Hard Drive Enclosure vs Docking Station

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The main difference between a hard drive enclosure vs docking station is that a hard drive enclosure fully encloses the hard drive. In contrast, a hard drive docking station leaves your hard drive(s) unenclosed (or “exposed”, or “sticking out” of the docking station).

To show you the difference using pictures, here’s a typical hard drive enclosure:

Transcends StoreJet 25MC

As you can see, the hard drive enclosure completely encloses the hard drive (the hard drive is not actually visible – just the HDD enclosure).

Now, take a look at a typical hard drive docking station:

hdd docking station

You can see that the hard drive sticks out of the docking station (the HDD is not completely enclosed).

Why Have Both a Docking Station and Hard Drive Enclosure?

Hard Drive enclosures usually serve as a more permanent solution to turning a hard drive into an external HDD.

In contrast, hard drive docking stations typically act as a temporary way to access data on hard drives. This option allows for faster swapping of hard drives, but less physical protection for the hard drives since they’re unenclosed.

Before we start, let’s take a look at this fresh, hand-picked list of the best HDD docking stations for this year:

Best Hard Drive Docking Stations – Updated April 2024

RankDocking Station NamePriceConnectivity Port TypeAmazon Rating
1Inateck RGB SATA to USB 3.0 Hard Drive Docking Station with Offline Clone, for 2.5 and 3.5 Inch HDDs and SSDs, UASP Supported, Black SA02003$32USB 3.04.6
2FIDECO USB 3.0 to SATA Hard Drive Docking Station, Dual-Bay Hard Drive Dock with TF & SD Card Slots for 2.5/3.5 Inch SATA HDD SSD$28USB 3.04.5
3Sabrent EC-HD2B Docking Station$47USB
4WEme USB C 3.0 to SATA External Hard Drive Dock Docking Station, SSD HDD Disk Duplicator Cloner for Dual Bay 2.5 3.5 Inch SATA I II III, Support UASP and Auto Sleep and 2X 12TB, Black$33USB 3.04.5
5WAVLINK USB C Dual Bay Docking Station$27USB-C and USB 3.04.5
6SSK USB 3.0 to SATA External Hard Drive Docking Station Enclosure Adapter for 2.5 & 3.5 Inch HDD SSD SATA, Super Speed up to 5Gbps, Support UASP no Drivers Needed(16TB Supports)$21USB
7Sabrent EC-DSK2 Docking Station$40USB
8Unitek Aluminum Dual Bay Docking Station$40USB
9SABRENT USB C Docking Station for M.2 PCIe/NVMe and SATA 2.5/3.5 Inch SSD & HDD with Offline Cloning (DS-UNHC)$79USB 3.04.4
10SABRENT USB 3.1 to SATA External Hard Drive Docking Station for 2.5 or 3.5in HDD, SSD [Includes Both Type C and Type A Cables Supports UASP and 10TB Drives] (DS-UTC1)$29USB
11Wavlink Dual Bay External Hard Drive Docking Station, USB 3.0 to SATA I/II/III for 2.5 or 3.5in HDD, SSD with Fixed Bezel, Support Offline Clone Function, UASP 6Gbps [ 2x16TB Support]$27USB
12StarTech.com Standalone Hard Drive Duplicator, External Dual Bay HDD/SSD Cloner/Copier, USB 3.1 (10Gbps) to SATA III HDD/SSD Docking Station, Hard Disk Cloning / Recovery (SDOCK2U313R)$95USB
13Hard Drive Docking Station RSHTECH USB 3.0 Aluminum Dual Bay Hard Drive Dock for 2.5″ & 3.5″ SATA HDD SSD with SD/Micro SD Card Reader and Offline Clone/Duplicator Function Support 16TB Tool-Free$41USB
14Kingwin USB 3.0 to Dual Bay SATA / SSD Hard Drive Docking Station w/ Offline Clone Function. Compatible w/ 2.5”/3.5” Inch SATA HDD / SSD (SATA I/II/III). Tool-Free Design, Support 2x8TB Drives & UASP$29USB
15Hard Drive Dock, RSHTECH Aluminum USB 3.0 to SATA Dual Bay External Hard Drive Docking Station for 2.5 & 3.5 inch SATA HDD SSD with Offline Clone/Duplicator Function, Support UASP & 2x16TB (RSH-DS01)$35USB
16StarTech.com Hot-Swap Hard Drive Docking Station for 2.5″/3.5″ SATA III Hard Drives – External eSATA/USB 3.0 Hard Drive Dock w/ UASP (SDOCKU33EF) , Black$68USB
17SSK Aluminum USB Docking Station$30USB 3.04.3
18Thermaltake BlacX Duet 2.5”/3.5” SATA I/II/III USB 3.0 External Hard Drive Enclosure Docking Station ST0014U-D$40USB
19ORICO 48TB USB 3.0 to SATA I/II/III 4 Bay External Hard Drive Docking Station for 2.5 or 3.5 inch HDD, SSD with Hard Drive Duplicator/Cloner Function [4 x 12TB]-6648US3$99USB
20ORICO USB 3.0 to SATA 5 Bay Hard Drive Docking Station with Duplicator Offline Clone Function for 2.5 or 3.5in HDD, SSD Support 5X 16 TB(6558US3)$119USB

Best Hard Drive Enclosure List – Updated April 2024

Inateck USB 3.0– Built-in foam pad
– Super slim and lightweight
– For 2.5″ drives only
– Slide door hard to operate
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Sabrent USB 2.0– Ultra Light Aluminum Case and cooling fan
– Hot swapping
– USB 2.0
– Drives up to 2TB
– For 3.5″ drives only
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Sabrent Ultra Slim USB 3.0– Great heat dissipation
– For laptop drives
– For 2.5″ drives only
– Requires screwdriver
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ORICO Toolfree USB 3.0– Drives Up to 8TB
– A shock-proof sponge is installed
– Has no ventilation
– For 3.5″ drives only
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AUKEY USB 3.0– Lightweight and portable
– Minimal drive movement while in case
– For 2.5″ drives only
– Drives up to 2TB
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Benefits of Hard Drive Docking Stations

Docking stations for hard drives give you quick access to your stored data. You can recover, transfer or archive data, and test or benchmark multiple hard drives. If you have old hard drives to work with then an external USB dock is a good investment. It’s a quick and simple way to interface your drives with a PC over USB, rather than the SATA cables that run within your machine.

It’s as simple as it sounds. You slot the drive into the dock and then your PC or Mac will recognize it as an external drive for you to move data to and from. Whether it’s a 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch drive shouldn’t really matter, but do check before buying that you’ve got the right size to support your drives.

Docking stations include following benefits:

  • Save time by removing the need to install a drive in a computer case or mount it in an enclosure
  • Swap drives easily with a top-loading design, push-button drive ejection, and independent power button
  • Use with a range of data interfaces. Examples IDE and USB 3.0

Drive docks are like carports for a hard drive. They offer a no-fuss, no-muss, screwdriver free solution to adding storage to your desktop or laptop.

When you want to install a drive in one, you just drop it in. That’s it. And if you want to change drives, you just eject the current device (the way you would a flash drive) and pop in the new one.

They give you the convenience of treating a hard drive like a rectangular DVD disc with immensely more storage capacity.

Best Docking Stations & HDD Enclosures

You can find tons of Docking Stations and Disk Enclosures on the market. Some are cheaper, some more expensive, some has good features, some not. Also Interfaces are vary too.

Do you need a portable hard drive with features that external hard drives don’t have? Got a spare internal hard drive and want to put it to effective use cheaply?

Don’t worry, just grab an hard drive enclosure or a docking station. But before getting one, you should learn a few things like connections, form factors, features, pros and cons.

This article will give you an all-round knowledge about these devices based on their performance, features and quality. Each option has its own advantages and drawbacks, based on what you deserve for a storage solution.

So, this article will be helpful for gaining some important knowledge about these devices.

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Here’s a proper review of docking stations listed in the table above.

Inateck Dual-Bay USB 3.0 – Supports Offline cloning

Inateck Dual-Bay USB 3.0 hard drive docking station

This Docking Station is a USB docking solution that can support two SATA drives at the same time. It also boasts an offline disk cloning feature that allows you to copy entire drives without the need to connect to a computer.

Package contains:

  • The docking station
  • USB 3.0 cable
  • Power adapter and a user manual

On the back of the docking station are connections for the included USB and power adapter cables as well as a power button. On the top, there are the two open drive bays, a clone button and LED indicators for power, installed drives and clone progress.

The drive bays are exposed for easy hot swapping with each bay door having a gap for a 2.5″ drive, but swinging down to allow installation of larger 3.5″ drives.

Both hard disk and SSD drives are supported and the station supports both USB 3.0 and UASP protocols for maximum data throughput.

The packaging also includes a clear protective cover for the unit which is handy for protecting the exposed bays when not in use. When connected to a computer via USB, any drives installed in the station show up to the host Operating Station much in the same way that any external USB drive would. This lets you manually manage the connected drives and while this is in essence no different from a normal USB hard drive enclosure, the fact that it can hold two drives at once of any size combination makes it a much more convenient solution.

The real bonus feature of this docking station is the offline clone functionality and the simplicity it affords. In this mode, you don’t need to be connected to a computer to control proceedings, hence the offline tag.

If you want to copy an entire disk to another, it is as simple as plugging in both your source and target drives and hitting the clone button twice. The station then takes care of the process leaving you and your computer free to do other things. The only understandable caveat to this feature is the need for the target drive to be the same capacity or larger than the source drive regardless of the volume of data it contains.

  • Support 2x 8TB hard drives
  • Lightweight but hearty plastic. Has rubber feet but moves around easily without the weight of hard drives in it
  • Can access both drives simultaneously while doing normal file operations like reading, writing, etc.
  • Works fine with all operating systems
  • Comes with a clear plastic form-fitting cover to keep out dust
  • Little glitchy when insert two drives simultaneously and difficult to recognize two drives quickly
  • Standard 9mm 2.5″ or thinner hard drives are easy to flex back and forth once they’re installed. There’s a slight gap between the drives and the dock plastic, so the drives don’t have a lot of lateral support. Be careful that you don’t put undue stress on the drive connections after installation


Need occasional access to bare drives or full backup to external bare drives? Dual
Bay USB 3.0 Docking Station did everything Inateck said it would and did it very well. The cloning feature worked excellent, and we like the fact you can perform that function without the unit being hooked to a PC.

Transfer speeds will be adequate enough with any drive you have got. If you’ve been looking for a dual bay docking station with cloning capabilities, this Inateck offering should definitely be on your short list. Good stuff there!

Inateck Dual-Bay USB 3.0

Plugable USB 3.0 – Single bay dock

Plugable USB 3.0 hard drive dock

The Plugable dock is a standard single bay hard drive docking solution that features a convenient tool-less design as well as hot-swap support and driver-less, plug and play installation.

The open horizontal docking bay was designed for easy dock/undock of bare/internal SATA disk drives. Constructed of heavy duty ABS plastic, using the SATA to USB 3.0 bridge chipset and firmware with UASP support for maximum features and performance.

You can connect a single 3.5″ or 2.5″ SATA hard disk drive or solid state drive (SATA I, II, & III supported).

Fully backwards compatible with USB 2.0. Real world transfer rate performance over USB 3.0 will vary by computer host controller and disk drive specifications.

The docking station requires no driver installation as it uses the standard USB mass storage class driver support already provided in Windows XP and later, Mac, and Linux.

Dual color LED reports drive activity (blue for power, red for drive activity). Supports 8TB+ drives on 64-bit operating systems (use drives less than 2TB for 32-bit Windows).

  • Faster drive data transfer performance
  • Supports all 2.5 and 3.5 inch SATA drives
  • Flashed with the latest firmware to support GPT (GUID Partition Table) format for larger than 3TB drives
  • Drive sleeps automatically on OS power events or 10 minutes of idle
  • No mechanical ejector for Drives. Removing the hard drive is very difficult because there is no release button and there is no room to grasp the disk and pull it out.
  • Poorly built power button. Once in the ON position, its sunk below the plastic frame and feels like its broken or something
  • IDE/EIDE/PATA, SCSI, SAS, mSATA, and M.2 drives are not supported


Plugable is a small company that specializes in PC peripherals, largely made up of USB accessories. Their people are very thorough when it comes to answering pre-sale and technical questions on each of their product pages. This gives buyers a peace of mind knowing they have a less chance of running into something peculiar and unexpected because of their PC setup.

Plugable USB 3.0 – Check Price

Anker® USB 3.0 – Premium Dock

Anker® USB 3.0 external hard drive docking station

The Anker USB 3.0 & eSATA has been the gold standard in drive docking stations for years for good reason. Although it’s not cheap, it offers the most reliable performance on the market as well as lifetime technical support in a sturdy package.

This is a Premium Dock for your 2.5 and 3.5 hard/solid state drives and E-Sata interface accommodates all Sata standards (Sata, Sata II, Sata III).

You can always get this Anker® docking station with standard USB 3.0 interface and eSata interface is another good choice.

We aren’t surprised to find this Anker USB3.0 is topping most of docking station lists in current tech market. This is an advanced model that will make your data backup and transfer not only easy but also an enjoyable and expeditious experience.

Though not cheap in terms of price, you also get what you’ve paid for regarding quality and performance.

This docking station snaps your hard drive in place and keeps securely without screws.

The two-colored led indicator show power status and data activity. Uniquely, it doesn’t require any tools for installation. It also works perfectly well with different versions of Windows and Mac OS.

  • Supports hot swapping
  • 18 months of free technical support
  • Reliable for recovering damaged HDDs
  • Upright orientation takes up less desk space and gives better air flow for cooling
  • Some may find the price too high
  • The USB option will work better for smaller capacity hard drives.
  • SMART data cannot be read through the docking station, but that’s a very minor inconvenience

SMART data is stored in the drive’s electronics. It tells you health and history stuff like how long the drive has been run, how many read errors it’s had, its temperature, etc….


Everything with the Anker brand name seems to be built for the long-run, not disposable throwaway items like so many commodities like this. The little bit of extra cost will pay itself back by the lack of trouble making/keeping it working, and not having to replace it in a few months. Eventually Anker wins for design, performance, and reliability in the long run.

Anker® USB 3.0 – Check Price

Thermaltake BlacX Hot-Swap – Simplicity in action

Thermaltake BlacX Hot-Swap hdd docking station

BlacX is a USB 2.0 SATA hard disk drive docking station for you to install your hard drive outside your computer. There is also USB 3.0 version available. It is allowing you to install and remove hard drives with the computer turned on and without needing to open the device to install your hard drive – just insert your hard drive on the available slot on the docking station.

This slot allows both 3.5” and 2.5” hard disk drives, as it has a retractable frame to make 2.5” drives to fit the slot. BlacX only accepts SATA hard disk drives. Since the hard disk drive is exposed this device doesn’t need a cooling system for the hard drive.

  • Supports hot swap
  • Vertical drive placement performs well in both allowing gravity to “seat” the drive in place as well as allowing for adequate cooling
  • USB 2.0 interface is limited to transfers up to 60 MB/s (480 Mbps)
  • Supports hard disk drives up to 2 TB


BlacX is an interesting option if you are looking for a hard disk drive enclosure where you can add and remove hard drives very quickly without the need of using tools and/or opening boxes and with the computer turned on.

The main problem with BlacX is that since it is connected to the USB port hard disk
drives connected to it won’t achieve the same performance as if they were installed inside the PC. However, this is a problem that all USB 2.0 enclosures have. Unless you buy an eSATA enclosure you will have to live with it.

Thermaltake BlacX Hot-Swap – Check Price

WEme USB 3.0 – Ideal choice for gamers

WEme USB 3.0 external hard drive dock

Ideal choice for die-hard gamers and extreme film editors. USB 3.0 external, SATA-III internal, Especially made for 2.5 inch and 3.5 inch SATA HDD/SSD.

High-class chipset, enhanced with UASP Transfer Protocol, this dock lets you get the most out of the fastest drive technologies such as SATA III (6 Gbps) with performance up to 70% faster than conventional USB 3.0 when paired with a UASP-enabled host controller.

This is a lifetime investment. Why? It’s professionally designed to safeguard itself from over voltage, short circuits, leak currents, and peak voltage. This means that the device is protected from frying.

This is an advanced unit utilizing the latest cloning technology. What this means is that it can duplicate data efficiently independent of the computer. No drivers needed and easy installation.

Cloning can only be done from A drive to B drive, make sure the memory capacity of B drive is larger than A drive.

Compatible with Windows, Mac OS 10 x or higher.

LED light indicates Power and Activity status and Entering sleep mode without operation in 30 minutes.

  • Durable
  • Support 2x 8TB hard drive
  • Safeguard itself from over voltage
  • Not Supporting Online Clone
  • Concerns over unclear instructions


This is significantly cheaper than the competitors and very nicely constructed docking station. Not only can it clone a drive without a computer, but if you attach it to a computer you can make any updates you need. It works amazingly well!

WEme USB 3.0 – Check Price

Hard Drive Enclosure Benefits

An external drive enclosure is a physical case that houses and powers a hard drive. Enclosures, which can be purchased separately, contain the electronics and interfaces that allow a hard drive to connect to a computer. External hard drive enclosures may also be called disk enclosures or disk caddies.

External Hard Drive Enclosures are used to make an internal hard drive external by
enclosing it in a case. Hard drive enclosures can provide many benefits; one such benefit is giving traditional internal hard drives portability.

It is easy to transfer data to an external hard drive on most computers and operating systems. Using an external hard drive will also reduce the probability of data loss or data corruption.

In addition, data can be backed up and archived on an external hard drive so that it doesn’t take up any additional space on your primary hard drive.

List of Benefits

Here are some benefits of using a hard drive enclosure:

  • Adding additional storage space and media types to small form factor and laptop computers, as well as sealed embedded systems, such as digital video recorders
  • Adding more drives to any given server or workstation than their chassis can hold
  • Transferring data between non-networked computers
  • Sharing the data on a drive in a network aware enclosure
  • Recovering the data from a broken or damaged computer
  • Lower the cost of removable storage by reusing hardware designed for internal use

External hard drive enclosures are constructed from a variety of materials. These materials include plastic, metal, aluminum, or even a combination of the three.

Most external hard drives connect to your computer through USB (Universal Serial Bus) 3.0 , Thunderbolt or FireWire. Your choice will probably be predetermined by the type of ports you have available and the type of system you’re running.

However, if you have all types of ports, you’ll need to decide which type of connectivity to use. While the theoretical bandwidth for USB 3.0 is higher
than that of USB 2.0 and FireWire, actual transfer speed is comparable.

Mac & Thunderbolt

Some new Mac Pro computers include the slightly faster Thunderbolt 2 interface, and a few external hard drives have this connector.

You can simply search for “thunderbolt external hard drive” on Amazon to find one.


When you are purchasing an internal hard drive, they come in two interfaces: IDE and SATA.

Of the two interfaces, SATA hard drives are much more common now than IDE based hard drives. This is because SATA based hard drives usually offer greater performance in terms of offering large memory cache, RPMs (Rotations Per Minute), and overall transfer rates.

There are two available sizes of hard drive enclosures, 3.5 inch hard drive enclosures for 3.5 inch desktop computer hard drives and 2.5 inch hard drive enclosures for laptop/notebook hard drives.

Also Single and dual bay enclosures are available. The dual layer enclosure can take two internal hard drives as opposed to one. This is a very useful feature for power computer users that require a large amount of portable hard drive space.

However, for most users it isn’t necessary as you can easily purchase another external hard drive enclosure if most space is needed in the future.

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Here’s a proper review of disk drive enclosures listed in the table above.

Inateck USB 3.0 – Protects your drive

Inateck USB 3.0 disk enclosure

Looking for a 2.5-inch USB 3.0 external drive enclosure to get the fastest data transfer speeds possible? Inateck Enclosure Case will be your first choice.

SuperSpeed USB 3.0 has a maximum bandwidth rate of 5 GBPS or 640 MBPS, but you’ll never see a drive running on that theoretical value and the device is backward compatible with USB 2.0 /1.1.

Perfect for laptop memory expansion, for data film, image and media processing, for data exchange and backup in business, education, and personal use.

Enclosure comes with the 2.5″ SATA III drive enclosure along with a USB 3.0 cable and a small foam pad. The included foam pad might be a mystery for some, but we are fairly certain that it is placed inside the top housing that slides open to ensure that 7mm drives fit snug and don’t rattle around in the housing.

If you have a 9.5mm thick storage drive you shouldn’t need this pad at all, which is why Inateck didn’t install it from the get go.

The USB 3.0 also carries the power needed for your 2.5″storage drive, so no external power is required. This is a tool-less drive enclosure, so you won’t need to fiddle around with any screws or screwdrivers to get this up and running.

You just slide open the plastic enclosure, pop in a 2.5″ hard drive or Solid-State Drive (SSD), close the enclosure and connect it to your system with the included USB 3.0 cable.

This Inateck enclosure works on Windows, Mac and Linux machines. The housing is made up entirely of ABS plastic. So you shouldn’t worry too much if hard drive accidently drops.

The LED Activity Light glows a solid blue on both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports when it is plugged in and then flashes or blinks when it is actively being used.

The build quality of the enclosure would best be described as good enough to get the job done.

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  • Built-in foam pad to protect your small-size hard disks effectively
  • Super slim and light weight


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  • No instructions were included in the box
  • The slide door was found to be hard to operate


The slide door was found to be hard to operate as you have to really push down to disengage the plastic latch. If you frequently open and close the sliding door it might become a point of concern.


This is significantly cheaper than the competitors and very nicely constructed docking station. Not only can it clone a drive without a computer, but if you attach it to a computer you can make any updates you need. It works amazingly well!

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Sabrent USB 2.0/ESATA – Built-in cooling fan

Sabrent USB 2.0/ESATA external disk drive enclosure

This enclosure supports any standard 3.5 inch Serial ATA or IDE hard drive. It’s made from Aluminium and features built-in cooling fan. This Sabrent enclosure can transfer data through USB 2.0 or utilize the newer eSATA interface to read and write large files up to 3Gbs per second, and it is fully backward compatible to SATA specification.

This enclosure is made to be stationary and isn’t supposed carrying around too much.

In general, HDD doesn’t heat too much. However, if the CPU is overheated or if you simply strive for better performance, it is unforgivable to neglect HDD cooling. If it gets overheated, data can be crashed. So the proper cooling system will help you both external and internal use.

The built-in fan is responsible for cooling. If you’re placing it inside the case, prepare the place beforehand. The device is quite voluminous.

The aluminum shell acts both as a protective shield and a diffuser. The case doesn’t affect data transmission speed. Sabrent enclosure works well on Windows and Mac machines. This product is ideal for a personal backup solution.

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  • Ultra Light Aluminum Case and cooling fan provides proper heat dissipation
  • Hot-swappable, plug and play, no drivers needed


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  • Supports hard drives only up to 2TB
  • No USB 3.0. but can be found in other product versions
  • Loud noise of the fan
  • Metal corners and standing plate could tear your bag and make carrying uncomfortable



Even though it came using a great quality, however it still came with the most reasonable value. Because the majority of buyers does not like to devote their budget by unnecessary. So we’re confident that this enclosure with Cooling Fan will probably be the very best item that you ever bought. And you may adore this smart item and glad that you got it for your beautiful property.

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Sabrent Ultra Slim USB 3.0 – Simplicity in action

Sabrent Ultra Slim USB 3.0 hdd enclosure

Take advantage of the lightening speed of USB 3.0 to quickly transfer files up to 5 Gbps, Connect any 2.5” Serial ATA (SATA) or SATA II Hard Drive to your computer through an available USB 3.0 port on your desktop or laptop.

This enclosure is a perfect solution for data transfers or data backup. Sabrent Ultra Slim is very sleek and well build laptop hard drive enclosure. It’s made from Aluminum.

It’s fully compatible with Windows and Mac Operating systems, and no drivers are needed. All you need is a laptop hard drive, this enclosure and USB cable – your ready to go.

USB 3.0 port is backward compatible USB 2.0 and 1.1 so you don’t need to worry about connections.

LED light indicates Power and Activity status. You can transfer data quickly and easily, anywhere, with this Sabrent external hard drive enclosure.

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  • Carrying Case
  • Great heat dissipation and aluminum case works as a radiator


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  • Requires screwdriver (included in package)
  • Drives can be unplugged easily from the adapter because there are no shock buffers inside to keep it stable
  • Sometimes the end cap does not sit flush with the enclosure with a drive installed



This Sabrent enclosure has solid design and it weighs about 2.4 ounces. USB 3.0 cable is included with the enclosure, and you can get this device for a very reasonable price. Overall, this is a good buy. The enclosure looks great, and really sturdy. It’s both Mac and PC compatible, so there should be no problems in that area. Absolutely top product among others.

[wpsm_button color=”orange” size=”medium” link=”http://amzn.to/2wVdXao” icon=”none” class=”” rel=”nofollow”]Sabrent Ultra Slim USB 3.0 – Check Price[/wpsm_button]

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ORICO Toolfree USB 3.0 – Sturdy and strong

ORICO Toolfree USB 3.0 hard drive case

ORICO Feature 3.5 inch SATA I, II, III HDD or SSD enclosure achieved with unique Tool Free design. Plug and play, no Tools & Screws needed when mount or un-mount drive.

Allow to get Multi Drives Accessed via your computer by take one drive out and put another one in. Super-Speed USB 3.0 compatible, backward compatible with USB 2.0.

This device Supports 3.5 inch HDD/SSD, Up to 8TB(Max). Power is delivered to the unit by a 12 Volt, 2 Ampere adapter.

It can stream your movies, photos and music to PC and Mac computers. Now you can easily enjoy your media library, game consoles, Internet TVs and more.

With 2 Feet USB 3.0 cable offer an easy and reliable connectivity. All you need is put you drive in and attach it to your computer. No reboot and additional driver is needed.

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  • Support UASP.
  • A shock-proof sponge is installed on the bottom cap of the hard drive enclosure making the hard drive more stable and safer.
  • Made from ABS plastic and metal materials makes this enclosure solid, sturdy and strong


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  • Enclosure has no ventilation holes and the sliding top cover is molded plastic, so heat buildup might be a concern, especially in warm weather
  • Anyway it does not include a support stand, so it has to lie flat on your computer desk, which takes up more space and hurts the cooling efficiency of the drive and electronics



Yes, it’s entirely possible to get an economy-priced USB 3.0 hard drive enclosure that is very simple and easy to use. This is the simplest external 3.5″ HDD enclosure you have ever owned. Just slide the top cover off, drop the drive in and slide it. Needs no drivers and works perfectly as you would not expect from this kind of cheap product. Simple but reliable device for all tech lovers.

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AUKEY 2.5″ SATA to USB 3.0 – Sturdy and strong


This drive enclosure is ideal for turning an old laptop hard drive or extra SSD into a portable external drive. Transfer large files, sync, and backup your computer with USB 3.0 transfer speeds. Keep your data safe and accessible with the 2.5” hard drive enclosure.

This device is Compatible with Windows, Mac OS X 10.4 and later and Linux. The LED on the enclosure lets you know it’s getting power and operating.

No need for an extra bulky, heavy power adapter. Doesn’t even require any drivers or other software to run. Just take this compact, slimline, lightweight unit with you and plug into your computer for convenient data access and backup.

Ideal to access and download data from a broken computer. As long as the hard drive is operational, you’ll get all your precious files back with minimal trouble and avoid the excessive costs of hiring a computer technician.

[wpsm_column size=”one-half”][wpsm_pros title=”PROS:”]

  • UASP Supported
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Snug fit of 2.5″ Drives minimal movement while in case


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  • Storage Capacity only up to 2TB
  • The enclosure has no button, Require some effort to slide open it
  • There’s nothing inside the enclosure to hold the drive in place rigidly



AUKEY enclosure is very lightweight which makes it easily portable and is very quiet while it is in use. Simple and super easy installation will help you to reuse your hard drive from the broken laptop within few seconds.

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Hard Drive Enclosure vs Docking Station: Performance Comparison

[wpsm_promobox background=”#f8f8f8″ border_size=”1px” border_color=”#dddddd” description=”The common form of hard drive docking station takes naked hard drives, and is intended to be used with multiple drives. It doesn’t really protect the drive, but it’s really convenient.

An enclosure is a box designed to hold a (formerly naked) hard drive to turn it into an external hard drive. It does protect the drive.
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Both types of devices are very similar in performance. So there’s little to choose between them. We’re not particularly fond of docking stations since space is a premium around here (referring to “here” as planet Earth).

Assuming we’re working with an external USB enclosure/docking station that has the capability for accommodating both 2.5″ & 3.5″ drives, the power switch is either on the front or the top of the device. Why is this important when comparing hard drive enclosures vs docking stations? It can be a deal breaker for us if the power switch is on the rear (back) of the case (as so often you find with docking stations). It is an important consideration for us, especially if you’re a user with accessibility in mind.

My primary advice to PC users seeking a USB external HDD/SSD device is DO NOT purchase a commercial “one-piece” unit. Instead, purchase a USB external enclosure of a type that suits them, together with a HDD or SSD of your choice. This ensures that the USB external unit (enclosure or docking station) can accommodate both 2.5″ & 3.5″ drives.

We are unconcerned with “heat dissipation” issues since in all the years we’ve been working with a wide variety of USB external enclosures of one type or another, it’s never been an issue.

If you’re working with an external enclosure that accommodates 3.5″ HDDs, then you’ll be using a dedicated power supply (not power over USB). It should be a particular consideration if you want a USB-powered hard drive (such as a USB-C hard drive by Western Digital, for example).

There is a very little difference in performance from one USB external enclosure to another. The associated HDD or SSD in the enclosure can, of course, make a difference.

Eventually it’s a matter of taste between Hard Drive Enclosure and Docking Station. The choice will be always yours.

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One comment

  1. Let’s say we have to connect 2 HDDs or SSDs to a computer and we don’t have 2 USB 3.0 (900 mA) ports on the computer.
    We have:
    a. 1 USB 2.0 and 1 USB 3.0 or
    b. 2 USB 2.0 or
    c. 1 USB (2.0 or 3.0)
    In this case, dual docking stations can replace USB hub with external PSU + 2 enclosures. Right or wrong?

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