There are several reasons why you should have a hard drive duplicator docking station. The first is for completing back-ups. You wouldn’t want to lose all those years of data you’ve been saving, would you?
What about all those games and save data from your Playstation? Due to its easy access, you can easily copy or back-up your console too.
Another option is to use the docking station as an external hard drive. Then just swap them out once they’re full without having to dig inside your computer.
Let’s find out which is the best hard drive duplicator docking station currently available for you…
- 1 Best Hard Drive Duplicator Docking Station In 2020 – Top 5 Rated Reviews
- 1.1 1 StarTech SDOCK2U313R – Best Simple Hard Drive Duplicator Docking Station
- 1.2 2 StarTech SATDUP11IMG – Best Professional Hard Drive Duplicator
- 1.3 3 Sabrent EC-HD2B – Best Budget Dual Bay Hard Drive Duplicator Docking Station
- 1.4 4 Thermaltake BlacX Duet – Best USB 3.0 Hard Drive Duplicator Docking Station
- 1.5 5 Vantec NexStar TX – Best Single Bay Hard Drive Duplicator Docking Station
- 2 Best Hard Drive Duplicator Docking Station Buying Guide
- 3 Drumroll…
- 4 So, What Is The Best Hard Drive Duplicator Docking Station?
Best Hard Drive Duplicator Docking Station In 2020 – Top 5 Rated Reviews
1 StarTech SDOCK2U313R – Best Simple Hard Drive Duplicator Docking Station
Nice and simply designed, this dock from StarTech has two slots that can take either 2.5” or 3.5” SATA drives. They click in easily, and there is an eject button for each slot on the left-hand side.
On the rear, there’s a USB 3.1 Type-B port and a DC power-in port. On the front at the top is an indicator LED for each dock and three buttons. The buttons are Power, PC/Copy, and Start. Nothing complicated here.
Giving you independence…
It’s possible to clone a hard drive without a PC using this docking station. Simply load the source drive in the rear slot and the destination drive in the front—power the dock on, select copy, and press start.
Cloning a 1 TB HDD took us roughly three hours to complete. Not a bad effort. A 1 TB SSD took just over 30 minutes. This is great for upgrading from a smaller to a larger storage drive. You cannot go from a larger to a smaller drive too, but why would you?
Time to recover…
Cloning uses sector-by-sector duplication, including partitions and boot sector information. This assists in keeping data integrity and consistency. That makes this dock great for data recovery use.
The maximum storage drive size supported is 6 TB. We found using the dock as an external hard drive works very well. Being plug and play makes it easy to use between a desktop and a laptop, quickly and easily.
- Can duplicate without a PC.
- Useful eject buttons.
- Simple, easy to use design.
- No label for source and destination drive slots.
- 6 TB maximum drive support.
2 StarTech SATDUP11IMG – Best Professional Hard Drive Duplicator
This is a forensics level hard drive duplicator and eraser. If you really need to copy everything exactly as it is, including hidden partitions, then this is the device for you. The same goes for erasure too.
If you need to be able to securely erase a drive before selling it, you can be confident nothing will be left behind. StarTech has produced a product that will copy and erase data byte by byte, ensuring precise performance.
How does it work?
No computer is necessary, as this is a standalone device. Compatible with all 2.5” and 3.5” SATA HDDs and SDDs, there is a connection at each end. One for the source and then the other destination.
Four buttons control the menu using an in-built LCD screen. It is possible to erase two drives simultaneously or independently. An external power source is required, and a power brick is supplied with various socket adapters for different regions.
Are you impressed yet?
Duplication can be achieved sector by sector at up to 6 GB per minute. That’s just over two hours for a 1 TB drive. Fast results for such an accurate and precise level of replication. Other products simply aren’t capable of such accuracy.
If you are attempting to rescue data from a device that’s no longer usable, this would be perfect. The ability to include lost or deleted partitions when copying from one drive to another makes difficult data recovery possible.
- Forensic level results.
- Easy to navigate LCD.
- No PC required for operation.
- Not as affordable.
- Accurate but slower results.
3 Sabrent EC-HD2B – Best Budget Dual Bay Hard Drive Duplicator Docking Station
Sabrent has created a budget solution for storage management. This simple-to-use dock provides all the functions and features you would need for drive duplication, erasing, and access at an affordable price.
A dual dock compatible with 2.5” and 3.5” SATA HDDs and SDDs up to 10 TB in storage capacity. The A slot is for the source drive and the B slot for the destination drive. There are no eject buttons, and the drives must be removed manually.
What features do we get for a budget price?
There is a standalone clone function. Drive duplication is possible without the need for a PC. For drive access, the dock is plug and play. No drivers are necessary for both Mac and Windows users adding to the ease of use.
Connection is via USB 3.0, capable of data transfer speeds of up to 5 Gbps. If two drives are mounted together, both can be accessed simultaneously. For example, one can be providing a backup while the other is being accessed.
How does it perform?
We found this device useful for performing tasks like data backup and access. When used in conjunction with a computer, transferring data works incredibly well. You can save, transfer, and erase with efficiency and ease.
We could not recommend the standalone function for data recovery, though. There is no way to identify any read errors, and the clone will continue with possibly corrupt information. It is fine for a simple transfer or backup, though.
- Affordable price.
- Compatible with both Windows and Mac.
- Simultaneous drive operation.
- Not suitable for data recovery.
- No eject buttons.
4 Thermaltake BlacX Duet – Best USB 3.0 Hard Drive Duplicator Docking Station
Thermaltake is well known for its internal PC components like cases, coolers, and power supplies. Well, here they have created a docking station for both HDDs and SSDs. Let’s see if it’s as good as their other products.
As the Duet name suggests, this is a dual bay dock. Compatible with both 2.5” and 3.5” SATA drives, the design is simple. Other than the two drive slots, there are two eject buttons, a USB 3.0 port, a DC power in port, and two LED indicator lights for each drive.
Compatibility and features…
This dock is plug and play compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems to make life easier. Once connected, both drives can be accessed simultaneously and independently.
Drives are also hot-swappable, meaning once digitally ejected from your device, they can be removed without powering down. Using USB 3.0 gives a maximum data transfer speed of 5Gbps for read, write, and erase.
Is there more to the story?
BlacX does not have a standalone feature like some of the other products. You will need a PC to use the device, and cloning without one cannot be done. Duplication is still possible using your computer’s software, though.
A great solution if you need to access a hard drive from a computer that has suffered from motherboard failure. Or if you have some internal drives lying around that you would like access to.
- Simple, easy to use design.
- Plug and play for Windows and Mac.
- USB 3.0 connection.
- No standalone function.
- Cannot clone as easily as others.
5 Vantec NexStar TX – Best Single Bay Hard Drive Duplicator Docking Station
The only single-bay drive on the list. Compatible with both a 2.5” and 3.5” SATA drive, like all the other docks, but this time only one at a time. More suitable for accessing drives for read, write, and erasure purposes rather than duplication.
You could, of course, still duplicate your current internal drive. For example, if you were upgrading from an HDD to SSD. This would mean you would need to physically install the drive after transferring your data.
One bay, many features…
Connection is via USB 3.0, giving a maximum data transfer speed of 5 Gbps. The dock can be connected to both Windows and Mac operating systems without the need to download or install drivers.
There’s no need to power down the device to swap drives either. Once ‘safely remove hardware’ has been selected, you can immediately swap from one drive to another.
Even though this isn’t as suitable for duplication purposes, having a dock for internal drives is incredibly useful. We were impressed at the ease in which we were able to access our long-lost data from drives of the past.
Being able to easily swap between both Mac and PC to have instant access to the drive is excellent. And all at an incredibly affordable price. It certainly saves you having to mess around with a drive enclosure.
- Affordable option.
- Compatible with both Windows and Mac.
- Plug and play.
- Not great for duplication.
- Only a single bay.
Best Hard Drive Duplicator Docking Station Buying Guide
Technology has been around for a sufficiently long enough time now that we all must have some old storage drives or computers with damaged motherboards. A simple device like these docks can give a second chance of life to lost or forgotten data.
But which device will suit you best? We’ve shown you a range of different solutions, and now it’s time to make a decision. We’ll assist you by going over what your main purpose is so you can make the best choice.
Access, Backup, Duplication, Or All?
You may only want to check out what’s on an old drive and select a few files here and there. If this is the case, either the single bay dock or budget dual bay would be more than sufficient for your purposes.
If you would like to perform duplications for upgrading or data backup, then a dual slot dock is a must. This will make performing all functions of reading, writing, erasing, and cloning an easy and efficient task.
Will Recovery Be Required?
If you are looking at performing data recovery, then you will want to spend a little more. Either of the StarTech devices can perform recovery well. If you need to perform at professional levels, there is only really one choice—the…StarTech SATDUP11IMG
As you can see, there really is something for everyone when it comes to purchasing a hard drive dock. Next, we will let you know what we think is the best out of all these devices and why. But before we start the…
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Back to the best duplicator docking stations…
So, What Is The Best Hard Drive Duplicator Docking Station?
Based on performance alone, the…StarTech SATDUP11IMG
… is by far the best. But this is really overkill and expensive for most users. So, we have made our decision based on a combination of features, performance, and value.
The dock we believe performs in all these areas the best is the…StarTech SDOCK2U313R
If you need a device capable of performing all read, write, erase, and cloning tasks confidently without cleaning yourself out, this is the one for you.
Enjoy your duplicating!