SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD Review

SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD Review

If you need a large capacity portable SSD, and you prefer one that is small, tough as nails, and fast, then you should check out the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD. With read speeds up to 550MB/S, rugged IP55 water and dust-resistance, shock and vibration resistance, capacities up to 2TB, and its small size, it’s great for on-the-go students and professionals.

Whether you are on a Mac or Windows computer that uses USB Type-C or a USB Type-A port, everything you need to get up and running is in the box. Available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities.

Inside the package are the portable SSD, a short Type-C to Type-C cable, a USB Type-C to Type-A (3.0) adapter, and as SSD safety and warranty guide.

SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD Review

The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD measures exactly 3.8″ long by 1.95″ wide by 0.35″ thick, and it weighs just 1.4 ounces. The matte black, soft touch plastic exterior has a faux-perforated metal overlay on the front side that when combined with the red accented lanyard (or carabiner) hole at the top gives the drive an attractive appearance. There is a single Type-C port at the bottom right.

SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD Review

All of the other sides are plain.

On the back, the size of the drive is listed.

SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD Review

The included Type-C to Type-C cable is about 6.5″ long including connectors. When it is hooked up to your laptop or desktop computer, there are no LEDs that glow, but it will immediately appear as an available drive. Inside, there is an .exe for Windows users (supported operating systems include Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10), and a folder that includes a SanDisk Secure Access Quick Start Guide in .pdf format and a .pdf which includes instructions and a download link for SanDisk SecureAccess v3.01 for Mac users ( minimum requirements are Mac OS® X v10.6+).

SanDisk notes that it is not necessary to download SecureAccess to use your Extreme Portable SSD “as a storage device on Mac or PC. SecureAccess is a complimentary data encryption and password protection application.” If you do decide to install it, you will get the following features:

• Quicker start-up
• Improved password settings
• Faster Encryption with multi-thread processing
• Ability to edit your documents stored in vault
• File Streaming Access
• Encrypted Backup and Restore data stored in vault
• Optional File Shredder (deletion) from source after transfer to vault
• Automatic logout time-out setting

But it is critical to note that:

• The SanDisk SecureAccess Encryption program is a 128-bit AES encryption.
• If the password is forgotten, the information stored on the flash drive cannot be retrieved.
• There is no “forgot password” option to reset the password.
• If the password cannot be remembered, with or without the password hint available, the files on the drive are not accessible.
• SanDisk Customer Care cannot provide a new password or alternative method to access encrypted data.
• The drive can still be used by reformatting and reinstalling SecureAccess.
• Formatting the drive will erase all data on the drive. Once the process begins, ALL THE DATA ON THE DRIVE WILL BE LOST!

Sounds fair enough, right? So I went ahead and installed it.

Now when you click on the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD drive, you’ll see the following folders …

SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD Review

The setup once you click the SanDisk SecureAccess icon is straightforward …

… and you’ll ultimately end up on a screen that shows you your files and offers you the option of further upgrading your security with EncryptStick security for a discounted price.

SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD Review

Okay, now it’s time to see how fast this little guy is!

SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD Review


And there you have it! The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD is extremely small, fast, and rugged enough for everyday carry. If you need to regularly backup files or carry loads of media with you, it is a great choice!

The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD sells for various prices according to the size you get; it’s $99.99 for the 250GB, $125.99 for 500GB, $279.99 for 1TB, and $529.99 for 2TB. It is available directly from the manufacturer and from other retailers including Amazon [affiliate link].

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like: Available in up to 2TB capacities; Fast; Small; Works with just about any Mac or Windows computer out of the box (unless you’re running a really old OS); Has built-in security software; IP55 water and dust-resistance; Shock and vibration resistance

What Needs Improvement: Expensive, but you get what you pay for

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.