Hard drives are expensive because of their capacity and other benefits they provide to users. As such, it can be very frustrating in the event that they are damaged prematurely. The situation is even worse in the event that your hard drive gets damaged while containing important documents that cannot be retrieved anywhere but from the hard drive. Well, it is because of such reasons that make the best external hard drive enclosures a must-have. As their name suggests, an external hard drive enclosure provides some kind of housing for a hard drive.
By so doing, an external hard drive enclosure will protect your hard drive from damage. What’s more, external hard drive enclosures enhance the speed, thereby, improving convenience. When buying an enclosure for a hard drive, make sure it is compatible with your operating system. If possible, go for a unit that works with a wide range of systems. Also, ensure that it is easy to install and to set up. Plus your external hard drive enclosure should be compact for optimum portability. In these reviews, we take you through units that meet all the requirements we have just highlighted.
So, let’s get started!
- 10.Sabrent USB 3.0 to SATA External Hard Drive Docking Station
- 9. Sabrent USB 3.1 Aluminum Enclosure (EC-NVME)
- 8. Vantec USA NexStar DX USB 3.0 External Enclosure
- 7. Inateck Sata Hard Drive Docking Station, FD2005
- 6. Inateck 3.5 Hard Drive Enclosure, FE3001
- 5. Thermaltake BlacX Duet ST0014U-D External Hard Drive Enclosure
- 4. TerraMaster D5-300 USB3.0 External Hard Drive Enclosure (Diskless)
- 3. G-Technology 4TB G-DRIVE USB 3.0 External Hard Drive – 0G03594
- 2. StarTech Thunderbolt 3 PCle Enclosure – PCle Slot
- 1. Inateck FE2101 Aluminum USB-C Enclosure
10.Sabrent USB 3.0 to SATA External Hard Drive Docking Station
You need this external hard drive enclosure to let you swap between hard drive much easier than ever before. It works with all 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch SATA drives, making it very convenient to use. Furthermore, this docking station connects via SuperSpeed USB 3.0. Another reason why this unit is regarded as one of the best is that it is a simple plug-and-play unit. As such, you will be able to use it right away.
- Works well with many different hard drives
- Compatible with a wide range of systems
- Affordable and well built
- Great for temporarily storing hard drives
- The cover does not securely stay closed, but this is not a deal breaker
9. Sabrent USB 3.1 Aluminum Enclosure (EC-NVME)
You will count yourself lucky for finding an external hard drive enclosure that is durable but looks sleek. Well, the Sabrent USB 3.1 Aluminum External Hard Drive Enclosure has all these attributes – and more. It is plug-and-play, meaning you will not need any drivers to get it working. Moreover, it is designed to deliver enhanced performance, so it can significantly reduce latency. The unit is compatible with Samsung 950Pro, SM961, 960Evo, SM951, PM951, and PM961.
- Very nice and solid
- Great for testing drives
- Keeps hard drives safe
- Comes with lots of accessories and hardware for convenience
- The cable leaves a lot to be desired, but you can easily resolve this by getting your own.
8. Vantec USA NexStar DX USB 3.0 External Enclosure
If you are looking for a smart, convenient way to optimize as well as to share your Optical drive with all your system, then this external hard drive enclosure should be a frontier for you. It is made of aluminum to keep it cool and working at optimum conditions. What’s more, it is built with convenience in mind in the sense that it supports read/write Optical drives such as DVD, CD, and Blu-ray.
- The USB3 speeds are impressive
- The enclosure works quietly
- The blue indicator LED is a nice touch
- Easy to set up and works as advertised
- A bit pricey for its quality
7. Inateck Sata Hard Drive Docking Station, FD2005
Most people like this external hard drive enclosure because of its large 16TB capacity. Well, because of this convenient capacity, the hard drive docking station can support up to two 8TB SATA 2.5-inch/3.5-inch hard drives at the same time. More than a few people also like its attractive gamer style design. The docking station is compatible with Mac OS, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Linux, Vista, and Windows XP.
- Small and lightweight for optimum portability
- Works great for cloning HDD
- Works with a wide range of Operating System
- Easy to use and comes with directions
- It recognizes just 2TB of 3TB hard drives
6. Inateck 3.5 Hard Drive Enclosure, FE3001
Since this Inateck 3.5 Hard Drive Enclosure is plug-and-play, expect to have an easy time setting it up. The plug-and-play will spare you the hassle of having to reboot or install drivers. Moreover, this hard drive enclosure comes with a 12V/2A power adapter that offers a stable power supply. Plus it boasts a long-lasting aluminum alloy material that gives it exquisite craftsmanship and ultra-light portability. The aluminum alloy construction also dissipates heat much better, thereby, preventing this unit from becoming hot during use.
- The price point is lower than several similar hard drive enclosures
- The manufacturer stands behind their products
- Simple to set up
- Installation/assembly directions could be better
5. Thermaltake BlacX Duet ST0014U-D External Hard Drive Enclosure
It is important to note that this external hard drive enclosure comes with a 2-year warranty that protects it against defects in workmanship and materials. The unit boasts plug-and-play installation, meaning you will not need software to install it. It also boasts hot-swap capability for rapid access. It supports 2.5-inch/3.5-inch SATA I/II/III technology hard drives with Mac OS and Windows supported. As if that’s not enough, this external hard drive enclosure boasts USB 3.0 SuperSpeed interface that will let you transfer data up to 5Gbps i.e. 10X faster compared to USB2.0.
- The manufacturer has good customer care
- Arrives early enough to avoid potential inconveniences
- The open design allows for easy cooling
- The unit may arrive with issues, but the manufacturer is quick to refund or send a replacement
4. TerraMaster D5-300 USB3.0 External Hard Drive Enclosure (Diskless)
This external hard drive enclosure has passed multiple certifications and we couldn’t just ignore that. It has been tested for quality and safety by FCC, RoHS, GS, UL, and CE. Furthermore, it delivers, and that’s because it adopts USB3.0 (5Gbps) Superspeed protocol. With SSHD, the maximum read speed is up to 235MB/s while the maximum write speed is up to 210MB/s. Ideally, this hard drive enclosure works with a wide range of hard drives including SSD, 2.5-inch SATA hard drives, and 3.5-inch SATA hard drives.
- Compatible out of the box with Windows, MacOS X, and Linux
- Comes with clear instructions
- Easy to configure and comes with several screws and tools
- For some reasons, this unit does not go to sleep
3. G-Technology 4TB G-DRIVE USB 3.0 External Hard Drive – 0G03594
Apart from 4TB, this external hard drive enclosure is available in other sizes, including 10TB, 8TB, 2TB, and 6TB. So, the choice is yours – go for the one you believe will work great for you. It is plug-and-play on Mac, and it is very easy to reformat on Windows. In addition, it comes with a 3-year limited manufacturer’s warranty to give you confidence in buying and using it. The external hard drive enclosure also features a solid and stylish all-aluminum case for superior durability.
- Plug-and-play on Mac just as advertised
- The manufacturer’s tech support is very helpful
- Great for the price
- A little too loud
2. StarTech Thunderbolt 3 PCle Enclosure – PCle Slot
You are definitely looking for an external hard drive built with convenience in mind. Having said that, go ahead and try out this external hard drive enclosure from StarTech. It works on Windows and Mac computers as well as supporting one 4K DisplayPort monitor. It also supports dual monitor output and 5K Thunderbolt display, among others. Moreover, this external hard drive is a product of a company that offers 24-hour support to help prevent any inconveniences.
- Works as advertised by the manufacturer
- Comes with power plugs for both U.S. and Europe
- Comes with a cable
- The fan is loud, but it can be disconnected
1. Inateck FE2101 Aluminum USB-C Enclosure
This unit comes with two cables to satisfy all of your needs. The cables are a USB-C to USB-A cable, which is for devices with USB A port and a USB-C to USB-C cable, which is for devices with USB C port. What’s more, this USB-C enclosure ha good compatibility that enables it to work with Windows 7, 10, 8, and above, as well as Mac OS 10.11 and above. The enclosure supports 12” MacBook, MacBook Pro 2016, and Type C port.
- Drives fit perfectly into the enclosure
- Installation and setup are very straightforward
- Very fast and stable
- The size is compact for easy portability
- Although the enclosure fits most drives, it does not fit all
There are a lot of things to consider before buying an external hard drive enclosure. Well, combine this with the countless brands in the market, and you are in for a torrid time. That’s why you need to consider such comprehensive reviews as the ones we have here before purchasing any unit.