Best cheap external multiple hard drive enclosure 2023


A black box-shaped external hard drive with multiple ports on the front.
Credit: Sabrent

The best cheap external multiple hard drive enclosure is essential if you're someone who always needs more storage.

One of the biggest advantages of a hard drive enclosure for multiple drives is that you can keep more space inside your PC for things like the best AMD motherboards for gaming, the DDR5 RAM, or even a bigger GPU or cooler for your CPU. Not only that, but if you ever need to swap something, then you'll have a much easier time doing so, and we love a simple life. There are even some that can deal with both SSDs and HDDs, which makes them immensely useful for multiple storage needs.

We know that's a lot to take in, but worry not! We've considered everything there is to consider, including features, price, and reviews with our list. Let's get stuck in and find what you're looking for.

Best cheap external multiple hard drive enclosures

  1. Sabrent USB 3.0 to SATA Dual Bay External Hard Drive Docking Station
  2. Sabrent USB 3.0 4 Bay Hard Drive Docking Station
  3. Inateck RGB SATA to USB 3.0 Hard Drive Docking Station
  4. Mediasonic RAID 4 3.5” SATA Hard Drive Enclosure
  5. ORICO 5 Bay USB 3.0 to SATA External Hard Drive Enclosure
Sabrent product image of a black hard drive featuring two blue lights on the front.
click to enlarge
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Credit: Sabrent

1. Sabrent USB 3.0 to SATA Dual Bay External Hard Drive Docking Station

This Sabrent hard drive docking station connects through a single USB 3.0 port, allowing for fast data transfer and widespread compatibility for both desktops and laptops.

This docking station can support up to 10 TB, which allows for a significantly large amount of storage to be easily and efficiently installed on the computer.

It supports offline cloning for up to 60 MBps and supports plug-and-play, meaning no drivers are needed. This makes for an incredibly useful portable hard drive dock, highly suitable for people who will be working on different computers.

Sabrent product image of a black circular hard drive with multiple ports beneath a lid.
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Credit: Sabrent

2. Sabrent USB 3.0 4 Bay Hard Drive Docking Station

Expanded storage for your PC, allowing for up to four different drives to be easily installed and cooled by the top of the enclosure, which features a large cooling fan.

This Sabrent enclosure allows for reading and writing on four hard drives while allowing transfer speeds of up to 5 GB per second. It also features a stylish black design and LED indicators for both power and HDD access.

As a result, we'd say this excellent 4-bay docking station is a great pick if you're after a cheap hard drive enclosure.

Inateck product image of a black hard drive with pink and blue lights underneath.
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Credit: Inateck

3. Inateck RGB SATA to USB 3.0 Hard Drive Docking Station

This Inateck enclosure allows you to slot in two drives, whether they're SSDs or HDDs, which conveniently slot into the top of the enclosure.

It features a sleek matte black design alongside some cool-looking RGB that isn't just there for aesthetics; the lighting acts as a means for you to tell when data is being transferred.

The enclosure also supports the UASP transfer protocol and enables offline cloning too, which is mighty handy. The progress for the cloning can be seen via some convenient status LEDs next to the drive bays themselves.

In addition, expect to find that this Inateck option connects via one USB 3.0 connection which is nicely convenient.

Mediasonic product image of a black box-shaped hard drive.
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Credit: Mediasonic

4. Mediasonic RAID 4 3.5” SATA Hard Drive Enclosure

The Mediasonic RAID 4 3.5” SATA Hard Drive Enclosure will provide you with slots for up to four full-size 3.5-inch SATA drives or 2.5-inch SSDs, making it quite the versatile option.

Alongside this, you'll also get a built-in RAID controller which helps to organise your drives so they can work as a coherent unit, as well as convenient connectivity via either USB-A 3.1 or USB-C which should also offer you some speedy transfers.

Adding to this is active cooling fan with SMART temperature tracking, which means it only starts up and is in use when it's essential to cool the drives down.

ORICO product image of a dark grey hard drive with five ports on the front.
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Credit: ORICO

5. ORICO 5 Bay USB 3.0 to SATA External Hard Drive Enclosure

A premium design that can fit into a home office, gaming room, or even the office! This docking station offers up to five HDD bays that support up to 80 TB.

It features a Unibody Aluminum-Alloy body with Double Heat Dissipation, and this enclosure features a 4mm thickness which allows the enclosure to be firm and reliable.

This ORICO enclosure supports plug-and-play and hot-swapping the hard drives ensuring that PC builders can quickly replace your hard drives should one fail.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

There are always a few questions that pop up time and time again, so here we’ll answer them the best we can, so you can make an informed decision on your next upgrade.

What is an HDD enclosure?

An HDD enclosure is simply somewhere you can put your hard drives and plug them into your PC for them to work.

External enclosures, like the ones we’ve listed, can allow you to add more storage without opening your PC case to plug them in and can work with either 2.5 or 3.5-inch drives, and even SSDs if you get the right one.

Are all HDD enclosures the same?

In short, no. HDD enclosures do differ, especially given the respective size of the drive you’re inserting. Some will be 2.5 inches in size, and others 3.5, and some enclosures will have more slots than others and may run at different speeds.

How much should I spend on an external hard drive enclosure?

This majorly depends on how many drives you'd like to connect up externally. If you want to connect up to 2 drives, then a good enclosure can run up upwards of $100, and for up to 5 drives or more, you're looking at around $200-$300.

Is an external hard drive enclosure worth it?

In our humble opinion, we'd say that an external hard enclosure is worth it if you want quick and easy access to hard drives that you can plug in and take out of your PC.

In addition, if you've run out of physical space inside your PC case and you need more storage space, then an external hard drive enclosure is a rather useful investment

How do I use an external hard drive enclosure?

Put simply, all you need to do is connect up your hard drives by fitting them into the enclosure and then plug the enclosure into your computer via the USB cable.

Windows should then recognise the drives and you should be able to format and use them accordingly.

Does a hard drive enclosure need a fan?

It would make sense for your external hard drive enclosure to have a fan so it can be adequately cooled, and so it doesn't overheat, so your drives can work at their best for longer.

Can I use an old internal hard drive externally?

In short, yes. If you've got an old internal hard drive, you can put it into a hard drive enclosure and plug it in, and you should be able to utilise your drive like any other HDD.

It's even possible to repurpose an old internal hard drive into a standalone external hard drive, which can save you a little cash and the hassle of transferring data from your old HDD.

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