Having multiple separated external hard disk can be a headache. One solution is to go for a single multiple bay hard disk enclosure that can fit all your hard disks instead of having all of them separated. You can also opt for NAS ( Network Attached Storage) which is a viable solution however typical NAS storage will cost a few folds compared with multiple bay hard drive enclosure. Typically enclosures will support from 2 up to 16 disks. Price will go up with more bays support.
Here are some points to consider when buying external hard drive enclosure
- Some of the enclosures will have extra functionality such as RAID. This is good for backup purpose incase of hard disk failures
- Choose enclosures with good air flow and casing. Hard disk gets quite hot. A good fan helps
- Find enclosure with high speed connectivity to your computer. Typically eSata or USB 3.0 and above would be ideal
Here are some hard drive enclosures which are available on the market.
Mediasonic Probox is a good choice for external hard disk enclosures. It comes with RAID or non RAID functionality. Of course non Raid would be cheaper. The aluminium enclosure supports up to four 3.5 inches hard disks. The maximum size for each hard disk is 4TB which gives you to a total of 16TB. All of the hard disk is connected via Sata cable. The enclosure comes with built in fan which can be upgraded. The enclosure is connected via eSata or USB 3.0 cable to your computer.
Probox 4 comes with a nice looking LED panel where basic functionality of the enclosure can be set. Probox 4 is has smart fans functionality where it will auto adjust it’s speed based on the temperature of the enclosure. It also has smart sync functionality where it will auto shuts down when your computer shuts down.
Orico 4 bay enclosure
Orico 9548U3-US-BK is an aluminium enclosure which supports up to four 3.5 hard disks. Each bay supports up to 6TB which gives a total of 24TB. Orico enclosure is designed where hard disk can be mounted easily without any tools. This enclosure supports USB 3.0 connection of a computer. Hard drives also can be locked with a locking key which I think is rather unnecessary. One would steal the whole enclosure instead of individual disk considering the size of the enclosure
Archgon 4 bay enclosure
Archgon is another interesting choice when it comes to 4 bays enclosure. This enclosure is aluminium built with LED display for functionality such as fan speed. It can handle the latest 6TB hard disk per bay which gives to a total of 24TB disk space. This device supports USD 3.0 or eSata connectivity.