What is a hard drive enclosure?

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A hard drive enclosure or "caddy" is basically a housing for an IDE or SATA hard drive (3.5" or 2.5") which has an interface to either USB, Firewire or NAS (Network attached storage).  In reality this means that you can use a hard drive enclosure as a secure backup device which can be accessible by any number of computers, either by swapping a cable over, or directly over a network.  However, it is important to remember that some of the interfaces you get are better than others, making some hard drive enclosures less secure or stable than other!

For more information read our review of External Hard Drives and Hard Drive Enclosures.