10 Best HDD Docks | April 2017

10 Best HDD Docks | April 2017
Best Mid-Range
★★★
Best High-End
★★★★★
Best Inexpensive
★★★
We spent 25 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Whether you're looking to be able to perform some simple data migration with your internal hard drives or need to clone a whole drive onto another, one of these HDD docks will be perfect for the job. We've included stations that balance fast transfer speeds, budget pricing and robust designs. All of these feature at least USB 3.0 connections for lightning fast speeds. Skip to the best hdd dock on Amazon.
10
Other than its USB 3.0 connection, the Atolla CH-326U3S provides 2 additional USB ports for charging other electronics. It also comes with screws that allow you to mount your drive onto the dock for those who are looking for a long-term single HDD solution.
  • open dock for heat dissipation
  • nonslip matte finish
  • only supports hdds up to 4tb
Brand Atolla
Model CH-326U3S
Weight 12.8 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
9
The Sabrent EC-HDD2 Dual Bay docking station transfers data off 2.5" and 3.5" drives at USB 3.0 speeds. It is a plug-and-play unit with no drivers required and supports hot swapping, meaning you don't need to restart the device every time you switch out the drives.
  • offline cloning capabilities
  • does not support sata 3
  • complaints about build quality
Brand Sabrent
Model EC-HDD2
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
8
Ideal for customers who want to protect their internal hard drives, the Inateck FD1006C features a lay-flat design with a sliding cover to protect it from dust. It is suitable for those who want both the ease of docks with the protection that HDD enclosures offer.
  • plug and play capabilities
  • cover construction is flimsy
  • draws some power from usb port
Brand Inateck
Model FD1006C
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
7
The StarTech SDOCKU33EF allows for data read speeds up to 70% faster than a traditional USB 3.0 connection when paired with a UASP-enabled host controller. The built-in fan helps keep the drives cool to ensure they're running as fast as possible.
  • variable fan speeds
  • works with all sata drives
  • slightly overpriced
Brand StarTech
Model SDOCKU33EF
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
6
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.
  • supports hot swapping
  • backed by 18-month warranty
  • reliable for recovering damaged hdds
Brand Anker
Model AK-68UPSHDDS-BU
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0
5
The Inateck FD2102 makes cloning hard drives an easy, breezy, and expeditious experience with its offline clone function. It features clear LED indicators and the aluminum-alloy body dissipates heat faster than full plastic docks while providing a beautiful finish.
  • supports hdds up to 8tb
  • sleep mode after 30 minutes idle
  • highly stable power supply
Brand Inateck
Model FD2102
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0
4
The Plugable USBC-SATA-V is the docking station for those who want to future-proof their products with its ridiculously fast USB 3.1 port. It supports essentially every type of hard drive up to any capacity, and can fully maximize the bandwidth of SATA III.
  • includes usb-a and usb-c cables
  • excellent customer service
  • high price point
Brand Plugable Technologies
Model USBC-SATA-V
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0
1
The Startech SDOCK2U313R allows you to duplicate drives at up to 28GB per minute without the use of a computer with its USB 3.1 SATA connection. And unlike most others, the sector-by-sector duplication makes this one perfect for recovering data off damaged drives.
  • supports hdds up to 6 tb
  • usb-c and usb-a cables included
  • eject button for easy drive access
Brand StarTech
Model SDOCK2U313R
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

Hard Drives Versus Solid State Drives

When one buys a new laptop today, the store's customer service representative might ask them if they want a model with a hard disk drive (HDD) or a solid-state drive (SSD) storage unit. One of the main differences between an SSD and an HDD is that an SSD has no moving parts. An HDD stores information inside of a rotating platter. A read/write head sits just above that platter and when it spins, it reads and writes the data. It looks slightly similar to an old record player. An SSD, however, stores data inside of tiny microchips, and the storage unit does not need to move at all to deliver information to a computer.

The still nature of an SSD is what makes it faster than an HDD; the user can access information instantly through the SSD’s embedded processor, rather than waiting for an arm to read and analyze it. Computers using HDD’s are, however, catching up in speed to SSDs. The speed of an HDD depends on how quickly its platter spins and many computer manufacturers today are creating ones that boast up to 7,200 rotations per minute. Some server-based HDDs have platters that spin up to 15,000 rotations per minute.

One might wonder what the advantage is of one of these types of storage units over the other. HDDs are typically less expensive than SSDs. Many laptop hard drives come with around 1 Terabyte—or 1,024 gigabytes—of storage, but ones with SSD storage generally come with 512GB or less. Prices are always changing, but an HDD-based computer may cost fifty percent or less of the price of a similar model with solid state storage of the same capacity. That being said, through the use of NAND flash technology, SSD-based computer manufacturers are hoping to increase the storage capacity of their product while keeping their prices low in an attempt to be more competitive with HDD-based computers.

History Of Hard Drive Disks

When hard drives first came on the market, they were very expensive. IBM produced the first one in 1953 and released it in 1956. It was called the IBM 305 RAMAC and held 5 megabytes of data and cost $10,000 per megabyte. The RAMAC was enormous, using 50 24-inch platters to store data. A few years later, IBM created the flying head that floated over the magnetic platters of a hard drive, reading and writing the information. It wasn't until 1963 that IBM released the first external hard drive, which was significantly smaller than their original model. This removable hard drive was composed of six 14-inch platters, and could hold half of the data of the first model.

These primitive hard drives were very clunky, and moved slowly, so in 1973 IBM put out their Winchester hard drive, which had lubricated spindles for quicker file access, and low-mass heads that didn't take up as much space. IBM was the only major producer of hard drives until a company called Seagate Technology started making them in 1979. After that, IBM and Seagate seemed to be in a race to put out a better, faster product. In 1980 IBM made its first gigabyte hard drive, and in that same year, Seagate introduced the first 5.25-inch hard disk. Other hard drive manufacturers came on the market around this time, including Western Digital, Shugart Associates, and Rodime.

Shugart created an interface that would become the first small computer system interface (SCSI) in 1981. 1988 saw the emergence of the 1-inch by 3.5-inch hard drive, which is still standard size for desktops today. In 1991, IBM made the first drive with film magnetoresistive heads (MR) and in 1992, Seagate stole the show by releasing the first 2.5-inch hard drive, which has become the standard size for laptop HDDs. Seagate would again shock the technology world when it put out the first drive capable of 15,000 rotations per minute in the year 2000.

What Makes A Hard Drive Dock Unique

There is a total of nine internal hard drive sizes, but the only two that are currently active are the 2.5 and 3.5-inch ones. Some hard drive docks have the ability to read both of these sizes. Many hard drive docks even have readers for SD cards and XD cards, making them useful for almost any computer task from gaming to photo-viewing.

Some people have internal hard drives that they want to keep protected inside of their computer at all times. A docking station makes it so they do not have to remove their internal hard drive in order to work with an additional one. Internal hard drives can also overheat and crack inside of a computer. Docking stations allow the user to periodically back up these internal drives, so they don't lose all of their data in the event that they are destroyed.

Most docking stations can also read one hard drive while they write to another. So the user can both work on files contained in one hard drive on their computer, while simultaneously adding data to another one. Some models even have offline cloning technology that allows the user to perfectly duplicate the data and save it to another drive, without ever removing data from the original one.



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Last updated on April 28 2017 by multiple members of the ezvid wiki editorial staff

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