The best SSDs store data, speed up your device and keep your laptop or console in tip top condition. Today in 2022, there's literally no reason why your computer or video game console shouldn't feature one of the best SSDs. Solid state drives are now more affordable than ever before even in large capacities, and offer order of magnitude speed upgrades of HHD (hard disc drives).
SSDs come in various forms, too, ranging from M.2 NVMe SSDs to different size SATA units. But don't worry if you’re not up on the techy terminology, which can be a bit of a minefield to navigate, as not only can this buying guide help but T3 has also created this guide to SSD technology (opens in new tab), which helps break it down so you can make the best choice of storage for you.
Which one you chose will depend on how you intend to connect it to your device. Most come with external drivers that connect via USB, but you can also get internal models that come as cards or sticks. You’ll need to check your device and/or motherboard to know which SSDs can be supported.
This guide below will give you some of the best SSD options in 2022, but we also have guides to the best external drives for Mac (opens in new tab) and the best PS5 SSDs (opens in new tab) that are worth a read if you need a storage device for a specific make or model!
The best internal SSDs to buy in 2022
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.
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.
The WD Black SN850 has the distinction of being the SSD that one Sony executive recommends (opens in new tab) 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.
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.
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
From the moment you pick up the Samsung T7 SSD (opens in new tab) 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.
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.
Gamers are going to be particularly keen on the WD Black P50 (opens in new tab) 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.
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.
The pictures don't really do justice to how compact and lightweight this external SSD drive is: the Seagate One Touch SSD (opens in new tab) 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.
- Check out the best external hard drives available in 2022