the SanDisk Extreme. It’s been developed to resist shock and have greater durability. It offers high-speed transfers of up to 550 MBs, and is IP55 certified , so it is resistant to rain, splashes, spills and dust. It uses a USB-C port.

Making it an SSD increases its price. The standard 250 GB version costs 86.99 euros, but is also available in 500 GB for 99.29 euros, 1 TB for 199 euros and 2 TB for 392.92 euros. With metal finishing the cost increases.

SanDisk Extreme – Portable SSD (250 GB, up to 550 MBs Read Speed) Color Black

Today on Amazon for 76,39 ? on PcComponents for 86 ? on MediaMarkt for 86,99 ?

WD My Passport SSD

Another Western Digital hard drive, although this time in solid state. It is ready to be used with a traditional USB-C or USB cable, being compatible with USB 3.1 Gen 2. The transfer speed reaches rates of up to 540 MBs .


Like the SanDisk proposal, WD’s is not cheap. The 256 GB version is priced at 86.99 euros, although there is also a version with 512 GB for 110.80 euros, 1 TB for 199 euros and 2 TB for 480.83 euros.

WD My Passport SSD – Portable Storage 256 GB, Color Black

Today at Amazon for 73,55 ? at MediaMarkt for 86,99 ?

SanDisk iXpand

Changing format, the SanDisk iXpand is a flash storage unit which has a Lightning connector on the one hand and a USB-A on the other hand . Although initially only photos and videos could be transferred from an iPhone or iPad, with iOS 13 and iPadOS it can be used to manage files.

The 32 GB version is priced at 26.29 euros, but is also available in 64 GB for 32.90 euros, 128 GB for 47.90 euros and 256 GB for 135.81 euros.

Sandisk iXpand – 32GB USB flash memory for iPhone and iPad

PVP at Amazon for 26,29 ? in PcComponents for 30,29 ? in MediaMarkt for 28,90 ?

There is a version of SanDisk iXpand available with 10W wireless charger of 128 GB for 100,99 Euro and 256 GB for 146,99 Euro.

SanDisk iXpand 10W Rapid Wireless Charger with 128GB of Photo Backup Capacity on Qi-Compatible Handsets

Today on Amazon for 100,99


Another pendrive with the MFi certification ( Made for iPhone ) is the iDisk which, like the SanDisk, has a Lightning connector on the one hand and a USB-A on the other hand , which makes it possible to transfer files between an iPhone or iPad to a computer with Windows or macOS. It supports a variety of video formats: AVI, M4V, MKV, MOV, MP4, MPG, RM, RMVB, TS, WMV, FLV and 3GP.

It is available in 32 GB for 29.99 euros, 64 GB for 35.99 euros and 256 GB for 81.79 euros.

32GB USB 3.0 Memory for iPhone with MFI Certified Lightning Connector Compatible with iOS iPad and Mac

Today on Amazon for 28,99

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