I usually prefer using internal hard drives. However, there are many good reasons to use external hard drives. Some of these reasons include the convenience of not having to open up your computer, running of out room for hard drives inside your computer, and the ability to move the hard drive from one computer to another (in case you want to make backups). In these cases, an external hard drive can be the right move. In this article, I’ll review the Fideco USB3.0 to SATA hard drive enclosure I recently bought. Was it worth the purchase? Read on to find out.
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What is the Fideco hard drive enclosure?
The Fideco hard drive enclosure converts internal SATA hard drives to external USB 3.0 devices. It comes with a USB 3.0 cable and an adapter for powering the hard drive. You can install and remove a hard drive without any tools. Here are the specs:
|Model Number:||Fideco A3U-U3|
|Hard Drive Interface:||SATA I/II/III (2.5″ or 3.5″)|
|External Interface:||USB 3.0|
|Compatibility:||Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10, Mac OS, Linux|
|Dimensions:||8 x 5 x 1.5 (L X H X W inches)|
|Package Contents:||USB External Hard Drive Enclosure |
USB 3.0 A to B Cable
12V/2A Power Adapter
Buy on Amazon
Why I bought the Fideco
As I detailed in my home lab update article, I bought an Intel NUC to run my primary Proxmox virtual machine host. NUCs don’t have room in them for extra storage. I put a 500GB internal NVMe SSD for the OS and images, and then a Samsung EVO SSD for my virtual machine storage. That filled up all the disk slots in the compact NUC.
However, I run a fairly extensive multi-camera ZoneMinder surveillance system. I record 24/7 around my house and keep 7 days worth of recording. This requires a decent amount of storage (around 500 GB for the continuous recordings plus space for videos that I archive). Since all the hard drive slots internal to my NUC are full, I opted for an external USB 3.0 drive. USB 3.0 is plenty fast enough for this use case.
There are a lot of external hard drives that come ready to go. The Western Digital Elements and the Western Digital My Book external hard drive series are popular and well-reviewed. I have a couple of Seagate Expansion Desktop external drives that have served me well over the years. However, you never really know what hard drive you’ll get when you buy an external hard drive. For surveillance, I wanted a purpose-built disk for handling the 24/7 writes. I opted for the Western Digital Purple Surveillance hard drive, and I’ve previously used Seagate Skyhawk disks for surveillance too.
Since the WD Purple hard drive is internal, I needed an external enclosure to make it a USB 3.0 drive. I opted for the Fideco because it has good reviews, a fan to keep it cool, and tool free installation.
How the Fideco enclosure performed
The Fideco enclosure performed as well as I expected. Installing a hard drive can be as simple as pressing on the lid (press to open and close) and inserting the hard drive into the SATA data and power slots. If you want it to be more secure, you can put the screws into the disk drive and slide them into the slots above and below the fan in the picture above. I didn’t need to do that because I don’t move the hard drive around at all.
I always worry about how loud fans are in electronics. This one is quiet and can’t be heard above other electronic equipment in my office. Also, it can be turned off. Despite 24/7 disk writing, the enclosure remains cool.
My one complaint with this enclosure is how bright the disk access LED indicator is. It is red and blue, and when all the lights are off in my office, it can look like a light show. I can always just put some black electrical tape over it if it really bothers me.
Alternative hard drive enclosures
Here are a few other well-reviewed alternatives to enclosure I purchased. All of them are in the same general price range and are worth considering.
|Quiet||Bright hard drive LED|
|Easy hard drive install|
|Works with 2.5″ and 3.5″ hard drives|
I haven’t had any problems with this case. If you’re looking for an external USB 3.0 hard drive enclosure, be sure to take a look at this one.
What external enclosures do you recommend? Let me know on Twitter or in the comments.
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