Best SSDs 2022: blisteringly fast storage to speed up your computer or console

Give your storage speeds a boost with one of the best SSDs on the market in 2022

Included in this guide:

Kingston Fury Renegade SSD
The Kingston Fury Renegade SSD
(Image credit: Kingston)

The best SSDs for 2022 are screamingly fast and completely silent, able to offer super-fast transfer speeds at relatively affordable prices – if you're looking to upgrade your PC, Mac, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S or PS5, then this is one of the best ways you can go about it.

Some of the terminology you'll come across when shopping for SSDs can be a bit on the baffling side, and our guide to SSD technology should be some help here. SSD itself stands for solid-state drive, and you can get them in both internal and external varieties.

The one you need will depend on where you want to fit it: internal models can come as PCIe cards or PCIe M.2 sticks, while most external drives will connect via USB-A or USB-C. Check your motherboard or device for details of which SSDs are going to be supported.

We've got plenty of other guides to help you in your shopping as well – our guides to the best external drives for Mac and the best SSD drives for the PS5 are worth reading for example, if you've looking for an SSD that's going to fit inside a specific device.

The best internal SSDs 2022

Kingston Fury Renegade SSD best SSDsT3 Best Buy badge

(Image credit: Kingston)

1. Kingston Fury Renegade SSD

The best internal SSD for most people

Specifications
Internal/external: Internal
Connection: PCIe M.2
Capacities: 500GB / 1TB / 2TB / 4TB
Reasons to buy
+
Top-tier speeds
+
Stays cool and reliable
Reasons to avoid
-
On the expensive side

Kingston markets this SSD drive as being for "gamers, enthusiasts and high-power users", and it certainly isn't messing around: we're talking up to 7,300 MB/s read and 7,000 MB/s write speeds at the highest 4TB capacity, though if you've not got quite so much to spend then you can opt for one of the smaller (and obviously cheaper) variations on this SSD.

Without going too deep into the technical aspects of the KIngston Fury Renegade SSD, suffice to say that it packs in some of the most promising and best performing tech currently available on NVMe solid-state drives, and that translates into winning performance no matter how you end up putting this to use – as long as you can afford it.

Samsung 970 Evo Plus best SSDsT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Samsung)

2. Samsung 970 Evo Plus

The best all-round internal SSD

Specifications
Internal/external: Internal
Connection: PCIe M.2
Capacities: 250GB / 500GB / 1TB / 2TB
Reasons to buy
+
Excellent performance
+
Impressive endurance
Reasons to avoid
-
One of the older options

The Samsung 970 Evo Plus is a fantastic internal SSD in just about every respect: with read and write speeds of up to 3,500 MB/s and 3,300 MB/s respectively, you can see the difference that NVMe technology can make. Samsung also promises an SSD that can last, with advanced heat dissipation used to prolong the life of your shiny new SSD.

Assuming you've got a computer with a motherboard that can take it, the Samsung 970 Evo Plus should guarantee you years of speedy performance (and note that the drive comes with a generous warranty as well). You get some great SSD management software included with your purchase too, making it an appealing package from any angle.

WD Black SN850 best SSDsT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Western Digital)

3. WD Black SN850

The best SSD for gaming consoles

Specifications
Internal/external: Internal
Connection: PCIe M.2
Capacities: 500GB / 1TB / 2TB
Reasons to buy
+
Rapid transfer speeds
+
Competitive price point
Reasons to avoid
-
Uses plenty of power

The WD Black SN850 has the distinction of being the SSD that one Sony executive recommends if you want to upgrade the storage in your PlayStation 5 – and to us that suggests this is a high-performance solid-state drive that you can rely on (and the fact that it comes from industry veterans Western Digital makes us even more confident in it).

You're looking at up to 7,000 MB/s read and 5,300 MB/s write speeds, depending on the capacity you go for – and those capacities are 500GB, 1TB and 2TB. You do miss out on some added extras like  hardware encryption, but you can pick up the WD Black SN850 for a competitive price, and overall we'd say this is clearly one of the best SSDs around.

SK Hynix Gold P31 best SSDsT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: SK Hynix)

4. SK Hynix Gold P31

The best SSD for power and price efficiency

Specifications
Internal/external: Internal
Connection: PCIe M.2
Capacities: 500GB / 1TB / 2TB
Reasons to buy
+
Impressive performance
+
Great power efficiency
Reasons to avoid
-
Some other SSDs are faster

The SK Hynix Gold P31 immediately impresses with its reliable performance, its high speeds (up 3,500 MB/s read and 3,200 MB/s write), and its large capacities – and that's before you get to the price, which is on the very reasonable side. If you're looking for an M.2 SSD that's affordable but that will still serve you very well, this could be it.

Behind the scenes the SK Hynix Gold P31 uses plenty of impressive tricks to ensure reliability and longevity, and on the technical side it's worth noting that this is the first stick from the company with 128-Layer 4D TLC NAND flash – basically the latest generation of flash memory that should ensure better performance with a lower power draw.

Crucial P5 Plus best SSDsT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Crucial)

5. Crucial P5 Plus

The best value internal SSD

Specifications
Internal/external: Internal
Connection: PCIe M.2
Capacities: 500GB / 1TB / 2TB
Reasons to buy
+
Won't cost you too much
+
A brand you can trust
Reasons to avoid
-
Not the fastest performer

Good value can be hard to find when it comes to M.2 SSD drives, but the Crucial P5 Plus manages to provide it. After all, SSDs are similar to smartphones or laptops in some ways – not everyone needs the very best specs of the day or wants to pay top dollar for their hardware, and for many buyers the mid-range is where the more appealing products are.

In terms of specs we've got maximum read speeds of 6,600 MB/s and maximum write speeds of 5,000 MB/s, and the SSD stick is impressive in terms of its longevity too: Crucial says it's rated for ultra-long life, and it comes with a 5-year warranty. It's perfect for gaming, editing video and other content, and coping with any demanding applications.

The best external SSDs 2022

Samsung T7 SSD best SSDsT3 Best Buy badge

(Image credit: Samsung)

The best external SSD for most people

Specifications
Internal/external: External
Connection: USB-C
Capacities: 500GB / 1TB / 2TB
Reasons to buy
+
Speed transfer rates
+
Premium enclosure
Reasons to avoid
-
On the expensive side

From the moment you pick up the Samsung T7 SSD it feels like a solid bit of kit, with its matte texture finish, rounded edges, and impressively small size – this external SSD is actually available in black, red and blue, so in terms of its aesthetics it has a bit more pop than a lot of the comparable devices on the market (in the red and blue shades at least).

When it comes down to the key specs, the capacity options go up to 2TB (with the price rising accordingly), and you get 1,050 MB/s read and 1,000 MB/s write speeds across USB 3.2 Gen 2 (less over older USB standards). Plus, this is an SSD drive that can switch between different devices and indeed different operating systems quite easily as well.

SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD best SSDsT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: SanDisk)

2. SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD

The best rugged external SSD

Specifications
Internal/external: External
Connection: USB-C
Capacities: 500GB / 1TB / 2TB / 4TB
Reasons to buy
+
Very well protected
+
Reliable in operation
Reasons to avoid
-
No indicator light

The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD is well worth considering if you need an external drive that you can take just about everywhere. It's built to be well protected against the elements (especially dust and rain), it's just about small enough to attach to a keyring, and the available capacity goes up to a huge 4GB – which is plenty of storage for anyone.

On top of all that, the performance is impressive too, with USB 3.2 Gen 2 support, 1,050 MB/s read and 1,000 MB/s write speeds, and the added bonus of 256‐bit AES hardware encryption for extra peace of mind as well. You pay a little extra for the added IP55-rated protection, but we think a lot of SSD shoppers will be happy to make the investment.

WD Black P50 best SSDsT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Western Digital)

The best external SSD for gamers

Specifications
Internal/external: External
Connection: USB-C
Capacities: 500GB / 1TB / 2TB / 4TB
Reasons to buy
+
Hard, ridged case
+
Speedy in operation
Reasons to avoid
-
Aesthetics not for everyone

Gamers are going to be particularly keen on the WD Black P50 external SSD, what with its impressive data speeds, its large capacities, and its rugged good looks – although the stylishness of this solid-state drive really is in the eye of the beholder. The hard, ridged casing outside the SSD does at least keep it well protected against bumps and scrapes.

Transfer rates top out at a very impressive 2,000MB/s, though you're going to need a very specific hardware setup to reach that – in particular, USB 3.2 Gen 2 on the device you attach the drive to (this is an SSD that will work with just about anything). With the Western Digital branding on the drive as well, you can rely on long-lasting reliability.

Crucial X8 Portable SSD best SSDsT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Crucial)

4. Crucial X8 Portable SSD

The best budget SSD drive

Specifications
Internal/external: External
Connection: USB-C
Capacities: 1TB / 2TB
Reasons to buy
+
Affordable price point
+
Stays very cool
Reasons to avoid
-
No built-in encryption

You get a lot in return for your money with the Crucial X8 Portable SSD: up to 2TB in terms of capacity and read speeds up to 1,050MB/s for example, and it's all wrapped up in a compact, robust shell. If you shop around you should find that prices are on the very reasonable side for this particular solid-state drive as well, which is definitely a bonus.

While the Crucial X8 Portable SSD doesn't offer too much in the way of bells and whistles – there's no integrated data encryption here, for example – it will suit those who want something that covers the basics well and doesn't cost too much. It's certainly competitive in terms of its performance, and its size means it can be taken just about anywhere.

Seagate One Touch SSD best SSDsT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Seagate)

5. Seagate One Touch SSD

The best external SSD for multiple platforms

Specifications
Internal/external: External
Connection: USB-C
Capacities: 500GB / 1TB / 2TB
Reasons to buy
+
Compact form factor
+
Bundled software
Reasons to avoid
-
Short USB cable

The pictures don't really do justice to how compact and lightweight this external SSD drive is: the Seagate One Touch SSD is no bigger than a stack of credit cards and can easily fit in your pocket, making it an ideal choice for an external drive that you need to carry around with you – maybe one that you want to take travelling, alongside a laptop, for example.

With a maximum transfer speed of 1,030 MB/s and support for USB 3.2 Gen 2, you're certainly not going to be waiting long for files to get from one place to another. We also like the support for multiple platforms that the Seagate One Touch SSD offers: you can use this equally well with a Windows computer, a Mac computer, or even a mobile Android device.

Dave has over 20 years' experience in the tech journalism industry, covering hardware and software across mobile, computing, smart home, home entertainment, wearables, gaming and the web – you can find his writing online, in print, and even in the occasional scientific paper, across major tech titles like T3, TechRadar, Gizmodo and Wired. Outside of work, he enjoys long walks in the countryside, skiing down mountains, watching football matches (as long as his team is winning) and keeping up with the latest movies.