5 Best External Hard Drive Enclosure Review & Comparison

Best external hard drive enclosures

Ready to learn about the best HDD or SSD enclosure? Then you have come to the right place. I have scoped out some of the best external hard drive enclosure so that all your storage needs will be met and more.

Just what is a hard drive enclosure? This is a specially made chassis, or cover, or case that holds and protects hard disc drives. The enclosure helps the drives to communicate with other devices and computers at the same time. If you broke open the enclosure, you would find a power supply and some data supply portions as well. The terms disk enclosure and hard drive enclosure can be used interchangeably as they mean the same thing.

The purpose of these devices is to make up for what a standard computer might lack in terms of space. Many old-standard computers come with 40 to 120 gigs of space, which is not enough for some of us. That’s where an external hard disk enclosure comes in place. The enclosure also keeps hard drives nice and safe.

Best External Hard Drive Enclosure Comparison Table

Name
ORICO USB3.0 to SATA III 2.5" External...
Sabrent 2.5-Inch SATA to USB 3.0...
AmazonBasics 3.5-inches SATA HDD Hard...
RSHTECH Hard Drive Enclosure USB 3.0 to...
Mediasonic ProBox HF2-SU3S2 4 Bay 3.5"...
Preview
ORICO USB3.0 to SATA III 2.5" External...
Sabrent 2.5-Inch SATA to USB 3.0...
AmazonBasics 3.5-inches SATA HDD Hard...
RSHTECH Hard Drive Enclosure USB 3.0 to...
Mediasonic ProBox HF2-SU3S2 4 Bay 3.5"...
Port
Port3.0 to SATA gens I/II/III
2.5 in SATA drives, USB 3.0/USB 2.0
SATA I/II/III, USB 2.0/3.0
3.5 inch SATA I/II/III /HD, USB 3.0
2.5" SATA SSD / HDD (with bracket) 3.5" SATA I / II / III USB 3.0
Material
ABS plastic, Brushed texture
Plastic
Plastic
Aluminum
Plastic
Tool-Free
Name
ORICO USB3.0 to SATA III 2.5" External...
Preview
ORICO USB3.0 to SATA III 2.5" External...
Port
Port3.0 to SATA gens I/II/III
Material
ABS plastic, Brushed texture
Tool-Free
Name
Sabrent 2.5-Inch SATA to USB 3.0...
Preview
Sabrent 2.5-Inch SATA to USB 3.0...
Port
2.5 in SATA drives, USB 3.0/USB 2.0
Material
Plastic
Tool-Free
Name
AmazonBasics 3.5-inches SATA HDD Hard...
Preview
AmazonBasics 3.5-inches SATA HDD Hard...
Port
SATA I/II/III, USB 2.0/3.0
Material
Plastic
Tool-Free
Name
RSHTECH Hard Drive Enclosure USB 3.0 to...
Preview
RSHTECH Hard Drive Enclosure USB 3.0 to...
Port
3.5 inch SATA I/II/III /HD, USB 3.0
Material
Aluminum
Tool-Free
Name
Mediasonic ProBox HF2-SU3S2 4 Bay 3.5"...
Preview
Mediasonic ProBox HF2-SU3S2 4 Bay 3.5"...
Port
2.5" SATA SSD / HDD (with bracket) 3.5" SATA I / II / III USB 3.0
Material
Plastic
Tool-Free

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1. ORICO USB 3.0 to SATA III 2.5″ External Hard Drive Enclosure

ORICO USB3.0 to SATA III 2.5" External Hard Drive Enclosure for 7mm and 9.5mm 2.5 Inch SATA HDD/SSD Tool Free [UASP Supported] Black(2189U3)

Our first pick is there for a reason, it’s a great price and does all we need! You get support for SATA I/II/III, and USB 3.0 so transfers will be pretty darn fast. You may also use USB 2.0. The rate is 5 Gbps, and I want to mention that it supports UASP SuperSpeed USB 3.0 which goes 20% faster than traditional USB 3.0. There will be no time wasted! The drive supports Windows 8, Windows 10, Mac OS 8, 9 and up.

The installation is fast and easy. There are no tools needed to get your drive encased safely inside. There is also a shock pad inside so everything will fit snugly and in the event of an impact, will stay protected. There is a nice LED light that will inform you whenever the drive is on, no need to disconnect and reconnect the drive over and over again to find out. This looks super sitting on a desk and is perfect for everyone from college students to working professionals-truly an example of the best HDD enclosure.

2. Sabrent 2.5 Inch SATA to USB 3.0 Tool-Free External Hard Drive Enclosure

Sabrent 2.5-Inch SATA to USB 3.0 Tool-Free External Hard Drive Enclosure [Optimized for SSD, Support UASP SATA III] Black (EC-UASP)

Here we have a cool enclosure that might have you mistaking it for one of those hard shell wallets!  Well, wait for a moment-because this combines the toughness of those wallets with the convenience and safety of a quality plastic drive enclosure. The top opens up and closes again easily without the use of tools. The HDD enclosure supports all 2.5 SATA drives and also makes use of USB 3.0 to get things transferring fast. Also, you can look forward to the 5 Gbps transfer speed, which will make your work go a lot quicker.

Everything is hot-swappable, and you need not worry about installing any drivers. This is Plug and Play hardware at its finest. One thing I really liked is that this is ideal for getting stuff off that really old computers-it is compatible with Windows XP/Vista/7 and 8. Of course, 10 is supported, but I love the idea of being able to get old stuff from childhood back again! Everything is very user-friendly and we liked the power LED lights that showed us the device was in fact on and working. The price is right too, at under $10 we can all keep our stuff safe.

3. AmazonBasics 3.5-inches SATA HDD Hard Drive Enclosure

AmazonBasics 3.5-inches SATA HDD Hard Drive Enclosure - USB 3.0

Here is a competitively priced and top quality AmazonBasics enclosure. This 3.5-inch enclosure will support most 3.5 inch SATA I/II/III gen HDDs. This is powered by AC and features a DC12V power connection. There is also an on/off switch as well as a USB port.

You will like the indicator light that tells you if it’s connected or not, and the 5 Gbps transfer speeds mean you do not have to worry about data taking forever to transfer. No drivers are needed to begin enjoying this enclosure. You can just Plug and Play your way to safe data storage. Your data will not only be extra safe inside this great case, but you will also like the features that keep your drive cosmetically great, too.

There are self-sticking sponges that keep the drive in place and fitted correctly. No scratches will be had on your drive at all. It also comes with a great USB 3.0 cable to make your transfer speed fast and easy. With a great user rating and plenty of favorable reviews by consumers, the world’s data is being housed safely. No tools are needed to get your drive inside, either!

4. RSHTECH Hard Drive Enclosure USB 3.0 to SATA

RSHTECH Hard Drive Enclosure USB 3.0 to SATA Aluminum External Hard Drive Dock Case for 3.5 inch HDD SSD up to 10TB Drives [Support UASP]

This might just be the sleekest looking best HDD enclosure of them all. It has plenty of compatibilities, as you can use it with SATA I/II/III 3.5 inch. It is SSD compatible up to 10 terabyte hard drives. You can use this with Windows 2000, XP, Vista, plus 7/8/10. This one is also compatible with Mac 9.0 and up and Linux. And for all you gamers out there you can use it with the PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PS4 Pro.

It also enters sleep mode after ten minutes with no data access activity. If you would like to shut it off yourself, simply long-press the button three seconds to turn it off. Look for the RED light to show the device is on, and look for the BLUE light to indicate the drive’s activity status.

We also noted that this one does, in fact, have tools that are included. It is nothing more than a small screwdriver and some screws. Altogether,  it’s a great hot-swappable, Plug and Play hard drive you can start using in mere minutes. It even comes with the 12V power adapter needed to provide an ample supply of energy to run this enclosure.

5. Mediasonic ProBox HF2-SU3S2 4 Bay 3.5” SATA HDD Enclosure

Mediasonic ProBox HF2-SU3S2 4 Bay 3.5" SATA HDD Enclosure - USB 3.0 & eSATA Support SATA 3 6.0Gbps HDD transfer speed

Okay, now for the granddaddy of them all! With this big box, you can support up to 4 hard disk drives-that is 4 3.5” SATA hard drives. You can also use 2.5” SATA SSD/HDD if you purchase a separate bracket adapter.  Using USB 3.0, your data will transfer quickly at the rate of 5.0 Gbps. If you have an eSATA connection you can look forward to 6 Gbps. This supports Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 and Mac OS 10.3 or above.

Selection of the port type you would like to use is as easy as clicking the button on the front. The transfer speed is 5 Gbps with USB 3.0, or if you have eSATA you can get up to 6 Gbps.

A fan keeps this powerhouse nice and cool. In fact, the fan operates at three speeds. You can manually select it or it will go on its own using the temperature sensor. Either way, your data is safe, which is a big concern if you have many drives in one spot.

Things to Consider Before Choosing an External Hard Drive Enclosure

As you probably figured out from our comparison table, there are a few things you should look at as you buy your HDD enclosure. Every drive is just a bit different from the others, so it’s important to nail down a few standard features and why they matter as you choose your best external hard drive enclosure.

Port Type

Sometimes referred to as Interface, this means how your HDD/SSD enclosure communicates with your computer. USB 1.0 is considered obsolete and all drives featured here today use USB 3.0. USB 3.0 has a max transfer speed of 5 gigabits a second. Meanwhile USB 2.0, which is still in use, only does 480 megabits a second.

Therefore, you get data to flow a lot faster with USB 3.0. Look for that on any drive you are interested in purchasing. Even if your computer only has USB 2.0 ports, you should still get the 3.0 connection as it will let you go at those fast rates when you get a newer computer or upgrade your machine.

Other popular connection types for your disk enclosure include Thunderbolt, which is super-fast at a rate of 20 gigabits per second!  If you really want to go fast, Thunderbolt is what you need.

You may also opt for eSATA which is a lot like the USB 3.0 interface. The problem here is that there are AC adapters and an extra USB cable needed to run it, and many computers don’t even use eSATA anymore.

All in all, USB 3.0 is your best bet.

Material

Much like the plethora of cases that are out there for your smartphone, there are different case materials you can use to keep your hard drive safe. The hard disk enclosures are made of materials like aluminum, plastic and ABS plastic. Let’s talk a bit about each type of material.

ABS Plastic is the first type we will discuss. Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) plastic is a type of polymer known for its durability. It is made by emulsion, which is the mixing of products that you would typically not mix together. This is also a thermoplastic material and responds very well to heat. We all know how hot our electronics can get after continued use-this is a great and tough material to choose while shopping for an external hard drive enclosure.

It also has a very strong resistance to chemicals of a corrosive nature and also physical impact. So, if you accidentally drop your drive or spill a chemical on it, you need not worry so much. You might find ABS plastics on wall sockets, computer keyboards and even LEGOS!

General plastics are used in plenty of applications for electronics; security cameras, USB thumb drives and even medical devices. These are just a few items we see daily, covered in plastic. It is a lightweight material and is easy to work with. This makes it easy for enclosure makers to create covers that suit the device at hand and do it well. In sum, this is a good material and while it may not be as tough as ABS, it still makes for a fine casing. Please see this reference for more info.

Aluminum is the next option for you whilst shopping around for your enclosure. Aluminum is tough, lightweight and easy to work with. It is used in things we enjoy every day, from our cell phones to cars. This material, says aluminum.org, is often used in places where strength and durability are necessary. This not only includes your valuable and important data but safety when constructing new buildings, military trucks and the cars we drive to work. Aluminum can be forged to be stronger than steel!

Rating

It’s important to take a look at what others have said. Chose products that have only a four-star or above rating. These are high-quality casings that will make your device the best disk enclosure you ever had. Read what others have to say before you buy to make sure it’s just what you want. Having great ratings is important in anything you buy, especially from thousands of products.

Tools

Can you simply open up the case and put your drive in or are tools needed? If you are not keen on using tools, look for one that just lets you “hot swap” or put it in tool-free.

Conclusion

It does you good to comparison shop for the best external hard drive enclosure. Whether it’s movies, videos you edit, precious family photos or even a novel you’ve been working on, that data better be safe and secure. Business owners especially should get a hold of one of these-it can keep your company info safe from falls or even spills. Just remember to look for the transfer speed, the material of the enclosure, and the ports included with the drive. Also, be sure to check and see the computer you wish to pull data from is compatible. Enjoy storing your data in style!

 

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