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Best Tesla SSD USB Drive for Model 3, Model Y, and Model X: Sentry Mode and Dashcam

Image of SSD and USB storage Tesla model 3,model X, and model Y

If you want to fully utilize the features of Tesla DashCam and Sentry mode, going with a regular USB stick can be very limiting. Tesla’s Sentry mode fills up storage pretty fast, while regularly cleaning up space can be very tedious work. So if you plan to use Sentry mode and DashCam regularly you need to plug in some external storage like Tesla SSD USB drives for model 3, model y, and model X, to take full advantage of the provided features. 

These Tesla SSD drives are designed to be connected via a USB port in the Tesla USB hub, providing Tesla owners with a convenient and versatile storage solution to store security footage while it rewrites the data by itself if the storage becomes full.

In this article, we have highlighted the best Tesla SSDs and USB drives that we tested in our Teslas along with two other external storage options: a MicroSD card with a USB reader, and USD Flash Drive. We have also included a buying guide to help you choose the right SSD drive and USB drive for your Tesla car.

Now the question arises, how much external storage do you need for the Tesla sentry mode and DashCam? By calculation, with an SSD higher than 1TB, one can fully utilize the provided features of Tesla.

Here’s a list of the best Tesla SSD USB drives:

Tesla SSD USB DrivePrice
Samsung T7 Portable SSD 500GB$136
SanDisk 500GB extreme PRO$133
WD 512GB My Passport SSD$115
Crucial X8 1TB Portable SSD$114
UGreen SD reader$15
SanDisk microSD reader$11
Samsung PRO Endurance 128GB$33
Samsung BAR Plus 128GB USB Drive$19
Kingston 128GB DataTraveler Elite$20
Transcend 128GB JetFlash$17
Best SSD USB drive for Tesla Model 3, Model Y, and Model X

Best Tesla SSD USB Drive for Model 3, Model Y, and Model X

Samsung T7 Portable SSD

Image of Tesla SSD for model 3, model X, and model Y
Tesla SSD for model 3, model X, and model Y from samsung

Reliable, Compatible, Convenient

Ecogears highly recommends Samsung T7 Portable SSD for Tesla considering its incredible read and write speed of enhanced second-generation USB 3.2. Samsung’s T7 SSD has no moving parts like HDD, so it is more resistant to shock and a perfect fit for your electric car. 

With ePCM technology, the SSD features unique dynamic heat control functionality for fast speed transfers, so that the SSD stays at an optimal temperature. The size of the SSD fits perfectly in any of the third-party Tesla USB hubs making it the best SSD for Tesla Model 3 and Model Y.

Features of Samsung T7 Tesla SSD

  • Capacity options: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB
  • SuperSpeed USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface
  • Up to 1,050MB/s read and 1,000MB/s write speeds
  • Durable and shock-resistant design
  • Password protection and AES 256-bit hardware encryption
  • Compact and lightweight

SanDisk PRO Portable external Tesla SSD

Image of SanDisk SSD for Tesla model 3, model X, and model y
SanDisk SSD for Tesla model 3, model X, and model y

Versatile, Reliable, Faster

Another great option to go for is the SanDisk 500GB portable SSD is a great pick for your Tesla. With shock, drop water, and dust resistance, the SSD for Tesla is perfect to be plugged into your electric car to fully enjoy the features of Sentry mode. Built with NVMe solid-state performance, the SSD for Tesla offers 1050MB/s read and 1000MB/s write speed. 

The aluminum body is built for shockproof and heat control as it dissipates heat to keep the SSD for Tesla Sentry mode intact during extreme conditions.

Features of Sandisk Portable Tesla SSD:

  • Capacity options: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface
  • Up to 1,050MB/s read and write speeds
  • IP55 rating for water and dust resistance
  • Shock and vibration-resistant design
  • Built-in password protection
Tesla accessories for model 3, model Y, model S image
Tesla accessories for Model 3, Model Y, Model S

WD 512GB My Passport SSD

Image of WD SSD for Tesla model 3, model X, and model Y
WD SSD for Tesla model 3, model X, and model Y

Secure, Stylish, Compact

The Western Digital My Passport SSD is a reliable and compact external storage solution for Tesla electric cars that offers fast performance and ample storage space. Its sleek design and robust features make it a great pick for your Tesla.

It has a USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface which offers high-speed data transfers, allowing you to access your Dashcam and sentry mode footage seamlessly. The Tesla SSD for model Y, model 3, and model S is shock-resistant and comes with password protection and hardware encryption for enhanced security measures. Its storage capacity of 2TB offers ample space for your Tesla Cam footage. However, some users have reported that it can get warm during prolonged use.

Features of WD SSD for Tesla:

  • Capacity options: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface
  • Up to 1,050MB/s read and write speeds
  • Compact and stylish design
  • Built-in password protection and hardware encryption
  • Shock and vibration-resistant

Crucial X8 1TB Portable SSD for Tesla

Image of crucial SSD for Tesla model 3, model X, and model Y
Crucial SSD for Tesla Model 3, model X, and Model Y
Image of crucial SSD for Tesla model 3, model X, and model Y
Crucial SSD for Tesla model 3, model X, and model Y

Buying Options, Shockproof, Lightweight

One of the best picks in SSD for TeslaCam and Sentry Mode, the Crucial X8 portable SSD comes with a bigger 1 TB storage at the same price range as others offering 512GB. It offers an incredible reading speed of 1050MB/s for faster transfer and usage. The aluminum exterior provides excellent drop-proof, shock, and vibration-proof, perfect fit to be used in any compatible Tesla model for expanding storage.

After tests, we found the Crucial X8 Portable SSD to be 1.8x faster than other best SSDs for Tesla and 7.5x faster than other portable HDDs.

Features of Crucial X8 Tesla SSD:

  • Capacity options: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface
  • Up to 1,050MB/s read and write speeds
  • Shockproof and drop-proof design
  • AES 256-bit hardware encryption
  • Lightweight and portable

Best Tesla USB drives

USB Flash drive is an alternative to Tesla SSD as a storage solution for Dashcams and Sentry mode. We have recommended some of the compatible Tesla USB drives for below:

Samsung BAR Plus 128GB USB Drive

Image of Samsung USB flash drive for tesla model 3, model X, and model y
Samsung USB Drive for Tesla Model 3, Y

Buying Options, Great Speed

Most USB flash drives are not the ideal storage solution for your Tesla Sentry mode or DashCam because of the limitations in the read and write speed. But with an incredible transfer speed of 300MB/s, the Samsung Bar Plus USB flash drive will work fine for TeslaCam. The durable metal casing makes the USB drive a perfect storage solution for Tesla.

Features of Samsung BAR Plus Tesla USB:

  • Capacity options 64GB, 128GB
  • 400mb/s transfer speed
  • USB 3.0 transfer

Kingston DataTraveler Elite

Image of Kingston USB flash drive for tesla model for tesla model 3, model X, and model Y
Kingston USB drive for Tesla Model 3, Model X, and Model Y

Another great recommendation for the Tesla USB flash drive option is the Kingston Data traveler elite which works perfectly for TeslaCam and Sentry Mode in all Tesla models. Fitted in a durable metal casing, the USB drive has smart LED indicators to update the activity status.

Compared to the earlier USB 3.1 and USB 2.0 devices, Kingston Data Traveler Elite offers great read/write speed for Tesla.

Transcend 128GB JetFlash

Transcend USB flash drive for tesla sentry mode for Tesla model 3 and model y
Transcend Tesla USB drive for Tesla sentry mode

With more storage and read/write speed, the Transcend JetFlash works almost similar to an SSD fit for Tesla. If you find it hectic to use a combo of SD card reader and micro SD, transcend JetFlash USB flash drive for Tesla is the perfect storage solution for your TeslaCam and Sentry mode.

Best Tesla MicroSD cards and Card Reader

Another popular way to expand storage in your Tesla for Sentry and DashCam is to combine a micro SD card and a Card reader. There are many options in SD card readers, ranging from cheaper ones to multi-port options with micro USB, Type-C, or lightning ports on one end, making it easy to connect to a smartphone.

For this combo to work, you will definitely need an SD card with MLC flash and “high endurance’ branding. 

Here is a list of the best MicroSD Card along with Card readers:

UGREEN USB Type-C SD Card reader

Image of UGreen microSD card reader for Sentry mode for Tesla model 3, model X, and model y
UGreen microSD card reader for Tesla

Affordable, and Reliable

Compatible with most of the Tesla models, the UGREEN USB SD card reader for Tesla comes with USB 3.0 and Type-C ports. The dual card functionality saves time by avoiding repeated plugging and unplugging. This particular microSD card for Tesla can be a great buy as an alternative to SSD for Tesla Sentry mode as it comes with a lightning-fast transmission Speed of 5GB/s. 

SanDisk MobileMate USB microSD reader

Image of SanDisk microSD card reader for Tesla model 3, model X, and model Y
SanDisk microSD card reader for Tesla SSD

Durable, faster, Compact

Another best pick is the compact and durable microSD card reader from SanDisk. It can be combined with a high-endurance microSD card for a fast UHS-I transfer speed of 170 mb/s. The hard design makes it a perfect fit to be used in Tesla electric cars. 

Samsung PRO Endurance 128GB

Image of Samsung microSD card for Tesla model 3, model X, and Model Y
Samsung microSD card for Tesla Sentry mode

Compatible, and Reliable

A larger SD card means more space for TeslaCams to record footage, so we recommend going for Samsung’s “High Endurance” microSD card for Tesla to pair it with an SD card reader to form the Tesla USB storage combo. With a transfer speed of 100MB/s, the SD card is temperature-proof and magnetic-proof. 

Tesla SSD USB Drive buying guide:

There are a few key factors to consider while choosing an SSD and USB drive for a Tesla electric car:

Storage Capacity

Tesla’s sentry mode fills up storage space very quickly with hours of security footage. Select a Tesla SSD with the amount of storage you require based on your needs. Normally storing 1 hour of dashcam footage requires 7GB of storage space, and it is even higher for the sentry mode.

Transfer Speeds

Look for drives with high transfer speeds to ensure quick access to your Tesla cam footage in case of emergency. This is particularly important if you keep your pets in the car while you grab items quickly from stores.

Design and Portability

Consider the build material of the Tesla SSD drive and its portability features. Choose compact and lightweight options that are easy to carry around and fit into any third-party USB hubs for Tesla.

Encryption and Security Features

Data security is a priority in electric cars, so choose an SSD drive that offers encryption capabilities and additional security features like password protection. These safety features ensure that your Tesla footage remains protected even if the drive falls into the wrong hands.

Which is Better? SSD vs USB vs Card Readers

Choosing the right external storage device for Tesla’s Sentry mode and Dashcam can be confusing, however, there are three best options to choose from: A Tesla SSD, USB Drive, and a MicroSD and Cardreader combination. The most affordable alternative is a card reader combined with a MicroSD card as external storage followed by USB drives like a USB Flash Drive which offers better read-write speed compared to the MicroSD card. But SSDs are the widely popular option as they offer better speed, durability, performance, and greater storage capacity.

How to Set Up SSD USB drive for Tesla Sentry mode?

Setting up an SSD as external storage for storing Tesla Sentry mode and Dashcam footage is relatively simple. Follow this quick guide to get started:

  1. Connect the SSD to Windows/MAC and format the partition to create a compatible file system.
  2. For MAC create an MS-DOS FAT file system, while FAT32 for Windows.
  3. Label and rename both the partition as ‘TeslaCam’
  4. Connect the SSD USB Drive to Tesla using one of the data-enabled USB ports.
  5. Enable Sentry mode on the Tesla App on your Smartphone.
  6. In the Tesla App select SSD or USB drive as the preferred storage device.
  7. Once successfully paired, configure the Sentry mode to activate manually or automatically when the vehicle is parked.

Conclusion:

When choosing a Tesla SSD or USB drive, we need to consider factors such as storage capacity, data transfer speeds, durability, and security features. We reviewed each of these TEsla SSD and USBs offer unique advantages, so you can select the one that best suits your needs. Ecogears recommends the Samsung T7 Portable SSD and the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD for their exceptional performance and compact design. For Tesla owners seeking ample storage space, the Crucial X8 Portable SSD is a great choice.

Tesla SSD USB FAQ

Do I need an SSD for Tesla?

Considering the lower storage capacity of Tesla, one might need an external SSD to store Tesla cam recordings. SSD is a must to fully enjoy the features of Tesla Sentry mode and DashCam.

Which is the best SSD for the Tesla Model 3?

For Tesla Model 3, the SSD from Samsung and SanDisk are best considering their read and write speed of 1050MB/s and 512GB of storage to record DashCam footage.

Does Tesla come with an SSD?

No, Tesla does not come with an inbuilt SSD. One needs to install an external SSD to record Tesla Sentry mode and DasCam footage for longer durations.

What size SSD do I need for Tesla Models?

The size of the SSD depends on your record duration requirements. One hour of Dashcam footage requires 8GB storage and almost 10 GB for Sentry mode. Going by the calculation, 512GB of SSD will be enough to utilize the features of Sentry mode and Dashcam.

What is Tesla Sentry Mode?

Tesla Sentry Mode is a revolutionary feature that utilizes all the cameras in the car to act as an alarm system, that notifies the owner via app about any theft and can be used later to view the footage.

Can I use a USB flash drive in my Tesla?

USB with high read/write speed can be used in Tesla to store Dashcam footage. Flash drive higher than 128 GB can be used to record footage in Tesla.

How to format SSD drive for Tesla Model 3?

To use SSD as storage in Tesla Model 3 one needs to format the SSD with exFAT file system and create a folder on the SSD with the name “TeslaCam”.

How to format SSD for Tesla Sentry mode?

Following Tesla’s guidelines, one must format the SSD with the FAT32 file system to use as SSD for Tesla Sentry mode.

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