Best Hard Drive Duplicator/Docking Station for 2020 Detailed Review.
Best Hard Drive Duplicator/Docking Station for 2020: Without a hard drive duplicator, transferring data from one drive to another becomes a chore. You need to connect both drives to the same PC and use dedicated software to copy the drives.
Today, we’ll be looking at three different hard drive duplicators. Two of these are manufactured by StarTech.com, a well-known manufacturer of docking stations, cables, and switches.
The third is created by Sabrent, a popular, respected hard drive manufacturer. Let’s take a closer look at each one of these devices.
StarTech.com USB 3.1 (USB-C) Hard Drive Duplicator Dock
The StarTech.com USB 3.1 Hard Drive Duplicator Dock is a top-loading, toaster-style dock. This design makes it easy to insert and remove your drives. It can accommodate both 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drives, including both SSDs and HDDs.
Once a drive has been inserted, the dock locks it securely into place. At that point, it can only be removed by pressing the eject button. Each drive has its own eject button, which makes it easy to quickly make multiple copies of the same drive.
When no drive is inserted, drive doors automatically close, preventing dirt and debris from getting into the slots. The doors also help stabilize drives that are thinner than the entire slot.
The StarTech.com Duplicator Dock allows for exceptional duplication speeds, as fast as 28 GB per minute. At this rate, you could duplicate an entire 1TB hard drive in just over half an hour. If you have a larger hard drive, that’s not a problem. The dock has been tested with drives as large as 6TB, enough to copy just about any hard drive.
StarTech.com Standalone 2.5/3.5” SATA Hard Drive Duplicator
When compared to the StarTech.com Duplicator Dock, the StarTech.com Standalone 2.5/3.5” SATA Hard Drive Duplicator is noticeably different. It’s not a docking bay. As a result, it’s not suitable for converting an internal drive into an external drive.
That said, it’s superbly suited for dealing with drives that are still mounted inside a PC. Simply disconnect your drive’s SATA cable, plug it into the StarTech.com Standalone SATA Hard Drive Duplicator, and start copying.
The Standalone SATA Hard Drive Duplicator is about the size of a deck of cards and weighs about the same. It has male SATA connections on both sides, so you can connect it easily to two hard drives. On the front, you’ll find a small LCD display. Underneath, there’s a set of four squishy buttons.
The Standalone SATA Hard Drive Duplicator is a bit slower than StarTech.com’s Duplicator Dock. The maximum transfer speeds are 6 GB per minute, which would transfer a 1 TB drive in just under 3 hours.
On the other hand, you don’t have to remove your drive from your PC to perform the operation. Besides this, the SATA Hard Drive Duplicator isn’t primarily designed for data recovery. It’s designed for imaging brand new hard drives.
Sabrent USB 3.0 to SATA I/II/III Dual Bay External Hard Drive Docking Station
The Sabrent USB 3.0 to SATA Dual Bay External Hard Drive Docking Station is similar to the StarTech.com Docking Station. It’s a bit smaller, though, measuring 6.9 inches wide, 3.9 inches deep, and 2.7 inches thick. It weighs in at 1.19 pounds, so it’s relatively lightweight for the size.
The device is constructed from black ABS plastic, with a pair of toaster-style ports on top. Each port can support both 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drives, both SSDs and HDDs. This allows you to copy virtually any hard drive in the world.
The Sabrent SATA Hard Drive Docking Station can be used either for hard drive cloning or as an external dock. For both purposes, it supports hard drives up to 10 TB.
It’s also compatible with most operating systems, including Windows, MacOS, and most Linux distributions. This makes it the most highly-compatible hard drive duplicator on our list.
So, which one of these hard drive duplicator/cloners is the best of the bunch? As with most computer components, it depends on what exactly you’re looking for.
To begin with, the StarTech.com USB 3.1 (USB-C) Hard Drive Duplicator Dock offers the highest speeds. At 28 GB per minute, it allows for ultra-fast cloning.
The sector-by-sector cloning is also a great feature, especially for data recovery. However, it can leave your drive cluttered if you’re just trying to copy a few files and folders.
The StarTech.com Standalone 2.5/3.5” SATA Hard Drive Duplicator is best for imaging. The transfer speeds are relatively slow. However, the ability to store and copy multiple images from a single library makes it a great choice for business.
Finally, the Sabrent USB 3.0 to SATA Dual Bay External Hard Drive Docking Station is the best for compatibility. It supports a variety of operating systems, making it ideal for Mac and Linux users. It also supports up to 10TB hard drives.