Fastest Mac USB4 Drives

Apple Compatible Thunderbolt 4 - USB4 SSD's

Shopping for an insanely fast and future-ready Mac compatible external USB4 data backup hardware solution? The combination of USB4 ports and solid-state storage technology is an ideal match for the newest M1 Mac Studio, MacBook, iMac and Mac Mini computers with the universal Type-C interface. The TBolt4 port connector supports both 40Gbps Thunderbolt and 10Gbps USB 3.2 protocols in a single unifying interface for nearly any type of Macintosh peripheral, old or new. Here we feature Mac friendly SSD backup drives for USB4 (USB-C) enabled laptop and desktop computers that incorporate TB4's extremely fast data interface.

Top Recommendation: This very affordable Sabrent Rocket Portable SSD with USB4-Ready Universal chipset:

Sabrent Rocket TBolt 4 Compatible SSD

Best Performance For The Buck

The best choice for USB4 compatible external SSD's incorporate Intel's latest bridge chipsets to assure current and future interoperability. Fortunately, a handful of the best Thunderbolt 3 SSD's are already available using this Intel chipset to operate now as a Thunderbolt 3 or 4 drive that's ready for the USB4 future. Without this new chipset, some older drives on the market are Thunderbolt 3-ONLY and can't be used on other computers only having 10GBps USB-C speed ports.

Below are more recommended solid-state drives with the new Universal Intel chipset that will work great on your current Macintosh - and well into the USB4 future:

Best-Selling LaCie Rugged Pro USB4-Ready Mini SSD:

Lacie TBolt 4 Compatible SSD

Ultra Compact USB4 SSD Drive

Stylish Metal OWC Envoy Pro FX USB4-Ready SSD:

OWC TBolt 4 Compatible SSD

Super-Cooling Heatsink Enclosure

Solid-State Fantom eXtreme USB4-Ready SSD:

Fantom Extreme TBolt 4 Compatible SSD

Western Digital Black SSD Inside

Any of the above portable external Mac backup drives are a safe choice to leverage Apple's current generation of high speed ports, and will continue to work well as USB4 device compatibility and connectivity on Macintosh computers evolves.

Future Proof DIY USB4 / Thunderbolt 4 SSD Enclosures

Many Mac users will want to build their own USB4 backup drive using the off-the-shelf NVMe SSD solid-state drive modules of their choosing. Drive enclosure manufacturers are now offering full, future-proof 40Gbps USB4 and USB4 SSD enclosures using the latest TB4 controller chipsets.

M.2 NVMe PCIe USB4 Certified Enclosures

Here's two of the first fully certified USB4 / USB4 NVMe SSD drive enclosures to reach the market. Read product pages carefully and check the vendor's website for the Brands & Models of the SSD blades they recommend for the fastest and most reliable operation. Some blades perform significantly better than others.

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Yottamaster USB4 + Thunderbolt4 NVMMe SSD Heatsink Enclosure

Speeds Up To 2800MBps : With Type-C Thunderbolt & USB4 Cables

Ankmax USB4 & Thunderbolt 4 NVMMe SSD Enclosure

Up To 2800MBps Speeds : Includes .5m Type-C USB4Cable

Intel and Apple USB4 Technology

As initially envisioned, the ThunderBolt specification has evolved at a steady pace during this decade. Transitioning through the original 10Gbps Thunderbolt spec, the 20Gpbs 2nd generation Thunderbolt 2 also used the mini DisplayPort style of connector, and a doubling of Read / Write speeds was possible. With the transition to 40Gbps ThunderBolt 3 and 4, speeds are doubled yet again with a new, smaller unifying Type-C connector. With an Apple Thunderbolt adapter, you can continue to use older mini DisplayPort TBolt devices on the latest TB3 or TB4 Macs, preserving any legacy data storage hardware investments.

USB4 Backward Compatibility

Remember, a new Mac's Type-C ports speak both ThunderBolt and USB protocols. With an appropriate USB-C to USB-A adapter dongle or cable, older USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 devices can be used on a modern USB4 port. Backward compatibility is assured, though older USB Apple peripherals won't derive any speed related benefit. There are also mini DisplayPort to ThunderBolt 3 adapters to help preserve your investment in older ThunderBolt 1 & 2 peripherals as well.

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