External hard drive enclosures are great if you have to move large amounts of data around frequently or easily add storage to a packed desktop system.
With USB 2.0, though, transfers have always been capped at 33MB/s at best, making huge data backups a real snooze-fest. On the plus side, this meant your primary disk’s transfer speed didn’t matter at all—any reads and writes were limited by USB 2.0’s bandwidth limit. Those days will be drawing to a close as USB 3.0 takes hold. We’ve already tested one USB 3.0 external hard drive: the WD My Book 3.0 (reviewed April 2009). That was a fine product, but what if you already have a high-capacity backup drive and you just want to speed up your transfer times?
In that case, you may want to peep Vantec’s NexStar 3 SuperSpeed hard drive enclosure.
Don’t be fooled by the Vantec ezShare’s unassuming looks. This simple six-foot white cable with its Type A USB plugs on either end is actually one of the easiest ways to quickly moves files between two computers. Just plug one end into an available USB port on a box running Windows (XP and up), and plug the other end into the second box.
A Windows Explorer–like app will auto-launch on each machine, letting you drag and drop folders and files between the two PCs. If this sounds an awful lot like Data Drive Thru’s Tornado (reviewed November 2007), that’s because the two products are pretty similar. The file-explorer UI and software functionality of both products are virtually the same. It’s close enough that we have a pretty strong suspicion that the underlying chipsets and software come from the same factory in China. There are a few key differences, though.