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Drive enclosures or disk caddies are housing cases of metal, plastic or any other suitable material for covering an internal hard drive.

They can have one or more slots for drives. These are stand-alone devices that provide: the power to the drive and various interfaces for connecting to your device whether it be a desktop, a laptop, or something else. With advancements in technology, you can now get the enclosure with a USB-C port for your mechanical hard drive or SSD.

The Type C connector is famed for its fast speeds and power, unlike type A or B, plus it’s reversible so no longer fiddling to plug in the right orientation. The enclosure helps to convert an internal mechanical HDD or an internal SSD which is not in use to an external drive which can be used as a plug and play solution for having portable storage with you.

Hard Drive Enclosures

The Benefits

Apart from the obvious storage benefits, disk enclosures also have other advantages.

Enclosures allow you to transfer data between/to computers that aren’t connected to a network of sorts, whether the internet or local network (intranet).

Sophisticated enclosures sometimes even add RAID controller to improve storage speed and reliability as a whole, if multiple drives are used.

Along with this, they help us to easily attach a great amount of storage video game consoles and/or digital multimedia recorders just like a thumb drive/pen drive with the difference being much larger storage sizes in this case.

Just like a pen-drive, enclosures allow for hot-swapping with an inexpensive and simple configuration.

Along with providing physical protection to your drive, enclosures allow you to repurpose old drives to be used as a portable storage solution, keeping the e-waste in check.

Things to keep in mind while buying one

  • Materials – External hard drive enclosures in the market are available in a variety of materials. These materials include plastic, metal, aluminum, and even a combination of the three. The choice of material plays a big role in not only the security/ruggedness of your mechanical HDD or SSD but also determining whether it has an attractive and minimalistic exterior.
  • Interface – There are two common interfaces found in the market: IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) and SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment). SATA is more common than the IDE enclosures because they give better performance with large memory cache and higher overall transfer speed.
  • Connectivity – There are currently three major connections on the market – eSATA, USB and Firewire; USB 2.5 inches and 3.5 inches are by far the most prevalent versions and offers great transfer speeds as well as quasi-universal compatibility; eSATA is the newest tech in town and offers improved performance and consumes fewer resources than USB.

Here we have listed some of the best hard drive enclosures for your 2.5 inch SATA drive, all of which are Thunderbolt 3 supported.

At a Glance – Our Top Picks

ImageProductDetailsCheck Price
Cable Matters 10Gbps Aluminum Dual BaySpecs:  USB 3.1 Gen 2, LED indicator, Thunderbolt 3 port with USB-A and USB-C
Benefits: Lightweight, provides reliable data storage with multiple configurations
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Satechi Aluminum Enclosure CaseSpecs:  USB 3.1, USB-C to USB-C cable, LED indicator
Benefits: Solid build quality
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Nekteck Transparent Plastic CaseSpecs:  LED indicator, Advanced USB-C, USB C 2.5 Inch HDD/SSD SATA, clear case
Benefits: Toolless, compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux
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ORICO 2.5 External Hard Drive EnclosureSpecs:  LED indicator, fireproof, shockproof ABS material, Interior anti-shock pads
Benefits: Compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac, Supports 7mm/9.5mm 2.5 inch SATA I/II/III HDD and SSD up to 4TB
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ineo Aluminum External Hard Drive EnclosureSpecs:  Aluminum with silicone frame, Ultrafast read and write speed of 10 Gbps
Benefits: Lightweight, Compatible with Windows and Mac, Supports 7mm / 9.5mm 2.5 inch SATA hard drive
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1. Cable Matters 10Gbps Aluminum Dual Bay – The One with Dual slots

Design

This enclosure by Cable Matters can turn your 2.5inch SATA SSDs into an ultra-fast and portable data storage device. It supports up to two 7mm SSDs and is engineered with a durable aluminum casing which is sleek and lightweight.

The SSD disks can be configured in JBOD, RAID0, RAID1, and BIG storage configurations.

It comes in a single Space Grey color variant and does not support mechanical HDD.

Build

The aluminum housing on this compact enclosure shields the SSD drives from EMI noise and provides more reliable data transfer. Air vents dissipate heat and an optional USB power cable ensures stable drive performance while transferring large files. It is also equipped with SSD LEDs that indicate the drive status when connected to the computer.

Performance

The Cable Matters hard drive enclosure has a USB-3.1 Type-C Gen 2 port which provides a convenient interface to connect the SSD disks to your device. You can also use it as backup storage for devices with USB-A, USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 ports in them. The SuperSpeed+ USB 3.1 provides increased performance when connected to a compatible port.

OUR TAKE
Cable Matters Drive enclosure is the best option if you are looking for dual drive slots with multiple storage configurations and superfast transfer speed. This disk enclosure is a great combination of features, performance, and quality.
PROS

  • Solid Aluminum built
  • The eject buttons on either side are nice to have
  • Supports RAID 0/1, BIG, JBOD storage modes
CONS

  • No warranty
  • Does not support mechanical HDD
 

2. Satechi Aluminum Enclosure Case – Premium Build Quality

Design

This enclosure by Satechi looks pretty minimalistic and is available in three color variants: Space Grey, Gold, and Silver. It has a sleek and elegant appearance. It houses a USB-C port along with an LED light that indicates the status of the drive. Also, included in the box is a USB-C to USB-C cable which makes it easy to connect with all the modern devices. The box also includes a screwdriver that can be used to fasten the 2 screws which hold the drive in place.

Build

It is well built and has a solid Aluminium body which makes it heavier as compared to the other products listed here, which is compensated by better protection and heat dissipation that it provides.

It comes with a cable that is thick and durable, especially at the ends. The manufacturer also provides a one year warranty on the product which means you don’t need to worry about its durability.

Performance

Satechi Aluminium enclosure is equipped with a USB 3.1 Type-C port. It offers a superfast data transfer speed of 10 Gbps which is the highest in this segment.

OUR TAKE
Although this one is more expensive than other enclosures on this list, it is made of solid aluminum and offers great performance. If you are looking for something that looks and feels premium, you can go for this one.
PROS

  • Premium Aluminum built
  • 1 Year manufacturer warranty
  • Minimalistic design
  • Supports Both SSD and mechanical HDD
CONS

  • Requires a screwdriver but comes with one
 

3. Nekteck Transparent Plastic Case – The Clear Case

Design

Nekteck drive enclosure offers you a clear plastic case that allows you to see your drive in action.

It can support both 7mm and 9.5 mm disks and comes with a USB-C to USB-C cable which is 50 cms in length.

It supports both SSD and mechanical HDD.

Build

The drive has a clean and minimalistic design with ultra-slim appearance. The case is made up of thick high-quality plastic and it is not flimsy at all. This means your drive is well protected from abrasion or movement. The cable that accompanies the enclosure is certified by USB-IF (USB Implementers Forum) and meets all the compliance standards.

Performance

The drive works well with Windows, Mac and Linux OS. The cable has an LED light indicator to indicate the drive status. A transfer rate of 10 Gbps is supported which is limited to 6Gbps by SATA protocol. Better performance can be achieved by connecting it to a USB 3.1 port.

OUR TAKE
You should totally buy this if you are looking to buy a cool looking enclosure. It offers great transfer speed and doesn’t cost you a fortune.
PROS

  • Plug and Play support
  • Ultra-slim design
  • Clear case
  • Supports Both SSD and mechanical HDD
CONS

  • Transfer speed is on the lower side
 

4. ORICO 2.5 External Hard Drive Enclosure – Most Affordable

Design

The Orico 2.5 is a black colored external hard drive enclosure that is tool-less and easy-to-operate.

Installing it will hardly take a minute as all you have to do is slide the cover, insert the drive, replace the cover and it’s good to go.

The enclosure comes with a cable that is thick with solid ends and should last for a decent time. It supports both SSD and mechanical HDD of up to 9.5mm and comes in two variants – one with a Type C port and another with a USB 3.0 port. It supports a disk with a size of up to 4TB.

Build

The Orico drive enclosure has a simple yet practical design. It provides good protection to the drive. The best part about it is that it has got interior shock pads which would come in handy should you drop it. It is built out of plastic which is shockproof, fireproof and has a brushed Aluminium look. The plastic may feel a bit flimsy sometimes.

Performance

The drive works well with Windows, Mac and Linux OS. The USB port has a blue LED light to indicate if the drive is connected to the computer. The indicator flickers when the drive is active. It features SuperSpeed USB 3.0 which provides a maximum transfer rate of 5 Gbps which is lesser than some of the high-performance enclosures on this list. Connecting it to a device with UASP support can increase the performance by up to 20%.

OUR TAKE
This one is a budget hard drive enclosure that provides easy installation, good design, and decent transfer speed. The manufacturer also provides a warranty, so you can rest assured about the quality of the product.
PROS

  • Easy Installation
  • Great value for money
  • LED light indicator
  • Anti-shock pad for drive
  • 18 months warranty
  • Supports Both SSD and mechanical HDD
CONS

  • Plastic Casing
  • Lower transfer speed
 

5. Ineo Aluminum External Hard Drive Enclosure – The All Round choice

Design

The Ineo hard drive enclosure has a unique design. It would look great when kept on the table with your computer. It comes with a short cable with Type-C USB-3.1 Gen 2 connectors on both sides. It is available in a single Space Grey color variant with a black colored strip and supports both SSD and mechanical HDD.

Build

It presents a premium looking aluminum body case with a silicone strap. It is lightweight and this feature separates it from the other products in the market. The cable that accompanies the enclosure also has a sturdy build and you can tuck it into the silicone strip which makes it easy to carry.

Performance

It is a plug-and-play drive enclosure, which means all you have to do is connect it to your computer, and you are good to go. The enclosure supports Windows and Mac OS. It is compatible with 7mm/9.5mm 2.5 inch SATA SSD or mechanical hard drives from Seagate and other companies. It also has a blue LED light to indicate if the drive is connected to the computer. It has a USB 3.1 Gen 2 port which supports a transfer rate of 10 Gbps. Apart from this, it supports UASP and you can use it with a compatible device for the best performance.

OUR TAKE
You can’t go wrong if you choose this one. It is a complete package of super-fast data transfer speed, great build quality, and affordable price.
PROS

  • Lightweight
  • Snazzy Looks
  • LED light indicators
  • Guarantee Card
  • Supports Both SSD and mechanical HDD
CONS

  • Lose USB connections