Toshiba Canvio Connect II vs Basics Title Image

Toshiba refreshed their external hard drive line up.

And the Canvio Advance replaced your Toshiba Canvio Connect II.

Now that your Canvio Connect II is sunset.

And you’re looking at a replacement drive. Or for another drive to sit alongside your Connect II.

Either way you’re curious. So how does the Canvio Basics or the Canvio Advance compare?​

When you’re connecting these drives to a Mac.

Recommended Drive Toshiba Canvio Basics

Canvio Basics Front

Toshiba Canvio Basics

Pros of your Toshiba Canvio Basics and Advance

  • The Basics and Advance drives were refreshed and made available January 2019
  • You can buy your Canvio Advance in Red, Blue, White and Black. You can choose the color you like
  • External drive capacities 1TB, 2TB and 4TB. Larger 4TB available
  • They also have Internal shock sensor and ramp loading technology

Pros of your Toshiba Canvio Connect II

  • Attractive colors. Red, Blue, Black. Aluminum was available on the premium Connect II
  • External drive capacities 500 GB, 1TB, 2TB and 3TB
  • Internal shock sensor and ramp loading technology

Cons of your Toshiba Canvio Basics and Advance

  • Basics is in matt black only
  • Same as the Connect II. USB 2.0 backwards compatibility mode is not recommended for Macs with USB 2.0 only ports
  • Also no direct Thunderbolt connectivity for your newest Macs. You’ll have to use an adaptor
  • Will need reformatting to use on your Mac. Or you use a software driver on your Mac

Cons of Your Toshiba Canvio Connect II

  • USB 2.0 backwards compatibility mode is not recommended for Macs with USB 2.0 ports
  • No direct Thunderbolt connectivity for your newest Macs. You’ll need an adaptor
  • Will need reformatting to Use on a Mac. Or you use the Tuxera driver available from Toshiba

T​​​​​he Verdict: Toshiba Canvio Connect II Vs Basics and Canvio Advance​​​​​

Your Toshiba Basics. All is revealed in the name.  Is a basic external hard drive.

But when you look at the Connect II and the Canvio Advance there is a lot that’s basic about them as well.

And when you compare the three drives side by side there is little to separate them.

They can all be used on your Mac.

And are similar sizes. But now you’ve a 4TB drive on the Basics and the Advance. And if you need a 4TB drive at a good price. And you’re not bothered about flash colors then the Basics is for you.

Comparison At a Glance Toshiba Canvio Connect II vs Toshiba Basics vs Toshiba Advance

You’ll find the Toshiba Canvio Connect II on Amazon called the Classic style.  Available while stocks last.​

Canvio Basics Front

Canvio Basics

Colors: Black

​Warranty: 1 Year

Toshiba Canvio Advance Red

Canvio Advance

Colors: Red, Blue, White, Black

​Warranty: 2 Years

Toshiba Canvio Connect II Range Of Colors

Canvio Connect II

Colors: Black, Blue Red

​Warranty: 2 Years

Toshiba Canvio Connect II, Canvio Basics and Advance Compatibility with Mac

You’ll want to know how your Toshiba Canvio drives work on a Mac.

All three external hard drives come preformatted as NTFS.

This is typical of much of the external hard drive market place.

Macs can read NTFS drives but cannot write to them.

This means you can copy documents. And other files from all these drives and put them on your Mac to work on them there.

But you can’t update documents on the drives. Or put new files on the drives.

Only if you use driver software. Or you reformat.

Toshiba Canvio Advance

Toshiba Canvio Advance White

Toshiba Canvio Advance Take A Sneaky Peak At The Review

Toshiba Canvio Connect II Tuxera NTFS Driver for Mac

You can use the Canvio Connect II without reformatting on Mac. This is because Toshiba provided a Tuxera NTFS driver.

The driver leaves the Connect II formatted as NTFS and lets your Mac use it that way.

You install the driver software on your Mac.

The software works on El Capitan and Sierra. And this highlights the issue with using this type of software. Does it support the latest version of your Mac operating system?

Because if it doesn’t then you’ll be trouble.

You can download the software direct from Toshiba via this link.

Click on the Knowledge Base tab. Select the link How to Update Tuxera NTFS for Mac OS X “El Capitan” or “Sierra”. And you’ll find the software driver there with instructions.

If you want to use an NTFS driver on your Mac for your Canvio Basics external drive you’ll have to pay for one.

​You can check out my document here that talks through the available NTFS drivers for Mac.

Toshiba Basics YouTube Video

You may be interested in this 2 minutes 35 seconds video. It shows what is in the Toshiba Canvio Basics box when you buy.

Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB Portable External Hard Drive

Video Credit: SuperFjordmannen

Reformat Your Canvio Connect II, Canvio Basics or Advance for Your Mac

The best way is to reformat all these drives to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) file system.

Unless you already have files on them.

This is the format you should choose when you plan to use either the Canvio Connect II. Or your Canvio Basics Or Advance only on your Mac.

You can then freely drag and drop your files. Copy and paste to and from either external hard drive.

Or use your Connect II, Advance or your basics for a Time Machine backup of your Mac.

And it’s so easy to do.

You’ll find an article on the site that explains how to do it.

​You use this link and in about 5 minutes you’ll have either hard drive formatted for your Mac.

Toshiba Canvio Basics
Toshiba Canvio Basics

Want to Share the Connect II, Advance or Canvio Basics Between a Mac and a Windows PC?

Again easily done.

And you’ll have no need for a software driver on your Mac.

Simply format either drive to ExFAT.

Then your Mac and your Windows PC can read and write.

Or drag and drop, copy and paste to the Connect II, Advance or Basics.

You’ll find this document ‘External Hard Drive for Mac and PC with Data Interchangeable‘ explains how.

One thing you should know is that the ExFAT file system does not support Time Machine backups.

But if you’ve a large enough drive then you can partition. Then you can have an area for sharing. And an area for your Time Machine​ backups.

The perfect use when you’ve bought a large enough external hard drive.

So now you’ve seen how your Mac would use all the Toshiba Canvio drives on your Mac.

Time to look at other areas where we compare these external hard drives.

How are the Connect II, Canvio Basics and Canvio Advanced Powered?

All the drives are powered from the USB 3.0 port on your Mac.

This means there is no need for you to think about carrying around a separate power cable. All Toshiba Canvio external drives take their power and send your files backwards and forwards using the USB cable.

Have an older Mac with USB 2.0 ports?

Be aware that all the Canvio drives draw quite a bit of power.

And there are reports of these drives not working well on Macs with USB 2.0 ports.

Apple ports stick strictly to the power draw standards of USB 2.0.

And these Toshibas seem to draw more power than the standard.

You should consider using a powered USB hub to connect these hard drives. Rather than plugging straight into your USB 2.0 Mac.

Plugging in Your Connect II, Canvio Advance or the Basics into your Mac

The Canvio Connect II, Canvio Advance and the Canvio Basics have a single USB 3.0 Micro B port on the hard drive itself.

USB Plug in of Canvio Connect II
USB A Plug in of Canvio Connect II

You’ll find the USB cables shipped with the drives have USB type A ports at the end that plugs into your Mac.

Canvio Basics USB 3.0 Port
Canvio Basics USB 3.0 Port

And USB B Micro at the end that plugs into the drive.

Bet you’re thinking so what?

Canvio Connect II or the Canvio Advance or Basics On Macs with USB C or Thunderbolt Ports

Look and you’ll notice that the type A connector doesn’t plug into your Mac’s USB C, Thunderbolt port.

Because of backwards compatibility in the USB standards, you’ll just need an adaptor cable.

Then you can plug the drives right in.

You’ll need to get yourself a USB C to USB A adaptor.

Or a USB cable that is USB C at one end and USB B Micro at the other end. 

They are freely available on Amazon.

Use any of these drives and forget about the price premium you pay for Thunderbolt drives.

Over all design of the Canvio Basics, Canvio Advance and Connect II

When you compare the three drives they are all a good portable size. And you’ve a simple straight forward design.

The Canvio Basics comes in matt black only.

The Canvio Connect II is in black plus red, and blue, the premium range was available in Aluminum.

You’ll find the Canvio Advance comes in Red, Blue, White and Black.

Toshiba Canvio Advance Range of Colors
Toshiba Canvio Advance Range of Colors

The Advance has a high gloss finish. Lovely to look at. But you won’t stop cleaning your fingerprints off.

Size and Weight Compared

You’ll see in the table below that the new Canvio Basics and Advance is a shade smaller and lighter than the Canvio Connect II. Though you’d hardly notice the difference between the three.

Toshiba Drives : 1​TB & 2TB

Basics : 4.3 x 3.1 x 0.55 in

Advance : 4.3 x 3.1 x 0.55 in

Connect II : 4.3 x 3.1 x 0.8 in

Toshiba Drives : 3TB & 4TB

Basics : No 3TB, 4TB: 4.3 x 3.1 x 0.77 in

Advance : No 3TB, 4TB: 4.3 x 3.1 x 0.77 in

Connect II : 4.4 x 3.2 x 0.82 in, No 4TB


Toshiba Drives : 1​TB & 2TB

Basics : 5.3 oz.

Advance : 5.3 oz.

Connect II : 5.8 oz.

Toshiba Drives : 3TB & 4TB

Basics : No 3TB, 4TB: 7.7 oz.

Advance : No 3TB, 4TB: 7.7 oz.

Connect II : 8.2 oz., No 4TB

Hard Drive Capacity Canvio Connect II, Canvio Advance and Basics Compared

The Canvio Basics and the Canvio Advance drives now has 4TB as the largest drive capacity.

Toshiba Drives Capacity
Basics 1TB, 2TB, 4TB
Advance 1TB, 2TB, 4TB
Connect II 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 3TB

When you’re thinking about the amount of capacity you need from a hard drive. It pays to look at what you’d like to use the external hard drive for.

As a place to store your photos?

Then look at the amount of space your photos take up all on your Mac and on your iPad and iPhone.

Then add room to grow.

Want your drive to store Time Machine backups?

Check how much space you’re actually using on your Mac. And  double to give yourself room to grow into the backup drive.

Canvio Connect II Security

You buy the Canvio Connect II NTI software. This software allows you to set a password, and encrypt your files. A boon for those travelling with their hard drive. Should you lose your drive your files will be safe.

Be aware the Toshiba password and data encryption uses the NTI software that you install on your Mac.

Should anything happen to your Mac causing a rebuild. You’ll not be able to get to your data without this piece of software on your Mac.

If the software you need is in a backup on your Connect II. But you can’t get to the drive because you can’t get to the software you will be in a right bind.

And users have hit this problem.

You may decide with your Mac it’s better to use the software on your Mac.

Disk Utility allows you to encrypt your files and set a password.

And as it is part of your Mac OS.

This means that if you need to rebuild your Mac. You’ll have access to your external hard drive. As long as you haven’t forgotten your password.

Canvio Basics and Canvio Advance Security

Neither Canvio Basics or the Canvio Advance have inbuilt password protection or encryption.

Although there is nothing stopping you from formatting the drives with Disk Utility. And putting on the Mac provided password protection. And encrypt your files if you want.

Toshiba Canvio Advance YouTube Video

This fun 1 minute 32 second promotional video shows off the Canvio Advance. Have a look.

Toshiba Canvio Advance Take Life Anywhere

Video Credit: Toshiba TAEC

Canvio Connect II, Canvio Advance and Canvio Basics Shock Protection

All these hard drives have Toshiba’s proprietary internal shock sensor. Along with their ramp loading technology.

What does this mean?

All the drives are mechanical drives. All mechanical drives are vulnerable to bangs and shakes causing drive errors. Or even the entire hard drive to fail.

The Toshiba technology offers your drive some protection.

Absorbing knocks and shakes while the drive is working.

Although you should aim to use all drives on a firm surface. And get yourself a protective cover for when you’re carrying them around.

What do the Canvio Connect II, Basics and Advance Users Think?

All the external hard drives have decent percentages of 5 star reviews on Amazon.

Including reviews from Mac owners.

And the majority of users are happy with the drives.

What’s in the Canvio Connect II, Advance and Basics Boxes

​In all boxes you get each external hard drive

  • ​A USB 3.0 cable
  • Quick start guide ​
  • ​Warranty paperwork

There’s only the quick start guide which is brief. You’ll find it covers the bare minimum. There is no manual.

Depending on where you plan to use the drives you may want to think about a longer USB cable. As the USB cables that comes with the drives are about 18 inches long.

Limited Warranties Compared

Toshiba sells the Canvio Advance with 2 years limited warranty, just like its predecessor the Canvio Connect II.

The Canvio Basics is sold with 1 years limited warranty.

​The Canvio Connect II was sold with 2 years limited warranty.

Toshiba Drives Warranty
Basics 1 Year
Advance 2 Years
Connect II 2 Years

Last Words on the Toshiba Canvio Connect II vs Canvio Basics vs Canvio Advance

I hope you enjoyed my article Toshiba Canvio Connect II vs Basics vs Advance Which For Mac. Just because the three drives come NTFS formatted there is no reason you can’t use them on your Mac.

Follow the guides I have on the site and in no time you’ll these drives up and running.

Related Documents

Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB Review, 9 Points for a Mac User

Toshiba Canvio Advance for Mac A Review for a Mac User

How to Use Toshiba External Hard Drive on Mac [Solved]

Toshiba External Hard Drive Not Working On Mac (13 Fixes 4U)