The 9 Best SSD Docking Stations

Updated July 03, 2017 by Jeff Newburgh

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We spent 47 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. If you work with memory-hungry applications and you need a quick, easy way to access, archive or move large amounts of information from your hard drive, look no further than one of these SSD docking stations. Compatible with multiple operating systems, they deliver rapid transfer speeds to maximize your CPU performance, while simultaneously ensuring that your data always stays safe and secure. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best ssd docking station on Amazon.

9. Satechi ST-U3ADS

The multifunctional Satechi ST-U3ADS operates as both a docking station for your hard drive as well as a convenient USB and SD card hub for connecting many of your computer's peripherals. Its brushed aluminum finish complements most any modern computer setup.
  • durable construction
  • gets quite warm
  • takes up 2 spaces on a power strip
Brand Satechi
Model ST-U3ADS
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

8. IDSonix U3102

The IDSonix U3102 delivers a fully-cushioned base designed to protect your high-capacity SSDs from shocks and heavy impacts. Its wide range of operating system compatibility makes it a good solution for data recovery on most Macs, PCs, and Linux-based computers.
  • energy-efficient and easy to control
  • works with usb 1 and 2 as well
  • tends to a wobble a bit
Brand iDsonix®
Model iDD-U3102-BK
Weight 1.7 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

7. Salcar Dual Bay

The Salcar Dual Bay easily supports high-capacity drives with up to 6 terabytes of storage space. It relies on its DC power source for ultra-stable and efficient operation to ensure that no file is corrupted or lost in translation when being moved between your equipment.
  • polished aluminum enclosure
  • offline cloning function
  • instructions are a bit confusing
Brand Salcar Dual Bay
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

6. Plugable Technologies Dock

Constructed from sturdy ABS plastic, the Plugable Technologies Dock has a unique horizontal design that allows for superior heat dissipation when performing high-bandwidth content transfers. Its auto sleep function engages after 10 minutes of inactivity to conserve power.
  • uasp support for improved speed
  • ideal for use in tight spaces
  • the power button is rather flimsy
Brand Plugable
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Inateck FD2002

Leveraging its innovative cloning technology, the Inateck FD2002 is capable of copying all of your data from one drive to another without the support of a computer system. Its integrated safeguards help to prevent overloads and interference during transfer sessions.
  • auto sleeps after 30 minutes
  • rubber feet protect desk surfaces
  • removing drives is cumbersome
Brand Inateck
Model FD2002
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. Anker AK-68UPSHDDS-BU

The Anker AK-68UPSHDDS-BU offers completely tool-free, snap-in installation of either your 2.5- or 3.5-inch solid state or hard disk drive, keeping it stable and fully secured. Its 2-colored LED indicator alerts you to both its current power status and data activity.
  • supports hot swapping
  • price is affordable
  • power cable is pretty short
Brand Anker
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

3. HighPoint RocketStor 5212

Setting the HighPoint RocketStor 5212 apart from the competition is its Thunderbolt-driven storage capacity that gives you lightning-fast copying speeds of up to 10 gigabytes per second, making it the perfect solution for data-intensive applications like HD media storage.
  • easy plug-and-play operation
  • simultaneous use of both drive bays
  • external booting support
Brand HighPoint RocketStor 52
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. Sabrent DS-4SSD

Eliminate the hassle of building hard drive enclosures to access your files using the Sabrent DS-4SSD. Its compact design maximizes your computer workspace, while the cover is equipped with an integrated cooling fan to keep your hardware running smoothly.
  • very sleek and lightweight
  • data speeds of up to 5 gbps
  • onboard led power indicator
Brand Sabrent
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. StarTech SDOCK4U33

Take command of your content needs with the StarTech SDOCK4U33. Its multiple bays provide for seamless swapping of up to 4 drives, while the USB Attached SCSI Protocol allows for read speeds that are up to 70% faster than traditional USB 3.0 connections.
  • free lifetime technical support
  • dual cooling fans built-in
  • ideal for file backups and archiving
Brand StarTech SDOCK4U33
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

The Evolution Of Solid-State Drives

The majority of us think of solid-state drives as a new technology, but it actually first started to appear in the 1950's with the development of both card capacitor read-only store and magnetic core memory. These memory units were created during the vacuum-tube computer era. But as lower cost drum storage units were developed, production and usage of these rudimentary memory units ceased.

In the 1970's, SSDs were integrated into semiconductor memory devices for some IBM, Amdahl and Cray supercomputers, but their restrictively high price point meant they weren't often used. One example is Dataram's 1976 Bulk Core solid-state disk, which offered 2MB of storage space and sold for $9,700. With inflation factored in, that equates to over thirty thousand dollars today.

In 1978, a 16KB RAM solid-state drive was introduced by Texas Memory Systems. Just one year later, StorageTek released their own RAM SSD. As the 1980's rolled around, Intel created the 1M bit bubble memory, which was intended to be the new go-to non volatile solid state memory. Unfortunately, their invention proved to be cost ineffective and not scalable, so it quickly dropped out of the market.

In 1984, Tallgrass Technologies created the first hybrid drive. It had a a 40MB magnetic tape memory drive with a 20MB SSD that could be used instead of the standard hard drive. This gave users the ability to store commonly-accessed files and programs on the SSD so they could access them faster.

In 1995, flash-based solid-state drives were introduced. Unlike all previous SSDs, they did not require battery power to maintain data. This was a vital step in allowing SSDs to replace HDDs as a computer's main memory storage system. Since then, a number of innovations in SSD technology have allowed them to become faster, cheaper, and more durable, making them the best option when it comes to computer memory storage today.

Benefits Of A Solid-State Drive

Solid-state drives outperform traditional hard disk drives in a number of key areas. The first thing most users will notice when using a computer with an SSD is how much faster they are. The average HDD takes from 5,000 to 10,000 microseconds to access data, whereas the typical SSD only takes 35 to 100 microseconds. That makes them over 100 times faster. This is due to the mechanical nature of a hard disk drive.

Inside of an HDD, there is a spinning magnetic disk and an actuator arm. When a computer needs to access a particular program or file, the actuator must lift up and move over the correct spot on the disk before it can read the data. This is one of the main issues slowing down hard disk drives. If the computer is just coming out of sleep mode, it must also wait for the disks to come to speed before data can be read. SSDs have no moving parts and can access data nearly instantaneously.

SSDs are ideal for ultrabooks, as they are smaller and use less power than HDDs. This makes them more mobile friendly, and ideal for those who travel often or need a computer to last all day without having to be recharged. They are also more durable. Another drawback of the mechanical nature of the HDD is that they are more greatly affected by bumps, drops, and other impacts. Anything that can affect the equilibrium of the spinning disk, or cause issues with the movement of the actuator arm, can cause problems ranging from drive failure to increased read and write times. SSDs can withstand greater impacts than HDDs without worry of causing damage. This makes them perfect for users who are constantly taking their computers on the go.

Choosing An SSD Docking Station

When it comes time to expand your local storage space, using an SSD docking station to access your memory is one of the best options. The key is to buy one that has all the features you might need. Many SSD docking stations allow users to access memory from both internal HDDs and SDDs. Even if you don't currently own an extra HDD, there is no reason not to buy a universal docking station. You never know when you may need to access a friend's HDD, or if you may need to expand you local storage space in the future and won't have the cash to outlay on an expensive SSD.

Another feature to look for is one-touch disk cloning. This allows you to clone the entire contents of one drive onto another without needing computer support. Not only is this convenient for those times you don't have your computer handy, but it is also faster than running everything through your computer during transfers.

The more adaptability your SSD docking station has, the better. That said, look for one equipped with multiple connection ports, including USB, HDMI, and DVI. It is also best to look for one that works with both Macs and PCs. Some may also feature Ethernet ports for internet connectivity. For those who plan on taking their docking station on the go, there are pocket-sized models available, which are lightweight and durable.

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Last updated on July 03, 2017 by Jeff Newburgh

A dedicated writer and communications professional spending his days lost in the intricacies of both proposal and freelance writing. When not sharing the knowledge of both fully and self-insured medical benefits to employer groups of all industries within California, Jeff Newburgh can be found at home spending time with his family and 3 dogs, pondering the next chew toy to be thrown, while kicking back and relaxing with a nice glass of red wine.

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