Best SSD for Tesla Sentry Mode

Best SSD for Tesla Sentry Mode

March 5, 2020 Off By Bruno Maiorana

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When it comes to discussing Tesla Sentry Mode, the first sentiment you find is praise by satisfied car owners. It makes a lot of sense, since the feature has opened doors to a safety mechanism like no other. 


But apart from glowing reviews about Tesla Sentry Mode, you can also find a lot of questions that crop up around the feature and what it brings to the table. New Tesla owners are often figuring out how the system actually works. Whereas, seasoned owners of Tesla models have more specific questions such as finding the best solid-state drive (SSD) for Tesla Sentry Mode. 


Since Tesla Sentry Mode information is readily available at the manufacturer’s official website, finding general descriptions on the feature isn’t much difficult. But thanks to an abundance of information on the web, delving into specifications such as the best SSD for Tesla Sentry Mode is still a challenge. 


Finding the Best SSD to Work With Tesla Sentry Mode


With everyone and their brother doling out vastly different Tesla SSD recommendations without much explanation, it can be pretty daunting to cut through the clutter and find logical suggestions.


In order to help you get the information you really need, here’s a detailed guide about the best SSD for Tesla Sentry Mode. From finding an optimal storage device to knowing exactly why it works with Tesla Sentry Mode, these details will help you make an informed decision that will keep your investment safe for a long time.




What is Tesla Sentry Mode?


Before you jump into Tesla SSD recommendations, it is important to get an overview of Tesla Sentry Mode itself. This information is exceptionally helpful if you have recently become the proud owner of an upscale Tesla model and need further information about this coveted feature. 


As a modern security feature, Tesla Sentry Mode uses the Tesla Dashcam mechanism to monitor the surroundings of your car when it’s parked. When someone gets too close to your car with potentially threatful intentions, Sentry Mode can also send direct alerts to your phone via the Tesla app. 


But apart from that, Tesla Sentry Mode also uses an alert mechanism to sound alarm and blast music when the sensors detect someone threatening the security of your car. 

In addition to these security features, Sentry Mode also records security footage to your dashcam universal serial bus (USB) storage device such as a thumb drive or SSD. This allows your car’s camera to record video footage around your car in cases such as hit and run, vandalism and attempted theft. By viewing the recorded footage later, you can report suspects to law enforcement more effectively and make sure that you can get to people who flake out after accidentally hitting or deliberately harming your car. 


Needless to say, the Sentry Mode feature is helpful in every sense of the word. But seeing that it depends on a storage device to record video footage, more and more Tesla owners are on the lookout to find the best SSD for Tesla Sentry Mode. 


But finding such a device is not as easy as it may seem. It’s because Tesla Sentry Mode has a few functionalities that require very specific features in its USB storage devices. With that being said, once you understand these requirements and the reason behind them, it gets easy to make your way through the plethora of suggestions and find an SSD that actually fits this specific usage model the best. 


What Kind of SSD Features Are Optimal for Tesla Sentry Mode?


In order to discern between an array of Tesla SSD recommendations, it is essential to know how Tesla Sentry Mode records and stores its data. This helps you tell between the most pressing features that an SSD should boast of in order to work with this premium security feature. 


While Tesla Sentry Mode is recording video footage, it stores it directly to your USB storage device. While premium USB flash drives can handle this requirement pretty easily, some models fall short of the rapid write speeds that Tesla Sentry Mode requires out of them for optimal performance. This is why, many Tesla owners opt to find the best SSD for Tesla Sentry Mode instead of going with a USB thumb drive.


It’s because modern USB flash drives can achieve data transfer speeds of 300 mb/s on an average basis, but the hardware model of an SSD allows for average transfer speeds of over 500 mb/s. The difference is clear as day and ensures that if Tesla mechanisms need faster writing speeds, your existing device also has them.


Apart from writing speed, a portable SSD also sports relatively more durability than an average USB drive. It’s due to the structure of the hardware, which provides the model with more reliable data storage capabilities than a USB drive or even a traditional hard disk drive (HDD) for that matter. 


The next requirement that comes with using Tesla Sentry Mode is how much storage it requires. While devices with even lower storage models such as 64 GB can sometimes work well with Tesla Sentry Mode, it is always recommended that you go for the most storage you can afford without spending a ridiculous amount of money.

Why? It’s due to the way Tesla Sentry Mode saves its data. As mentioned above, the system constantly writes data on the storage device. With it, it also has a default feature to delete all footage overtime except for the last 1 hour of recordings. With that being said, it also adds 10-minute videos to a “Saved Clips” folder when it deems the footage particularly important for you to watch later. You can also save clips manually to archive footage that you think is important. 


The footage that is moved to the Saved Clips folder lives in the storage device forever. Even when Sentry Mode does its cleanup and deletes older footage, it doesn’t touch these files at all. This means that you might need way more than bare minimum storage in case you need to avoid problems with storage in the future. This is the reason why the most helpful Tesla SSD recommendations carry a very clear note to go for the maximum storage you can.


In addition to that, the way that Tesla Sentry Mode keeps removing old files and adding new data on the storage device also calls for a device that can handle rapid rewrites without any issues. An SSD is far more suitable for this purpose than a USB drive. 


As you may have deduced by now, all of these requirements call for a premium SSD that sports all the latest features. But even when you think that it will cost you an arm and a leg to procure one, it doesn’t have to. 


The Best SSD for Tesla Sentry Mode


Whether you take pride in being a tech-savvy individual or simply use data transfer devices for work and personal use, you must have heard about the reputation of Samsung as a frontrunner in modern storage solutions. With this in mind, it is no surprise to see that the renowned brand is also behind what’s largely deemed as the best SSD for Tesla Sentry Mode.


Originally released in 2017, the Samsung T5 Portable SSD gets the crown of being the ideal SSD for Tesla Sentry Mode due to more than one reason. 


Not only does the SSD offer what the manufacturer calls “ultra fast” speeds, but it also comes in a sleek design that spells durability in bold letters. This means that the SSD has what it takes to rapidly write data while also storing it in a secure way. 


Before we delve into the nitty-gritty of Samsung T5, here’s what the device has to offer at a glance in general as well as for Tesla Sentry Mode.


NameStorageSpeedUSB Version/TypeDimensions
Samsung T5 Portable SSD250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB, 2 TBUp to 540 MB/sUSB 3.1
USB Type-CUSB Type-A
0.4” x 2.9” x 2.3”


With various storage capacities, superb writing speeds, and support for multiple devices as well as your Tesla USB ports, the compact Samsung T5 ticks all the right boxes for Tesla SSD recommendations.

The Good


Now that you have a summarized view of the Samsung T5, you know what to expect from it. But in order to understand exactly why it snags the title of being the best SSD for Tesla Sentry Mode, let’s go into a little more detail into each aspect of the device. 



Starting from the storage, the Samsung T5 has more than a few options for you to select from.


Even the most modest of these options starts at a whopping 250 GB. But if you want even more storage space out of the same sized SSD, you can go for a 500 GB, 1 TB, or even a 2 TB model.


Those are all great storage options, with the 2 TB being fit for those who want to save their precious data on a device that has minimal chances of failure. But when it comes to using the device with the Tesla Sentry Mode, going for the maximum storage option is just overkill. You can do just as well with the starting storage option of 256 GB.


There’s a very good reason for that. As mentioned earlier in this guide, Tesla Sentry Mode can even work fine at moderate storage capacities such as 64 GB. Tesla SSD recommendations only advise you to go with a higher storage because Sentry Mode can sometimes save a lot of data in its Saved Clips. In such cases, it’s better to be safe than sorry and have a data storage capacity that goes beyond the minimum requirement.


For this reason, even going with the cheapest option of 250 GB in the Samsung T5 SSD model gives you plenty of storage space to pair up with Sentry Mode. If you want to throw a little more storage power behind your SSD, then you can go for the 500 GB model as well. 


This ability to offer larger storage capacities at lower price points makes the Samsung T5 an optimal storage option to use with Tesla Sentry Mode. 



This is where the Samsung T5 really gets the opportunity to shine as the best SSD for Tesla Sentry


With Vertical NAND (V-NAND) technology, the Samsung T5 goes beyond average data transfer speeds and clocks up to 540 MB/s. This makes the Samsung T5 one of the fastest SSDs available in the market in its class. It also sets the SSD as an ideal candidate for a system such as Tesla Sentry Mode that has consistent rewriting requirements.


While the Samsung T5 SSD doesn’t necessarily top its maximum speeds consistently with Tesla Sentry Mode, it still goes far and beyond what USB flash drives can. This is why, it ranks right at the top of almost every Tesla SSD recommendations list, whether it’s curated by experts or by someone who has used more than a few storage options with their personal Tesla model. 

These speeds also come in handy when you are not using the Samsung T5 with your Tesla Sentry Mode itself, but instead need to utilize it with another computer for fast data transfers. For instance, if you want to transfer video footage to your own computer or need to share certain clips with law enforcement or legal personnel, you can cut through the times it takes to copy large files to another device. 


This feature of impressive speed makes the Samsung T5 an ideal choice to couple with the Tesla Sentry Mode. 


USB Version/Type

Due to being a modern device that was built with long term investment in mind, the Samsung T5 uses the latest USB 3.1 Gen2 structure. In addition to the V-NAND technology, using this USB standard gives the SSD the incredible speeds that it has become known for. 


The USB 3.1 standard is compatible with modern Tesla models without any issues. This makes the Samsung T5 perfect to couple with the Tesla Sentry Mode. 


In addition to that, the Samsung T5 is also backwards compatible. This means that it can work without any problems with older computers that use the USB 2.0 or 3.0 standard. While the limitations of these ports cause the SSD to transfer data at slower speeds, it still executes the transfer flawlessly. This compatibility is very useful for any Tesla owner who has to share certain videos between older computers without running into system compatibility issues. 


The Samsung T5 is built with a USB Type-C port integrated into it. But it comes with USB Type-C to C as well as a USB Type-C to A cable. This ensures that the device is compatible with modern computers as well as your Tesla USB ports. It also future proofs the device for when USB-C slowly becomes the standard for most modern devices – which is already underway with flagship devices and computers using the port in their latest iterations. These small but impactful features are just a couple of reasons why the storage device is deemed as the best SSD for Tesla Sentry Mode. 


Dimensions and Built

The Samsung T5 sports a sleek and modern design that boasts of clean lines and projects a striking visual through its metal exterior. Available in black, gold, blue and red, the SSD is as bold in its looks as it is in its performance.


With dimensions of 0.4” x 2.9” x 2.3” and weight of just about 18oz, the Samsung T5 is one of the smallest SSDs that you can find. While it can fit in the palm of your hand, its compact size doesn’t diminish its impressive specifications.  


But aesthetic aside, Samsung T5 holds something more feature-friendly in its built. Due to its metal body and the way that it has been designed, the device has a shock resistant structure that provides you with added security for your data in case you ever end up dropping it by accident. 


These features come together to provide you with an SSD device that actually fulfills all logical Tesla SSD recommendations, while also easily meeting every expectation that you can hold from the latest portable storage solutions. 



Even when you put all of these specifications aside, the price point of Samsung T5 is one feature that is enough to sing its praises as the best SSD for Tesla Sentry Mode.


The Samsung T5 is available at far lower prices by various retailers. Frequent discounts and special offers bring the cost down by a significant amount, and make the Samsung T5 an even more affordable option than its list prices make you think. In some cases, the costs are brought down by at least one-third. In others, they go even lower. 


This means that if you are looking for an affordable SSD for your Tesla Sentry Mode, you do not have to compromise on any features. The Samsung T5 makes it easy for you to strike the perfect balance between features and affordability.


The Bad


The Samsung T5 doesn’t really have any negative features for its users. But it does fall short in some secluded cases where it doesn’t format according to  Tesla SSD recommendations for Sentry Mode. 


Here’s what this secluded issue looks like.


Tesla Sentry Mode and Dashcam require a storage device with the FAT32 file format to work properly. Samsung T5 covers this requirement completely. But there have been cases where users have not been able to get their Samsung T5 to work after formatting it with the FAT32 file format. 


With that being said, there is a very minimal amount of these cases. A vast majority of users define that they have been using their Samsung T5 with their Tesla Sentry Mode for a long time without any issues – including when they first formatted their SSD with FAT32. 


Where Can You Buy It?


The Samsung T5 is available at major retailers at discounted prices. You can also find it at a broad variety of locations, where you can order the best SSD for Tesla Sentry Mode in just a few clicks. Here‘s the Amazon link, and here’s the link to the original retailer (Samsung).


Once again, the 250 GB or 500 GB models can serve your needs for Tesla Sentry Mode perfectly. But if you do have cash to spare, then upgrading to a higher storage model completely depends upon your discretion. Whichever model you end up choosing, you can rest assured that the Samsung T5 will be one of the best accessories you ever purchase for your Tesla.


UPDATE: There seems to be a new player in the game. Their name is Pure Tesla, they are slightly cheaper than their competitors and they sell pre-formatted Tesla USB drives. Click here to check check them out.