Storage Recommendations – drive enclosures

This page provides links to drive enclosures that are sold empty. The devices shown on this page are built for single drives or multiple drives in JBOD configuration. RAID and NAS devices are shown on another page.

Single drive enclosures

2.5 inch USB enclosures

These are the most economical enclosures to buy. They are suitable for 2.5 inch spinning disks and SSDs. Look for one that is at least USB3.1 so that you can use it with SSDs and get the full speed out of the drive. These will usually have bus power and won’t need an external power supply.

USB 3.1

HorneTek Cheetah USB3.1
This is a no-frills, off brand enclosure that would provide a very economical solution for a portable drive. $18 at B&H

CRU Dataport ToughTech
Here’s a brand-name version of a similar enclosure from CRU Dataport. I’ve been using one of these and like the build quality.

$40 from B&H

USB + Firewire

If you need to be backwards compatible with older Macs (typically pre 2012), then you probably want Firewire as well since the built-in USB is the very slow USB 2 version. This boosts the price by $20-$30.
Akitio Neutrino U3+
I don’t know this brand, but you can see that it has both Firewire and USB 3. It also has a beefy-looking aluminum enclosure with a heat sink on the bottom to help keep the drive cool.
$60 from B&H

3.5 inch Enclosures

Now let’s look at some options for full-size drives. As stated in the book, these provide the best price/TB


StarTech USB 3.0 Enclosure for 3.5 inch drive
This is an inexpensive drive enclosure that would be good for a backup drive or even a main storage drive fro archive files. (Since it has no fan, it’s not a great enclosure for a working drive).


$30 at B&H

USB + Firewire

Other world computing Mercury Elite Pro. This unit has USB 3.0, Firewire 800 and eSATA. As with the firewire pocket drive above, this is a good option if you need to use it with an older Mac. 

$85 at B&H

Two-bay enclosures

Four-bay enclosures

Eight-bay enclosures