Those of us who love video content constantly struggle with which one to keep and which to delete. That is because our computers come with a limited space where we cannot store all the things we love.
This is where RAID comes to the rescue!
RAID can be short for two terms – Redundant Array of Independent Drives or Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks.
The former is considered to be the more acceptable definition nowadays. It basically acts like an external drive with much more storage capacity than the default ones on our Windows or Mac device.
They bring the advantage of r to 100 terabytes of space where we can save all our beloved content – be it professional or personal.
However, these RAID enclosures vary a lot in terms of space, transfer speed, construction and more. That is why we are here to find the best RAID enclosure that fits your individual needs.
Top 7 Best Raid Enclosure Reviews
1. Synology 2 bay NAS DiskStation
Synology is a well-known and well-respected brand of electric devices to every gadget freak. At the same time, it is also often the top choice for workaholics and cinephiles who need to store a huge amount of data on their personal drives. Synology offers a simple solution to them with their DiskStation DS220j model.
It is supposed to be the personal cloud solution for all the data you need to store. This will also keep the files safe from getting lost forever in case the original storage device encounters a systematic failure. So you can rest assured that none of your important data is going to vanish with this NAS installed.
In addition to storage and backup, the DiskStation makes it easier for you to share individual files with anyone from anywhere! This entry-level 2-bay file server is meant for personal users who need to share documents with clients, as well as photos and videos with their loved ones.
The award-winning operating system called DiskStation Manager or DSM of Synology runs this cloud solution. Along with the convenience of such superior management, easy backup of digital assets and data protection, you can also benefit from an intuitive user interface.
You can use it with both computers and mobile devices which expands its accessibility even further. All you have to do is download its mobile app and start backing up new files or accessing the stored ones.
Along with storing data, you can also stream content through DS220j utilizing its integrated media server. You don’t have to pay any subscription fee for the public clouds which can save some of your monthly expenses.
Key Features :
- A file server for households to keep the personal data safe
- Award-winning DSM for better management of digital assets
- Supports streaming content through the integrated media server
- Capable of sharing data with any popular operating system
- Mobile apps let you access and backup files from anywhere
2. Yottamaster 4 Bay USB-C RAID Enclosure
Similar to Synology, Yottamaster is another globally popular brand focused on developing innovative and practical data storage solutions. One of their solutions for personal data storage at home or office is this RAID enclosure, whose flexibility is ideal for professionals who work with HD video content regularly.
It comes in a variety of storage capacity and RAID modes. This device supports the RAID modes 0, 1, 3, 5, 10, CLONE, PM and JBOD/SPAN. Choosing the appropriate RAID configuration can significantly simplify your entire workflow. You can set the preferred mode and manage the modes using the corresponding RAID software.
You can settle for 1,2, 4 or 5 bays which amounts to 10 TB, 20 TB, 64 TB and 80 TB storage capacities respectively. If the preset capacity doesn’t match your requirements, you can even customize the number of removable trays and thus enjoy the perfect amount of storage for your individual needs.
The entire shell is built from rugged aluminum alloy that can dissipate heat. Additionally, there are two cooling holes on both front and rear of this enclosure to ensure rapid cooling and air convection. Lastly, a standard 80 mm silent fan is built into its shell to maintain the cool environment without causing much noise.
You will find it easy to install with its user-friendly front door. The PUSH design here also makes it a convenient hard drive replacement. It can support 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch drives – both HDD and SSD – which maximizes their storage potential. Enjoy transfer rates of up to 5 Gbps with its USB 3.1 protocol!
Key Features :
- Comes with 4 removable trays for up to 64 TB of storage
- Built with an aluminum alloy shell that can dissipate heat
- An 80mm silent fan for noise-sensitive environments
- Front door with PUSH design makes installation easier
- USB 3.1 protocol allows up to 5 Gbps transfer rate
3. Mediasonic 4 BaySATA Hard Drive Enclosure USB 3.1
HF2-SU31C and HF7-SU31C are two of the most popular RAID enclosures produced by Mediasonic. They share many similar features but the latter comes with a revised design to improve certain features like the air circulation. That is why we count it as a potential choice for the best RAID enclosure available today.
The upgraded design now includes a front door that has an 80 mm smart fan with a built-in temperature sensor, which you will find very easy to install or replace. It can support up to 4 HDDs in its trays and can synchronize power with your computer.
Similar to the previous Yottamaster model, this enclosure is also equipped with USB 3.1 ports. As a result, you don’t have to wait around too long for transferring files from your computer to its drives.
Utilizing the Type-C USB 3.1 Gen-II cable, you can get it done at an extremely high speed of 10 Gigabytes per second! The previous types like USB 3.1 Gen-I and USB will provide a transfer rate of 5 Gbps, while the USB 2.0 type can only go up to 480 Mbps.
The Gen-II cables are designed very carefully with a Teflon coating that both fights corrosion and resists heat.
They protect the welded metal shield so that the transmissions are more stable. The high transfer rate it can accommodate is due to the double stainless steel braided shield which reduces electromagnetic interference and provides 95% average coverage.
Key Features :
- Supports 3.5-inch SATA hard disk drives up to 4×16 TB
- Upgraded design with front door and air intake features
- Very high transfer rate of up to 10 Gbps through USB 3.1
- 80x80x20 mm smart fan with built-in temperature sensor
- Comes with UASP, S.M.A.R.T and power sync features too
4. Vantec Nexstar GX USB 3.0 SATA SSD/HDD
If you have been looking for an affordable alternative to the aforementioned options, this RAID enclosure model from Vantec can be the perfect choice for you. It belongs to the popular NexStar series of external hard drive enclosures which aims at providing all capacities of storage solutions to people.
This model in particular brings some limitations along with its economical price point. You can house only up to two drives within each unit of these compact RAID enclosures. Compared to other expensive models which can house 4 to 6 or more drives, it is definitely lacking in this aspect.
Although it is built to work with Solid State Drives, you can also use it with Hard Disk Drives or SD HDs for RAID capability.
Configuring it is simple through the available RAID modes including RAID 0, RAID 1 and the individual JBOD.
Each drive here has a memory capacity of 2 TB. So, you can keep up to 4 TB worth of files or content in these drives. You can transfer files from your computer to the enclosure at the rate of 5 Gbps.
Key Features :
- A compact RAID enclosure for housing two drives
- Ideal for SDDs but can also support HDDs or SDHDs
- Configuration through RAID 0, RAID 1 and JBOD modes
- Up to 5 Gbps transfer rate and 2 TB memory per drive
- One of the most affordable choices available in market
5. TERRAMASTER 5-Bay External Hard Drive Enclosure
Although TerraMaster is one of the younger brands, its distinctive products have created a fan base since its inception in 2010. Especially its network-attached storage devices like the D5-300 aim at satisfying the people who need to store huge volumes of content regularly.
This particular model can store up to five SATA hard drives. Each of them has the capacity of 18 TB and thus you can store up to 90 TB worth of data in these drives. That should be more than enough for all the binge-watchers or movies, tv shows or anime.
If you make the most of its USB 3.1 protocol, you can move the files from your computer to the RAID enclosure in no time. Along with the high transfer rate of 5 Gbps, this protocol also lets you enjoy fast transmissions at up to 220 Mbps.
There are multiple RAID modes available here including 0, 1, 5, 10, JBOD and CLONE. The third one is considered to be the ideal mode for this particular model since you get good storage capacity and data security.
Another reason to consider this as the best USB RAID enclosure is its compatibility with all the popular operating systems like Windows, Mac and Linux.
Key Features :
- 5 drive slots can store up to 90 TB of files in total
- Transfer rate can be as high as 5 Gbps through USB 3.1
- Fast transmission speed allows to read or write at 220 Mbps
- Multiple RAID modes including JBOD, CLONE and RAID 10
- Compatible with popular OS like Windows, Mac and Linux
6. ORICO 4 Bay USB 3.0 to SATA Hard Drive Enclosure
Similar to the Vantec RAID enclosure, this one from ORICO can also house only two 3.5-inch drives. However, the amount of data it can store is much higher. Instead of 4 TB, it offers up to 32 TB of maximum storage capacity which will surely come in handy when your computer eventually runs out of memory.
Such a capacity is fit for professional content creators who constantly need to work with 4K video editing and photography. These files end up being quite huge which will definitely surpass the space limitations on your computer. So you can just store them in the enclosure to save space and ensure backup for the future.
In addition to providing a decent volume of memory, it also makes sure that the enclosure doesn’t get too hot. Its body is mainly built from sturdy aluminum alloy which ensures proper heat dissipation throughout the space. Besides, there are ventilation holes in its design which allows more air circulation.
Key Features :
- Consists of two 3.5-inch bays which can store up to 32 TB
- Sturdy aluminum alloy body for proper heat dissipation
- For professional content creators using 4K videos and photos
- Ventilation holes in the design help with air circulation
- Can transfer at up to 5 Gbps with USB 3.0 to SATA 3.0
7. Yottamaster 4 Bay External Hard Drive Enclosure
For those of you who are not limited to a budget, this external hard drive enclosure from Yottamaster can be right up your alley. It has a large capacity of 64 TB which is spread out among four bays – each having the capability to store up to 16 TB.
The bays are designed to work with drives like SATA HDD and SSD in both the sizes of 2.5 inches and 3.5 inches. Utilizing this enclosure, you should be able to cherish the massive collection of movies, shows and other such content. However, it has been primarily designed keeping professional gamers in mind.
You will be able to notice it right away from the attractive design on its exterior. There is a translucent board on both sides of this enclosure and the regular 80 mm fan comes in a vibrant RGB color wheel. This enhances your gaming setup and can also improve the appearance of your gaming channel on Twitch or YouTube.
There are seven RAID modes here in total, which are 0, 1, 3, 5, 10, SPAN, CLONE and normal. You can pick the most suitable mode for your games and transfer the games at 5 Gbps through USB 3.0 Type-B ports. For all of these reasons, many gamers consider this to be the best 4 bay RAID enclosure.
Key Features :
- Consists of 4 bays which can store up to 64 TB of data
- Compatible with SATA 3.5-inch HDD and 2.5-inch SSD
- Designed with a translucent board on both sides for gaming
- 80 mm silent RGB fan keeps it cool while adding more vibrancy
- Fast data transfer at 5 Gbps due to USB 3.0 Type B interface
Comparison Chart Of Raid Enclosure
No. of Bays
0, 1, JBOD, SHR, basic
0, 1, 3, 5, 10, CLONE, PM, JBOD
0, 1, JBOD
0, 1, JBOD
0, 1, 5, 10, JBOD, CLONE
0, 1, 5, JBOD
0, 1, 3, 5, 10, CLONE, JBOD, PM
Raid Enclosure Buying Guide
1. Storage Capacity
The main reason behind investing in a RAID enclosure is obviously to get more space to store your files. So the storage capacity becomes the first thing your eyes get stuck on while looking for the best RAID enclosure.
This capacity is measured through terabytes – each unit of which is equal to 1,000 GB. Your chosen RAID enclosure should have at least 4 TB of capacity. It can go as high as 90 TB depending on the number of bays or trays it has. This number dictates how many drives you can store in each bay.
2. Data Transfer Rate
The data transfer rate refers to the amount of data you can move from one place to the other. It largely depends on the USB port your device comes with. In the case of RAID enclosures, it is usually somewhere between 480 Mbps to 10 Gbps according to their USB ports.
With a USB 2.0 or Hi-speed USB, you will get the 480 Mbps transfer rate. You can get a 5 Gbps transfer rate with USB 3.0 or 1st generation USB 3.1. To get 10 Gbps, you will need 2nd generation USB 3.1 or USB 3.2 ports.
3. Physical Drive Size
Even though old-fashioned computers had larger hard drives measuring 5.25 inches, most modern desktops and laptops use 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch drives respectively. The former ones are much heavier while the laptop drives are much easier to carry around.
Certain devices or models have ultra-thin drives which are only 1.8 inches to incorporate into the stylish slim designs.
Most popular RAID enclosures allow you to store both 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drives into their bays. By choosing these models, you can find a safe space to store the large folders of both desktops and laptops. If you use only one of the two, then you can settle for an enclosure accommodating that particular physical drive size.
4. RAID Modes
RAID enclosures come with multiple configurations or modes so that you can choose the most efficient one for your projects. Each of these provides a different set of pros and cons.
For instance, the mode RAID 0 can house at least two disk drives where the data is distributed evenly.
Unfortunately, it cannot ensure protection or maintain redundant data. On RAID 1, the two drives are a mirror of each other which increases the performance but decreases the overall storage capacity to half.
RAID 10 mode has two or more RAID 1 arrays which are equally sized. They have mirrored and striped data for improved performance.
RAID 5 needs at least three disk drives and it has error-correcting redundancy for data.
There are other modes like 3, 50, 6, 60, JBOD, SPAN and CLONE. You need to figure out which ones are absolutely necessary for your content storage and then pick an enclosure that offers all or most of them.
5. Cooling Fan
Almost every RAID enclosure has a shell that is designed with a cooling fan. The inclusion of an 80 mm smart fan is pretty much a necessity for the maintenance of this device.
It can often come with a built-in temperature sensor that knows how to keep the overall environment cool. Some of them are designed to be silent while functioning so that you or people around you are not disturbed by it.
6. System Compatibility
You need to check if the chosen RAID enclosure supports your operating system. Pretty much every enclosure works with the most common operating systems like Windows, Mac and Linux. However, some models are compatible with only one of them.
7. Price Point
The price points of RAID enclosures typically vary according to their storage capacity.
For instance, an enclosure accommodating just 4 TB space might be available at less than fifty bucks. On the other hand, the ones offering 64-90 or more terabytes can charge more than a couple of hundred dollars. However, most average or standard enclosures cost over a hundred dollars.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Can I Use An HDD Enclosure For SSD?
Answer: While it is not recommended, you can use an HDD enclosure for storing SSD drives. It will work fine if your SSD comes with SATA data and a SATA power connection. You can connect it internally to most desktop computers. Alternatively, you can use a USB to SATA converter for the installation.
2. What Is The Difference Between NAS And RAID?
Answer: RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) and NAS (Network Attached Storage) are often considered to be the same thing. However, they do have a few differences.
Even though RAID is an external closure, it works similar to an internal hard drive for individual users by storing large files and getting rid of redundancy. On the other hand, NAS works better for connecting several workstations to the same applications and data.
3. Should I Use RAID 0 For Gaming?
Answer: RAID 0 can help with your gaming by making the loading time shorter and boosting other speeds as well. It uses the striping method and happens to be one of the most affordable RAID configurations.
Since it uses two drives where the data is equally distributed – that is, each has one-half of your total data. This unfortunately increases the possibility of losing data forever since there is no backup for it.
4. What Is The Difference Between USB 3.0 And USB 3.1?
Answer: Differentiating between USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 gets confusing sometimes. This happens since the former is also called USB 3.1 Gen 1 by many, while the latter is called USB 3.1 Gen 2. Generally the second one is more preferred since it can provide double the speed for data transfer (10 Gbps).
To invest in an enclosure while maintaining a tight budget, you may have to compromise certain features and functionalities. No need to worry about it too much since even 4 terabytes should be enough for storing a lot of huge files and for freeing up a lot of space on your computer!
If you are still struggling with finding the best RAID enclosure for yourself, you can check out the most important features laid out in the comparison chart. It will help you to see the highlights of each device discussed above at a glance!