The 11 best USB 3.0 external hard drive enclosures
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?
Zalman ZM-V350B (recommended)
If you have an old hard drive that you want to connect to a new PC, Zalman ZM-V350B might be the perfect enclosure for you. This enclosure is relatively small and it weighs about 96g. The device is made from aluminum alloy, acrylic and polycarbonate. Zalman ZM-VE300 uses USB 3.0 for file transfer and it can achieve transfer speed up to 5Gbps.
Even though this enclosure uses USB 3.0 for file transfer, USB 2.0 and 1.1 are also supported, but your speed will drop by using older USB standards. This enclosure is designed for 2.5-inch SATA I, II and III drives and thanks to the aluminum body your hard drive will remain cool and protected from external shocks.
This enclosure comes with a built-in CD emulator that allows you to use ISO files, which can be extremely useful if you want to boot your PC from an ISO image. This is a Plug and Play device, so no additional software is required. Simply connect the enclosure with your PC and you’ll be ready to use it.
Zalman ZM-VE300 is simple to use, and it comes with intuitive menus so it’s perfect for first time users. There’s also a backup button that will automatically copy files to the selected folder. The backup button is also used to turn off your device, and you just need to hold it for 3 seconds to do so.
Zalman ZM-VE300 is a simple device and it requires only 5V DC in order to work. The device supports all major operating systems and it comes with a travel pouch and a screwdriver for installation. Zalman ZM-VE300 will easily turn your old hard drive into an external hard drive, and thanks to the USB 3.0 connection you’ll transfer all your files quickly. Regarding the price, you can get this enclosure for $44.99.
Patriot Gauntlet 2 (suggested)
This hard drive enclosure comes with 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 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. Regarding the price, this model costs $12.99. 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.
Rosewill RX-358 U3C
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 the 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, only flaw might be the lack of support for SATA III drives. As for the price, you can get Rosewill RX-358 U3C for $35.99.
Vantec NexStar TX
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. This is a great enclosure for first time users, and you can get it for $12.99.
Sabrent 2.5-Inch External Hard Drive Enclosure
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.
Sabrent enclosure has solid design and it weighs about 2.1 ounces. USB 3.0 cable is included with the enclosure, and you can get this device for $9.99.
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 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 simple design, and it requires no tools in order to install your hard drive. Regarding the price, ORICO Toolfree is available for $19.99.
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 USB 3.0 cable, carrying case and a screw set with a screwdriver. Sabrent Ultra Slim is a decent USB 3.0 hard drive enclosure, and you can get it for $9.99.
Inateck Hard Drive Enclosure
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.
Inateck Hard Drive Enclosure is a simple enclosure, and you can get this device for $13.99.
StarTech USB 3.1 Enclosure
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. Enclosure is made from durable aluminum housing, and it comes with a vertical stand. 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. As for the price, you can get this enclosure for $40.99.
Inateck Aluminum Enclosure
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. Inateck Aluminum Enclosure offers solid design and features, and you can purchase this device for $26.99.
Enermax Brick comes with a back aluminum case, so it offers some protection to your hard drive. This enclosure works with 3.5-inch SATA I,II and III drives. The enclosure uses USB 3.0 for file transfer and it offers transfer speed up to 5GBps. The device is compatible with USB 2.0, but it can achieve only 480Mbps by using USB 2.0.
The enclosure can support drives up to 4TB, and it comes with front air vents that will keep your hard drive cool. Another feature of this enclosure is the power saving mode. The device will automatically turn off the hard drive after 10 minutes of inactivity in order to save power. Enermax Brick doesn’t require any additional drivers and it will work right out of the box.
The device comes with a desktop stand, power adapter and a USB 3.0 cable. Enermax Brick is a decent enclosure, and you can get it for about $131.
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.
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