[TOPIC]Should we buy an HDD case rather than an external HDD?

Points for choosing an HDD case

An HDD designed to be built into a PC are called “internal HDD” or “bare drive”. An HDD case or enclosure means a case that is able to store an internal HDD. You can use an internal HDD as an external HDD by connecting an HDD case that stored an internal HDD with a PC.
This content explains advantages of using an HDD case, and shows you difference in types and how to choose.

1. Advantages of using an HDD case
2. Types of HDD cases and how to choose
3. Case type or Plug-in type
4. 3.5inch or 2.5inch
5. Using NAS at home
6. Consider additional functions
Summary Select an HDD case based on connection type, bay, and function

・1. Advantages of using an HDD case
HDDs are mainly divided into two types: an internal HDD for installation inside a PC and an external HDD that is used to be connected with a PC by USB cable. Generally, internal HDDs are cheaper than external HDDs. Therefore, when you try to increase your PC’s capacity by using an external HDD, sometime placing an internal HDD in an HDD case and use it as an external HDD may be cheaper than buying an external HDD itself.
Also, if you have a PC that you no longer use, you can make an external HDD by taking out the internal HDD from the PC and placing in an HDD case.
In either case, you can expand your PC’s storage capacity at low cost by using an HDD case.

・2. Types of HDD cases and how to choose
When choosing an HDD case, what is important is the connections type of an internal HDD and an HDD case, and the type of terminal that connects to a PC. There are two connection types, IDE and SATA, and if the connection types of an internal HDD and an HDD case are different, you cannot use them together. When purchasing an HDD case, it is necessary to determine whether the internal HDD you want to use is IDE or SATA, and choose a supported HDD case.
Though, since SATA has been the mainstream for more than ten years, you should choose an HDD case that supports SATA in most cases. If you use an older HDD than that, as it may apply IDE, you need to check the connection type by searching on a manufacture’s website. In appearance, IDE terminal has 20 or 22 metal pins arranged in two rows.
There are several types in connecting types for terminals that connect to a PC, like USB2.0, USB3.1Gen1(USB3.0), and eSATA. Choose an HDD case complying with your PC connecting terminal. Since USB3.1Gen1(USB3.0), and eSATA have high transfer rates, the one with them can read and write data at higher speed.

・3. Case type or Plug-in type
HDD cases are divided into two types: case type and plug-in type, depending on how an internal HDD is stored. Case type stores an internal HDD in a box-shaped case. Since the entire HDD is covered, it is suitable for carrying in a bag. Also, some products have a built-in fan to prevent them from overheating.
Plug-in type get an internal HDD inserted from above into the base part (cradle) of the case. It is like charging a cordless phone handset. Since it can be quickly attached and detached, it is suitable when you need to replace multiple internal HDDs.
For both types, some can store one HDD and others can store multiple HDDs at the same time like two Bay to eight Bay.

・4. 3.5inch or 2.5inch
Internal HDDs are available in two sizes, 3.5 and 2.5 inch., and 3.5 inch is mainly used for desktop PCs, while 2.5 inch is used for laptops and space-saving desktop PCs. Therefore, there are two types of HDD cases as well, for 3.5inch and for 2.5 inch. Choose the suitable size considering what HDD size you use.

・5. Using NAS at home
If you connect HDDs to multiple PCs, basically you need to prepare an HDD case for each PC and connect them one by one. It is hard work for you to reconnect an HDD case with another PC when your need data is located in the HDD that is not connected with the PC.
In such case, an HDD case with NAS function helps you. NAS is connected with a router by LAN cable, not connected with a PC. Then, you can read and write the connected HDD from all the PCs in the same LAN (or Wi-Fi connection works as well). Since it is connected with a LAN terminal, there is no need to worry about whether USB or eSATA.
When you use a NAS HDD case, it is recommended to use high-speed router that supports Gigabit LAN, as data reading and writing is done though LAN. Also, if you use NAS environment with either multiple PCs or multiple people, you should choose storage media with a capacity as large as several TB, so that you can use it comfortably.

・6. Consider additional functions
Some HDD cases have additional functions other than externally attach an internal HDD to a PC. For example, an HDD case with RAID function. It can store multiple HDDs and do striping (read and write at high speed) and mirroring (make backups continuously).
Another example is an HDD case with cloning function. It can connect two HDDs or SSDs and copies the whole data from one to another without PC. It is useful when an HDD become unstable and you need to transfer the data to new HDD, or you copy the entire data from an HDD to an SSD.

・Summary Select an HDD case based on connection type, bay, and function
As mentioned, there are various types of HDD cases. To choose suitable one, let’s start checking with the connection type. Then, consider how many bays you need, and whether case type or plug-in type, depending on the required capacity and usage style. At last, consider the additional function; if you want to use it on multiple PCs, NAS is suitable, and if your data should be entirely copied, the HDD case with cloning function should be chosen.

・Our recommended products
3.5inch 4BAY HDD case, Non-Raid, USB3.1(Gen1)/USB3.0, eSATA [LHR-4BNHEU3]

An HDD case supports USB 3.1 Gen 1(USB3.0). As this product applies aluminum body, it is durable and has high heat dissipation. Quietly works without fan.

3.5 inch Aluminum body HDD case, USB3.1(Gen1) [LHR-EKWU3BK]

An HDD case supports USB 3.1 Gen 1(USB3.0). As this product applies aluminum body, it is durable and has high heat dissipation. Quietly works without fan.

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