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Samsung's T7 is one of the best portable SSDs on the market. It's compact, it's fast, it's available in various capacities and colors, and it's competitively priced. But it's not quite the complete package. That's why Samsung introduced the T7 Touch a few years ago, which essentially added a fingerprint reader to the standard T7 to boost security. Samsung wasn't done there, knowing that its customers working in rugged conditions would want something equally up to the task.

The T7 Shield was introduced early 2022, rounding out Samsung's T7 lineup with an SSD that could withstand harsher conditions and more abuse thanks to an IP65 rating, while still offering the same great performance, 256-bit AES encryption, and reasonable price. The Samsung T7 Shield is a great little SSD, and as long as you're OK with 1TB or more capacity, a slightly larger build (for the protective coating), and a bit more cost compared to the standard T7, it should make for a great accessory when you're operating in harsh conditions. I've been using this portable SSD since its release without issue, but is it right for your setup?

About this review: Samsung supplied a T7 Shield for review and had no input on the content of this article.

Front view of the Samsung T7 Shield Portable SSD External Drive
Source: Samsung
Samsung T7 Shield Portable SSD

Samsung's T7 Shield is a rugged and compact portable SSD that offers the same speedy performance as the rest of the T7 lineup. It has IP65 dust and water resistance, and it can withstand drops from up to three meters. It's a great choice for field work or for those who can't live without the most protection for their data.

Three years
Up to 1,050MB/s (read)
USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps)
IP65 water/dust resistance, 3-meter drop resistance
3 years
  • Sleek build, shock-proof exterior
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • IP65 water and dust resistance
  • Speedy USB-C performance
  • Fewer capacities available
  • Bulkier and heavier than T7 and T7 Touch
  • Costs more than T7 and T7 Touch

Samsung T7 Shield: Price and availability

  • Get the T7 Shield in 1TB, 2TB, or 4TB capacities
  • Prices start at about $100

The Samsung T7 Shield is available now at the official Samsung website and at plenty of third-party retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, Newegg, Walmart, and more. There are just three capacities available, including 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB, so those looking for less storage space can turn to the standard T7 or T7 Touch.

The 1TB T7 Shield starts at about $100, the 2TB model at about $170, and the 4TB model at about $350. There are also three colors to choose from. Beige, Blue, and Black colors are available for all capacities, while the 4TB model only comes in Black.

Prices have leveled out since the T7 Shield's release, and you can expect to pay about the same amount of money whether you buy the standard T7 or T7 Touch (which is actually often more expensive).

Samsung T7 Shield: Design and protection

  • IP65 water and dust resistance
  • Rugged exterior but still compact

Those familiar with the standard T7 and T7 Touch will immediately feel at home with the T7 Shield's design. It's about the size of a playing card, it's fairly lightweight at 0.21 pounds (98g), and it has a USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2) port at one end with a status LED. Most of the extra weight comes from the T7 Shield's primary feature, a permanent rubberized shell that helps protect the drive from drops and shocks. Its ribbed design makes it easy to hold onto, and it feels great under hand.

The T7 Shield's rubberized shell adds extra drop and shock protection to keep your data safe even in harsh conditions.

Whereas the T7 and T7 Touch come with two-meter drop resistance, the T7 Shield climbs to three meters and also adds IP65-rated water and dust resistance. There are limits to the protection provided here. You won't want to take the SSD with you while swimming, but it should give you some peace-of-mind next time you're caught out in the rain or need to use the drive in the field. Samsung does not cover dust, water, or drop under its three-year warranty, but after using the drive for months for travel and office work it seems like you'd have to go beyond reasonable measures to really hurt this drive.

Samsung includes all cables you'll need to operate the drive, including USB-C and USB-C to USB-A. It's worth noting as well that the drive comes packaged in recycled material instead of a glut of plastic and foam that immediately gets thrown in the trash.

Samsung T7 Shield: Performance and security

  • Up to 1,050MB/s read and 1,000MB/s write speeds
  • AES 256-bit encryption and password protection

The T7 Shield doesn't have the same fingerprint reader built into the case like the T7 Touch, but it does still offer 256-bit AES encryption with password protection. The SSD includes software that automatically runs the first time you plug it into a PC, asking you to set up the password; it's optional but always recommended.

The 10Gbps USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2) port on the T7 Shield is the same as on the other Samsung drives, and you can expect similar performance across the lineup. Samsung pegs speeds at about 1,050MB/s on the read side and 1,000MB/s on the write side. I tested this myself with CrystalDiskMark and saw even better read speeds (up to about 1,065MB/s) and slightly lower write speeds (down to about 960MB/s). I tested using the 1TB model, and speeds should be about the same with the larger capacities.

Samsung's T7 Shield combines IP65-rated durability and strong performance, making it ideal for field work and traveling professionals.

The T7 Shield's excellent performance means you'll spend less time waiting around while transferring bundles of small files or single large files. I moved my main folder of images with almost 5,000 individual files and nearly 200 subfolders to the T7 Shield in less than a minute, and I was also able to transfer a 10GB individual file in about 18 seconds. There were no issues with heat while testing; the drive warmed up a bit but nowhere near anything alarming.

You'll see the best performance connecting the SSD to a USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2) port — this includes Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4 — but the drive will still work with older variants including USB-A, albeit at a slower speed.

Should you buy the Samsung T7 Shield?


You should buy the Samsung T7 Shield if ...

  • You want extra water, dust, and drop protection in a compact drive
  • You need a 1TB capacity or larger
  • You have a laptop or other device that can make the best of the available performance

You shouldn't buy the Samsung T7 Shield if ...

  • You rarely use your SSD outdoors or in other harsh conditions
  • You want a capacity smaller than 1TB
  • You're looking for the most affordable SSD

The Samsung T7 Shield is the right choice for professionals who foresee spending some time in the field. It's also a great pick for casual users who simply want the most protection for their data; prices have leveled out since the Shield's release, and you can reliably find similar prices across the product lineup (with T7 Touch models coming in at the highest price). The T7 Shield isn't quite as portable due to the extra weight and size from the rubberized shell, but it's every bit as fast and has the same 256-bit AES encryption and password protection. It can still easily slip into a pocket, and I've had no problems traveling with it and using it in my regular office workflow.

Capacities start at 1TB for the T7 Shield, but that's a size that most people can get behind; 500GB just isn't what it used to be, but you can still get the smaller capacities from the other T7 drives. And if you do need more space, the Shield comes in 2TB and 4TB capacities.

If the T7 Shield isn't quite what you're looking for, Samsung does have a bunch of other storage solutions that we've rounded up in our collection of the best Samsung SSDs, SD cards, and flash drives.

Front view of the Samsung T7 Shield Portable SSD External Drive
Source: Samsung
Samsung T7 Shield Portable SSD

The T7 Shield is Samsung's rugged and compact portable SSD that matches the same performance as the rest of the great T7 lineup. Grab it in 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB capacities, and choose from Black, Blue, or Beige colors.