USB 3.0 external hard drives are useful for file backup, but some portable hard drives aren’t that affordable.
If you have a spare hard drive, you might be able to use it as an external hard drive.
To do so, you’ll need a hard drive enclosure, and today we’re going to show you the best USB 3.0 external hard drive enclosures for your Windows 10 PC.
What are the best USB 3.0 external hard drive enclosures?
- Cross-platform compatibility (supports older versions of Windows as well)
- USB 3.0 cable for ultra-fast data transfer rates
- Quick and easy installation
- Data leakage protection to avoid data loss
- Plug-and-play HDD and SSD dock
- Additional materials such as tape may be required to install a 2.5
RSHTECH Hard Drive Enclosure USB 3.0 to SATA External Hard Drive Docking Station for 3.5 inch SATA is the perfect tool to retrieve data from old computers or to reformat SATA hard drives for extra backup.
With the most advanced chipset on the market, a sturdy plastic enclosure, and a switch design, you can start using this nifty gadget in a heartbeat. Just plug it and enjoy the benefits, no additional drivers are required.
It supports SATA HDD/SDD and UASP accelerated transmission protocol.
The package includes a screwdriver and screws included for quick assembly, a portable hard drive case, and a 12V 2A power supply to streamline the transmission.
This hard drive enclosure comes with an aluminum case and sleek design. The device uses USB 3.0 for file transfer, but USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 standards are also supported.
Regarding the hard drives, this enclosure works with SATA I and SATA II 2.5-inch hard drives. It can also work with Solid State Drives up to 9.5mm height.
Patriot Gauntlet 2 is compact and it weighs about 92g. This enclosure doesn’t require any additional cables and it uses USB 3.0 cable for power and file transfer.
Since this is a USB 3.0 enclosure, it supports speeds up to 5Gbps. The device also comes with an LED activity light.
Patriot Gauntlet 2 is a simple hard drive enclosure, and it will allow you to easily turn any compatible hard drive into an external hard drive.
The only flaw of this model is the lack of support for SATA III hard drives, but Patriot Gauntlet 3 fixes that problem.
There’s also Patriot Gauntlet 4 model available that uses USB 3.1 standard and Type-C connection. If you want the best performance, you might want to consider Patriot Gauntlet 4.
If you have a large hard drive that you want to connect with your PC, then Rosewill RX-358 U3C might be just what you need.
The drive supports 3.5-inch SATA I and SATA II drives and it uses USB 3.0 or eSATA to connect to your PC. Thanks to USB 3.0, the device can achieve 5Gbps transfer speed.
The enclosure supports drives up to 4TB and it uses 12V 2A power adapter. Rosewill RX-358 U3C comes with a built-in fan that will ensure that your drive is cool and working properly.
The device also has a power switch on the back, so you can easily turn the device on or off.
Rosewill RX-358 U3C is a bulky device, but it should keep your hard drive cool thanks to the built-in fan.
The enclosure looks solid and durable, so your hard drive will remain protected. Regarding the flaws, the only flaw might be the lack of support for SATA III drives.
Vantec NexStar TX is a slim aluminum hard drive enclosure, and this enclosure uses USB 3.0 for file transfer.
Thanks to the USB 3.0 you can achieve up to 5 Gbps transfer speed. Of course, Vantec NexStar TX is compatible with USB 2.0 but if you decide to use USB 2.0 your performance will suffer.
This enclosure supports 2.5-inch SATA I, II, and III hard drives and Solid State Drives. As for maximum height, Vantec NexStar TX can work with 7mm, 9.5mm, and 12.5mm drives.
The device is hot-swappable, so it doesn’t require rebooting in order to use it. In addition, no extra drivers are required, so this enclosure will work with both Mac and Windows computers.
The enclosure also comes with an LED indicator for power and HDD activity.
Vantec NexStar TX is a decent hard drive enclosure. The aluminum case looks great, but at the same time, it also cools your drive.
Sabrent enclosure comes with clean and simple design, so it will keep a low-profile on your desk. The device uses USB 3.0 port for file transfer and supports transfer speeds up to 5Gbps.
The device is compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 1.1, but keep in mind that you’re limited to 480Mbps while using USB 2.0.
The enclosure supports 2.5-inch drives and it works with SATA I and SATA II hard drives.
Sabrent enclosure is hot-swappable and it requires no drivers in order to work. You just need to insert your hard drive, connect the enclosure to your PC, turn it on and you’re good to go.
Sabrent enclosure supports 7mm and 9.5mm hard drives, and it’s also compatible with SSDs. We also have to mention that enclosure has a tool-free design, so you won’t need any tools to install your hard drive.
ORICO Toolfree is another USB 3.0 hard drive enclosure. This device works with 3.5-inch SATA I, II, and III hard drives and SSDs.
Regarding the maximum capacity, this enclosure can support drives up to 8TB. If you don’t have a USB 3.0 port on your PC, you should know that this device is fully compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 standards.
However, by using USB 2.0 and older your transfer speed will drop.
This is a Plug and Play device, so it doesn’t require any drivers. Simply connect the device with your PC and it will start working automatically.
Regarding the supported operating systems, this device works with Windows, Mac, and Linux systems.
The device is made from ABS plastic and metal so it looks solid. ORICO Toolfree comes with a shock-proof sponge on the bottom that will provide some protection to your hard drive.
The device comes with one USB 3.0 cable and 12V 2A power adapter. ORICO Toolfree offers a simple design, and it requires no tools in order to install your hard drive.
Sabrent Ultra Slim
This hard drive enclosure comes with ultra light aluminum case that will protect your hard drive and keep it cool at the same time.
The drive supports 2.5-inch SATA I and SATA II hard drives. The device uses USB 3.0 for file transfer and it supports speeds up to 5Gbps.
Of course, this enclosure is compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 1.1. Keep in mind that by using USB 2.0 you’ll be limited to 480Mbps transfer speed.
The enclosure is hot-swappable and Plug and Play, so it doesn’t require any drivers in order to work.
Simply insert the drive, connect the enclosure and you’ll be able to access your files without any problems.
The enclosure is fully compatible with Windows and Mac systems. Sabrent Ultra Slim comes with a USB 3.0 cable, carrying case, and a screw set with a screwdriver.
This enclosure offers simple and lightweight design. The enclosure is made from ABS plastic material and it uses USB 3.0 for file transfer.
This enclosure supports speeds up to 5Gbps, but it’s also compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 1.1.
Regarding the supported operating systems, this enclosure works with Mac and Windows systems.
Inateck enclosure works with 2.5-inch SATA III hard drives and SSDs up to 9.5mm thickness.
The enclosure has a built-in foam pad that should provide some protection to your hard drive. This is a Plug and Play device, so you can just connect it to your PC and start using it immediately.
The device has a power switch that will protect your hard drive, and there’s also an LED activity indicator.
This enclosure uses USB 3.1 Gen 2 standard and it can support speeds up to 10Gbps. The device supports 3.5-inch SATA I, II and III drives, so you’re limited to 6Gbps speed.
The enclosure is made from a durable aluminum housing, and it comes with a vertical stand.
The aluminum case is brushed, so it will look attractive and at the same time protect your drive from any potential damage.
The enclosure can support drives up to 6TB capacity, which is more than enough for basic users.
StarTech enclosure comes with USB Type-A to Type-B cable and it’s fully compatible with older USB standards.
The enclosure comes with a USB cable, HDD stand, universal power adapter, and a screw kit. StarTech USB 3.1 Enclosure is a great device, and it’s available in black, silver, and white colors.
This aluminum enclosure uses USB 3.0 for file transfer and it can achieve speeds up to 5Gbps. The enclosure can work with SATA I, II and III drives and it supports both 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch devices.
Regarding the storage, the device supports up to 10TB storage drives. Backward compatibility with USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 is also supported.
Inateck Aluminum Enclosure is fully compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.
The enclosure comes with four non-slipping rubber pads that will prevent your enclosure from moving.
The interior of the device is covered with smooth and slip-resistant PU leather that provides protection against scratches.
The device requires no drivers in order to work and it comes with 12V/2A power adapter and USB 3.0 cable.
- Ultra-fast data transfer rate (5Gbps)
- Supports UASP Transfer Protocol, hot-swap, plug and play
- Sturdy, impact-resistant design
- Easy set up (no additional drivers required for the disk dock)
- Does not support 3.5
Just as its name hints, WAVLINK USB 3.0 to SATA External Hard Drive Enclosure for 2.5 inch 5mm/7mm/9.5mm SATA I/II/III is compatible with 2.5’’ 5mm/ 7mm/9.5mm SATA I/II/III interface HDD and SSD.
The best part is that you can quickly and easily assemble it and then take it anywhere with you without having to plan your space a great deal thanks to its minimalistic and portable design. Besides, its case is highly resistant to impact and sturdy.
Plus, you get lifelong technical support with it.
Speaking about support, the gadget is compatible with the UASP Transfer Protocol for ultra-fast data transfer rates, plus it’s hot-swapped and plug-and-play configured.
USB 3.0 external hard drive enclosures offer great speed, and if you have a spare hard drive, you might want to consider getting one of these enclosures for your PC.
What’s your favorite gadget from this list? Do share your choice with us via the comments section below.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in October 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.