Hard Drive Docking Stations Reviews
If you’re looking to do some major computer repairs, a hard drive docking station might be a better choice than the standard external hard drive. The reason for this is that you can put a normal HDD in the docking station without having to use an adaptor. This prevents you from having to build the HDD into the computer. That being said, the docking station and regular hard drive are quite similar in purpose and function. The station also allows you to dock multiple internal HDDs using only one SATA or USB. There are tons of docking stations on the market, and not all are created equal in terms of price and performance. With a little research and exploration you can find the docking station that is right for you and your project. Asking the local electronics wiz at your computer store always breeds good results.
Hard Drive Docking Stations Buying Guide
Before you start shopping for a hard drive docking station, there are a few things that can help you to narrow down the range of choices before you begin. There are several different brands and models available and if you haven’t had a lot of experience with these devices, you may not yet know which unit will be the best choice for you. In order to cut down on browsing time and researching information on specifications, this guide is designed to provide you with tips that will make your experience easier and to help you more quickly find the docking station that will best meet your needs.
What is a Hard Drive Docking Station?
A hard drive docking station also known as an HDD docking station is a device that allows for the access to information that is stored on hard drives by means of USB, eSATA, and sometimes both, depending upon the model that is chosen. You will need to have a PC or Mac available to attach a data cable. The hard drive docking station allows for accessing the data on the drive without the need for installing the hard drive into an actual computer. It also provides for reading and writing to two drives at the same time. Many units are designed to provide functionality in multiple environments such as Linux, MAC and Windows.
How HDD Docking Stations Work?
There are several different types of HDD docking stations. Here is an example of how they operate.
Hard drive docking stations that connect to a Mac or PC are connected by USB and Firewire. Insert the hard drive into the appropriate docking station slot. Plug it in and turn on the power. Next, attach the data cable to the Mac or PC and wait for the device to be detected and mounted.
eSata requires starting with the PC or Mac power off. Insert the hard drive into the docking station slot, then plug it in and turn on the power. Attach the data cable to the PCX or Mac and power on the PC. Wait until the device is detected and mounted.
What Hard Drive Docking Stations are Used For?
HDD docking systems are commonly used for backing up data to an external drive for storing the information in archives. They allow for the fast transfer of data from one hard drive to another. They make testing hard drives fast and easy for technicians who need to test a variety of hard drives in a short period of time. Data recovery is made simpler by the use of an HDD docking station.
What to Look for in a Hard Drive Docking Station?
The interface is an important aspect of compatibility when purchasing a hard drive docking station. While many are designed to accommodate multiple formats, not all will. There are different formats of hard drives. The older laptop hard drives are known as IDE and are characterized by a series of small prongs protruding from the top. Newer laptop hard drives have a bar across the top with several brass fingered coverings, but they are flatter than the older IDE drives.
These drives are also known as SATA or PATA. These drives also come in a variety of widths and sizes so it is important to ensure that the docking station is designed to accommodate multiple formats. You can also refer to the actual hard drive which will list the type on the label.
Compatible system requirements
Prior to purchasing your new hard drive docking station, read the system requirements. This is an example of what you will find. You will need to have a computer, usually with a USB port that is available, and that has a compatible environment with the docking unit. Linux, Mac or Windows compatibility may be specified within the system requirements, but the best units will work for any of these. Online cloning software that is compatible with the operating system is another common requirement, and the type of compatible hard drives is also listed on the sys req. Offline cloning is available for Windows environments but not generally for use with Mac or Linux systems.
When matching system requirements another important aspect of ensuring that your hard drive docking station will function properly is to check to see if the required data cables are included in the purchase. This is the cable that connects the hard drive docking station to the computer that you will be using to access the hard drive information.
Comparisons and Reviews
It is always a good idea to check hard drive docking station reviews online for the opinions of others who have used these devices. This will give you a sense of the dependability and user friendliness of different brands and models. People who have purchased, used and rated these products tell others about their experiences, both good and bad, and can help in choosing the most reliable and functional unit that will best meet your needs.
Choosing the best hard drive docking station is made easier by observing a few simple rules. First determine what you will be using it for, what types of hard drives you need to access and what type of computer environment you currently have. Select a reasonably priced brand and model that meets your needs. Double check to ensure that you meet the system requirements and have all of the needed connection cables so you will be ready to go.
Make sure that the unit has all of the features that you are looking for in a hard drive docking station. It must be compatible with the format of hard drives that you will be using. If you will be using a variety of different hard drives of varying sizes and system environments, then you will want to make sure that you select a unit that is compatible with multiple systems. Finally, making a quick scan of customer reviews for the brands and models that you are considering can help you in making your final decision about the docking station that will work best for you and provide long and reliable service.