In a rush? Don’t have time to read detailed information about the best hard drive enclosure? We have you covered. This short paragraph should offer sufficient information for you to make a smart choice. Knowing how the longevity of your hard drive is directly affected by the quality of your hard drive enclosure, we did our bit of sleuthing to find the best hard drive enclosure on the market by reading as many expert review sites as we could and going over owner feedback to verify the veracity of the claims in the reviews. This exhaustive research has led us to the best on the market, the Sabrent EC-UASP. The Sabrent EC-UASP lets you maximize the lightning speed of USB 3.0 for fast file transfer up to 5 Gbps. It works both for desktop or laptop units that have available 3.0 USB for connecting any Serial ATA (SATA) II or 2.5-inch SATA Hard Drive. Enjoy added protection for desktop hard drive by formatting the enclosure with a drawer function. This model is the perfect solution for data backup and data transfers as it is backwards compatible with USB 1.1 and 2.0. If the Sabrent EC-UASP is unavailable, it would be wise to go for the second best option available, the Rosewill RX35-AT-IU BLK.
Enabling you to transform an internal hard drive to external, an external hard drive enclosure gives portability to a traditional internal hard drive, making it easy to do data transfer on most operating systems and computers. To ensure that there is reduced probability of data corruption and data loss when using an external hard drive, here’s what to check out when choosing a hard drive enclosure.
Materials and Connection Type
The variety of materials external hard drive enclosures are made of includes metal, aluminum, plastic or a combination of the three. Since hard disk drives do heat up a bit under load, plastic enclosures should be supplemented by a big fan. Do remember that plastic ones with a fan tend to get pretty noisy, which can be annoying when placed on top of your desk. Aluminum is more durable than plastic while being able to keep drives cool at a better level. You might prefer to have a plastic enclosure for portable use when on a 5400-rpm laptop drive. Metal is a bit on the heavy side, but it offers a solid sheath for your precious hard drive.
Majority of external hard drives utilize USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 or FireWire to connect to your computer. USB 2.0 offers a good value choice and broad compatibility but it has the poorest performance among all existing connectivities. The type of ports available as well as the type of system you use will dictate what is suitable. Of course, should both types of ports be available with what you have, you will need to decide on the connectivity type you will go for. FireWire 1394a has a lower theoretical bandwidth compared to USB 2.0, but its actual data transfer rate is more or less the same. For Macbooks, the slightly faster FireWire 800 interface is included, with a few external hard drives having this connector. The fastest available interface for data recovery is USB 3.0, which is backwards compatible with USB 2.0. However, USB 3.0 is less common than USB 2.0, with Mac having adopted the format only in mid-2012.
Interface and Size
Two interfaces are available in internal hard drives: IDE and SATA. Nowadays, SATA hard drives are more common because they offer better performance by offering large memory cache. They also boast faster overall transfer rates and higher revolutions per minute (RPM). SATA hard drive enclosures are usable with SATA based internal hard drives.
When talking about size, this denotes physical size rather than hard drive capacity, so your choice will depend on the internal hard drive type you use. Two sizes are available: 3.5-inch hard drives, which are used in desktop computers; and 2.5-inch ones used for laptop and notebooks. 3.5-inch models are not only cheaper but are also faster and bigger, but you will have to stick with the latter when upgrading your laptop.
Number of Bays
You can choose from single and dual bay enclosures. The ability to take two internal hard drives instead of just one is an advantage in dual layer enclosures. This proves to be extremely useful when a large amount of portable hard drive space is needed, as in power computer usage. You can always get a second external hard drive enclosure when greater expansion space will be needed. You might also want a model with ethernet port to simplify connectivity.
Ease of Installation and Use
Basically, installation of the hard drive into the enclosure should be easy. It will only entail opening of the enclosure, then mounting the hard drive with the provided screws, connecting the internal power and data cables to the drive, and then putting the cover back on the enclosure. Most hard drive enclosures today do not carry sufficient ability to handle heat dissipation. This is attributed to the fact that hard drives are not really designed to be bolted down in an enclosure in the first place, especially when the enclosure offers no clearance on any side of the hard drive. Normally, the hard drive should be in a computer case, which provides adequate airflow to ensure that the drives stay cool under load. Even aluminum enclosures are poor heat sinks.
That being said, the consumer should just be careful about how the drives are removed or parked. Most hard drive enclosures feature a built-in switch to turn the drive off once safely removed in Windows. When there’s too much noise during shut down, it means the heads are parked too fast, which can damage the fragile disks, corrupt the data and ruin the physical drive. If this happens, you should just have the product replaced instead of compromising the integrity of the drive. Make sure the hard drive enclosure has compatibility with external power to ensure optimum performance. Rubber shock mounting is also present in many models so the drive is protected in case of accidental dropping of the enclosure.
There are hundreds of hard drive enclosures on the market to choose from. We hope the buying guide above will enable you to make a sensible purchase. To help you further, we present some top rated hard drive enclosures below.
Top Hard drive enclosures in 2019
There are millions of Americans that own external hard drives and need to protect them. This is why so many are now trying to identify the ideal hard drive enclosure, capable of delivering precise security to every product. In order to help people identify durable hard drive enclosures that keep different types of hard drives safe, we managed to write the best hard drive enclosure reviews. After going with attention through over 45 models, we determined that you could opt with confidence for five products. We picked these hard drive enclosures due to their utility and the security they provide against external harmful agents.
Boasting a tool-free design that makes it easy to install, the Sabrent EC-UASP is engineered for effortless plug-and-play setup. It can support standard notebook 2.5-inch SATA hard drives. It needs no drivers for convenient installation and features an LED light that indicates both power and activity status. This enclosure is designed to be 70 percent faster compared to traditional USB 3.0 thanks to the onboard UASP Transfer Protocol that is able to quicken the speed of read and write of the SSD hard disk. This means files up to 5 Gbps can be quickly transferred. Enjoy additional protection for your hard drive when you format this sheath with a drawer function.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($8.99)
Sabrent USB 3.0 SATA
According to the current best hard drive enclosure reviews it seems that the Sabrent USB 3.0 SATA is a popular choice for business owners. This powerful hard drive enclosure gives you access to lightning speed transfer rates through the USB 3.0 port. You have the possibility to transfer different types of files by up to 5 Gbps with impressive speeds. All you need to do is connect it to any 3.5” Serial ATA or SATA II hard drive. Your hard drive will be protected, even after long sessions. Your computer needs to run on Windows Vista and 7 in order to properly work!
Click to see the price on Amazon!
Once you find the best hard drive enclosure -, your product will be protected. According to recent reviews, coming from users and specialists, it seems that the Mediasonic ProBox 3.5” SATA Hard Drive enclosure represents a great addition. This powerful device can convert your 3.5” SATA hard disk drive into an external drive. All you have to do is plug and play for Mac and PC! In addition, the device ensures a quick transfer rate by up to 5 Gbps through the 3.0 USB! You should know that the portable storage system ensures the right storage parameters for music files, photography, videos and data.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($19.99)
Connectland USB 2.0
It is pretty important to invest in a powerful external enclosure for your hard drive. Out of the many products currently available on the market, you can decide to learn more things about the ConnectlandUSB 2.0 External enclosure. As one of the best hard drive enclosures in 2019, this model comes with USB 2.0 external enclosure system. In addition, the device has a precise aluminum external enclosure ideal to use on SATA hard disk. It is complaint with USB 2.0 and also USB v1.1. This high quality enclosure is powered by 2A external power adapter for extensive use day and night.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($21.99)
Mediasonic HF2-SU3S2 ProBox
There are thousands of Americans searching for a professional hard drive enclosure. Today, the multitude of products available on the market can make things pretty confusing. Yet, there are some hard drive enclosure models that stand out in quality and efficiency. One of the products that simply impresses through quality and performance is the Mediasonic HF2-SU3S2 ProBox. This high quality hard drive is perfect for 3.5” SATA I, II and III. It can support with ease 4 HDDs of various brands and at an impressive capacity of 3 TB per drive. With this hard drive enclosure in your possession, you will enjoy heightened protection for your data storage.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($109.99)
Rosewill RX35-AT-IU BLK
Searching for top rated hard drive enclosure – can take quite a bit from your time without consulting relevant information. You have the possibility to invest in the Rosewill RX35-AT-IU BLK hard drive enclosure. This powerful device was designed with attention for people that are always on the run. It has a lightweight deign for easy portability from one place to another. In addition, the hard drive was designed with an aluminum material that manages to dissipate heat. It can support impressive transfer rates by up to 480 Mbps through USB 2.0 port. The enclosure can support a HDD of up to 25.4 mm height!
Buy from Amazon.com for ($30.99)