11 best USB 3.0 external hard drive enclosures [2021 Guide]

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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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?

RSHTECH Hard Drive Enclosure USB 3.0

  • 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.


Patriot Gauntlet 2

  • Durable and lightweight unit-body
  • Aluminum housing
  • No additional power required
  • Plug and play
  • No known issues

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.


Rosewill RX-358 U3C

  • Aluminum body
  • Built-in cooling fan and fan switch
  • Supports UASP function
  • Fast transfer rates
  • Lights on the front do not blink when the device is connected via eSATA cable

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

  • Fast transfer rates (up to 5Gbps)
  • Backward compatible with USB 2.0/1.1
  • SATA 6 Gbps interface
  • Clear LED activity indicator
  • Does not come with a caddy

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.


WAVLINK USB 3.0 to SATA External Hard Drive Enclosure

  • 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.

Editor’s note: The article continues on the next page. Feel free to explore more hard drive enclosure deals.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in January 2017 and was revamped and updated in November 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.