Best External Hard Drive Enclosures
Using an external hard drive has always been one of the best ways for you to back your files up and to have a way for you to carry around your important files when you are always on the go. But you don’t always have to buy a pre-built external hard drive on the market especially if you have your old laptop’s hard drive lying around. You can still use that by buying a good external hard drive enclosure. That’s why we are here to talk about the best hard drive enclosure you can get on the market today.
Sabrent 2.5-Inch Hard Drive Enclosure – Overall
Whether you are at home or at work, you can never go wrong with what the Sabrent 2.5-Inch Hard Drive Enclosure has to offer. It has a good combination of aesthetic appeal, compatibility, and ease of use. And, of course, it doesn’t cost a lot of money for you to buy one. But let’s take a closer look at the Sabrent 2.5-Inch Hard Drive Enclosure to get to know what makes it our favorite.
The moment you get your hands on the Sabrent 2.5-Inch Hard Drive Enclosure, you will instantly love it. While it does come with the slick black look that tends to be the standard for most external hard drives today, what makes the Sabrent stand out is its simplistic yet futuristic appeal. This external hard drive enclosure looks and feels professional especially with its pure black look that’s complemented well with the blue LED indicator that indicates power and the activity status whenever you are transferring files.
At 5.31 x 2.91 x .59 inches, it isn’t the slimmest and smallest hard drive enclosure on the market. But the fact that it comes at you at the right size makes it compatible with most standard laptop hard drives on the market and not just the smaller ones. And even though it isn’t the smallest enclosure available, the Sabrent 2.5-inch Hard Drive Enclosure is still actually sleek and portable enough for you to carry around without having problems with its size and weight.
Whether you are a professional or a gamer, the Sabrent 2.5-inch Hard Drive Enclosure really looks good and is quite easy to carry around for anyone. We might even consider it to have a better look than most other pre-made external hard drives on the market today.
One of the major strengths of the Sabrent 2.5-inch Hard Drive Enclosure is that it is quite compatible with plenty of different hard drives. This external hard drive enclosure supports the standard 2.5-inch SATA I, II, and III hard drives. And if you want to reach better transfer speeds while making sure that you are geared for the future of drives, you can even use a SATA SSD and fit it inside the Sabrent 2.5-inch Hard Drive Enclosure. A SATA SSD might be bigger than the usual SSD but it does come with its own benefits, which might be good enough for you to consider it and use it for your Sabrent 2.5-inch Hard Drive Enclosure.
Another reason why we like the Sabrent 2.5-inch Hard Drive Enclosure is that it is simply a plug and play enclosure that requires no configurations on your part. You don’t even have to do a lot to set it up. Just fit your hard drive into the enclosure and then plug and play it. It is that simple and easy, and you don’t even have to do anything because it automatically configures.
Moreover, the Sabrent 2.5-inch Hard Drive Enclosure is also hot-swappable, which means that you can even disconnect it immediately while the computer is still running. You can also easily swap the hard drive for another one whenever you want just by removing the old one from this enclosure and then replacing it with another one. You won’t even need to install drivers because of how it makes the entire process easy for you.
Of course, the Sabrent 2.5-inch Hard Drive Enclosure also supports USB 2.0 and 1.1 even though it comes with the standard USB 3.0. It is also compatible with all versions of Windows from Windows XP in case you are running an older version of the Windows OS. Of course, it also supports Mac. But if you are using a newer laptop that uses USB-C, make sure that you have an adapter with you because the Sabrent 2.5-inch Hard Drive Enclosure only comes with the standard USB-A.
The Sabrent 2.5-inch Hard Drive Enclosure carries a USB 3.0 compatibility that will allow you to have faster transfers because of how it comes with UASP transfer protocol. If you are transferring files from your hard drive, the transfer speeds will stay more or less at the standard of about 120 Mb/s or maybe up to 130 Mb/s based on our tests. However, if you use an SSD together with the Sabrent 2.5-inch Hard Drive Enclosure, the transfer speeds can easily reach gigabytes per second. We were unable to reach the 5 Gb/s that Sabrent was talking about but it is theoretically possible if you are using the fastest SSD available.
Of course, if you are using the older USB 2.0, expect the transfer rates to instantly drop down no matter how good the Sabrent 2.5-inch Hard Drive Enclosure might be. At max when you are using an SSD, you might barely hit 300 to 400 Mb/s with USB 2.0.
From an overall perspective, the Sabrent 2.5-inch Hard Drive Enclosure checks all of the boxes well. It looks great, is compatible with any kind of SATA hard drive or SSD, and works well with almost all of the operating systems mostly used today. In terms of speed, it comes with the standard USB 3.0 speeds that you won’t have to worry about. Transfer speeds are more likely to be dependent on the part of the hard drive instead of the enclosure.
But what really makes us love the Sabrent 2.5-inch Hard Drive Enclosure is its affordable price. It usually stays under $10, which is a considerably good price for a hard drive enclosure of this quality.
So, if you are interested in the Sabrent 2.5-inch Hard Drive Enclosure, you can go and check it out on Amazon.
Orico USB 3.0 2.5-Inch Enclosure – Budget Pick
When it comes to its features, the Orico USB 3.0 2.5-Inch Enclosure probably lags behind all of the other hard drive enclosures on the market. But if you are simply all about the basics and more interested in the price tag, the Orico USB 3.0 2.5-Inch Enclosure hits the mark and will work for more than what you paid for it because of how solid this hard drive enclosure is.
The Orico 2.5-inch Enclosure actually looks really good even when you compare it to the designs of the pre-made external hard drives you see in the market today. It stands out with its brushed metal finish and the simplistic pure black design that is stylish, elegant, and minimalistic all at the same time. The overall design that you could actually say was truly in the minds of Orico when they manufactured this enclosure makes this product a great option for those who would want to look professional.
Meanwhile, the is actually very compact and slim. It measures at 4.92 x 3.15 x 0.55 inches and is actually nearly as slim as even the slimmest external hard drives on the market. This makes it a viable choice for those who are often on the go because they can simply slim the Orico 2.5-inch Enclosure in their pockets without it taking a ton of space.
The cream of the crop when it comes to the Orico 2.5-inch Enclosure design is the fact that it was made using shock-resistant aluminum. Because hard drives have moving parts that can easily get damaged, a solid enclosure is a necessity. That’s where the Orico 2.5-inch Enclosure stands out because of how durable it is. You won’t expect it to be fully shock-resistant especially when you are housing a hard drive (SSDs might be a different story though) but you can expect it to be more durable than most other products.
The Orico 2.5-inch Enclosure also does well when it comes to how compatible it is with most drives and computers. It is a 2.5-inch enclosure, which means that it will fit most 2.5-inch SATA hard drives and even SATA SSD that are up to 4TB max.
Of course, the Orico 2.5-inch Enclosure is compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0, which means that it is an all-around choice for you. It also works well with most types of operating systems and can even be used as a hard drive for your game consoles such as the PS4. You would even be surprised to know that it is compatible with Windows 98.
Like most other external hard drive enclosures that sell out quickly, the Orico 2.5-inch Enclosure comes with an easy plug and play feature that will allow you to just put the hard drive into the case and then plug it into the computer. You don’t even need to use tools and to configure it with drivers. It is that simple and easy. Of course, it is also a hot-swap external hard drive enclosure that will allow you to remove it from your computer even if it is still running.
In terms of how well it performs, the Orico 2.5-inch Enclosure comes with a USB 3.0 compatibility and UASP protocol, which allows it to perform better than most other enclosures. It was designed to reach speeds of up to 5 Gb/s ideally if you are using the fastest SSD. However, expect it to be within the 100 to 200 Mb/s range if you are using a hard drive because transfer speeds are still dependent on how good your drive is performing.
While there aren’t a lot of standout features with the Orico 2.5-inch Enclosure, it does perform really well when transferring files and it doesn’t come with a lot of problems. It is acceptably fast and is very easy to use because you just simply have to plug it in.
The Orico 2.5-inch Enclosure also offers you a USB-C with a USB 3.1 capability that makes it faster than the original USB 3.0 enclosure. However, it will cost you more than double the price.
The Orico 2.5-inch Enclosure is a great budget choice that can give any old hard drive a new life for it to live. It won’t hurt your budget and is already better than most other options even though it comes at a bargain. And even though it doesn’t offer a lot outside of its sleek design, ease-of-use, and acceptable performance, it does stand out with its price as it stays somewhere close to $6.99.
If you want the more expensive UBS-C option, it will cost you more than double the standard version and will retail at $14.99 as of this writing.
You can catch the Orico 2.5-Inch Enclosure on Amazon if you are interested in it.
Other good external hard drive enclosures
If neither of our top picks fit your style and personal tastes, here are some of the other choices that you might want to consider:
- Rosewill 3.5 Inch Hard Drive Enclosure
If you are using an older 3.5-inch hard drive, the Rosewill 3.5 Inch Hard Drive Enclosure should be one of your top choices and is one of the best external hard drive enclosures at its size because of all of the features it comes with.
Design-wise, the Rosewill 3.5 Inch Hard Drive Enclosure gives you a vintage look that might fit in well with your vintage hard drive. We like the fact that it looks beefy and quite durable that it can handle stress and rough conditions. But, considering that it is big, you might not even be carrying this bad boy around anywhere.
The Rosewill 3.5 Inch Hard Drive Enclosure also fits most older hard drives and can even fit newer hard drives that are up to 16TB in terms of storage space. This makes it the perfect choice for large hard drives that you can just place on your desks or beside your gaming console in case you need that additional storage space.
In terms of its performance and features, the Rosewill 3.5 Inch Hard Drive Enclosure comes with the standard capabilities you would expect from a USB 3.0 hard drive enclosure. But what we really loved is that it comes with its own cooling fan to help it operate for extended periods of time. The fan keeps it quite cool and is great for the larger hard drives that tend to produce a ton of heat and require a lot of power.
It does have a downside because it requires you to use tools for you to install the hard drive into it but that won’t be a problem down the line once you get past it. As long as you were able to put it together well enough, you won’t have any issues at all. But it might be a bit problematic if you were to switch your old hard drive with a new one on the spot.
It might be a lot more expensive than the other options we have on this list but you have to consider that this enclosure comes with its own fan and was made for larger 3.5-inch hard drives. You can check out Amazon for the latest prices of the Rosewill 3.5 Inch Hard Drive Enclosure.
- Inateck 2.5 Hard Drive Enclosure
The Inateck 2.5 Hard Drive Enclosure should be a good choice for those who want a more modern-looking enclosure with a bit of flair because of how it looks. Nevertheless, it also performs well enough to give other hard drive enclosures a run for their money even though it is more on the expensive side when compared to our top choices.
Design-wise, we felt that the Inateck 2.5 Hard Drive Enclosure comes with a futuristic alien-like appeal that may seem stylish to some people but not for others. Still, it looks modern enough and may appeal really well to the techy people. It is not the slimmest hard drive enclosure in the market but it is quite handy and easy to carry. This enclosure even comes with a sponge cushion that protects it from getting scratched or damaged whenever it is moving and vibrating.
Unlike other external hard drive enclosures, the Inateck 2.5 Hard Drive Enclosure comes with a convenient switch that will allow you to instantly stop data transmission. The purpose of the switch is more for your data protection especially if you want to keep your files private in case your hard drive doesn’t come with a password protection program. The same switch also allows you to turn the hard drive off in case you are not using it to protect it from overheating.
The Inateck 2.5 Hard Drive Enclosure also transmits data fast enough and can reach excellent speeds especially if you are using a high-quality hard drive or an SSD. Of course, you should go with the best hard drives or even with an SSD if you want to make full use of this hard drive enclosure’s super-fast USB 3.0 capabilities.
It might be a bit more expensive than our top choices but the Inateck 2.5 Hard Drive Enclosure should be a solid choice for you especially if you can handle the added dollars to its price tag as well as the added heft that this hard drive enclosure comes with.
If you are interested in the Inateck 2.5 Hard Drive Enclosure, you can get it in Amazon and check its prices there.
- Ineo 2.5-Inch USB 3.1 Hard Drive Enclosure
For those who are looking for something rugged, though, and shockproof but also comes with USB-C capabilities, the Ineo 2.5-inch USB 3.1 Hard Drive Enclosure is a great pickup for you especially if you aren’t too concerned about the premium price you would have to pay for this kind of a hard drive enclosure.
First off, what we love about the Ineo 2.5-inch USB 3.1 Hard Drive Enclosure is that it comes with a design that was built to last. The moment you see and feel it, you would know that it was made to withstand shock and damage especially in today’s world where everyone seems to be on the go. It comes with a design that is shockproof and waterproof so that you wouldn’t have to worry about it getting damaged when you are out for on one of your adventures or if you suddenly find yourself in rough outdoor conditions or in the middle of the rainy season.
The same aluminum and silicon build also allows you to carry it during a trip to the beach especially if you are into photography as you can simply store your beach photos in the hard drive enclosed in it without worrying about it possibly getting water-damaged.
Of course, because it was built to be rugged, durable, and shockproof, it was not made to be the slimmest and lightest hard drive enclosure on the market. That might turn some consumers off because of how bulky the Ineo 2.5-inch USB 3.1 Hard Drive Enclosure feels but it shouldn’t be too much of a problem if you care more about the safety of your hard drive as well as the files stored in it.
The Ineo 2.5-inch USB 3.1 Hard Drive Enclosure is also compatible with all 2.5-inch SATA hard drives as well as SATA SSDs. This makes it suitable for most consumers in today’s world where compatibility and versatility should always be at the top of any product’s capabilities. And speaking of versatility, this hard drive enclosure is also compatible with several operating systems and can even go as far back as Windows XP. You can also use it as an additional storage device for your PS4 and Xbox One games.
Easy to use, the Ineo 2.5-inch USB 3.1 Hard Drive Enclosure can be instantly plugged into the PC and is also hot-swappable. On top of that, it also carries a faster USB 3.1 capability that allows it to perform really well considering that it does come with a price tag that is more expensive than the other options in this article.
If you are interested in the Ineo 2.5-inch USB 3.1 Hard Drive Enclosure, you can easily check it out on Amazon.
- Inateck 3.5 Hard Drive Enclosure
For those looking for a more affordable option for the larger 3.5 hard drives, the Inateck 3.5 Hard Drive Enclosure would do just the thing. It is a cheaper option compared to the Rosewill 3.5 Enclosure but also fits the standards of what makes a good 3.5 hard drive enclosure.
Design-wise, the Inateck 3.5 Hard Drive Enclosure is not as bulky as most other 3.5 enclosures. This means that you are going to be able to save some space if you opt to go for this option instead. However, it does sacrifice size for functionality as it doesn’t have the fan that Rosewill has.
Still, the Inateck 3.5 Hard Drive Enclosure was made to have a metal mesh cover that is great at dissipating heat to make the hard drive function cool enough when you are using it. Older and larger hard drives tend to produce a ton of heat, so you would need something that could keep the hard drive cool enough. The metal mesh cover does it quite well but maybe not at the level of a dedicated cooling fan.
The Inateck 3.5 Hard Drive Enclosure does have a wide range of practical uses because it is compatible with hard drives that are up to 10TB large. It also comes with a power adapter that allows it to feed the needs of larger and more power-hungry hard drives. Meanwhile, it supports as far back as Windows XP and works fine with most of the popularly used operating systems today.
Meanwhile, as most 3.5 enclosures require the use of tools, the Inateck 3.5 Hard Drive Enclosure is quite easy to use because it is a simple plug and play enclosure that only requires you to lay the hard drive into it without much effort. It even comes with a power switch that will allow you to turn the hard drive off to protect it.
So, if you are interested in a much more affordable 3.5 enclosure, the Inateck 3.5 Hard Drive Enclosure is a good option and is available on Amazon.