Most of us now backup our files to the cloud (if you don’t – you should), but you should always have your important files backed-up in at least two locations and so external hard drives remain very useful tools. Moreover, for those of us with hundreds of gigabytes of pictures, audio, and video files, then uploading everything to the cloud can be a tedious process on all but the most superfast of connections – so again, an external HDD is your friend.
There is little reason to buy full-sized external HDDs these days, as portable 2.5″ drives come in sizes up to 4TB, which is more than enough for most people, and have the added bonus of not needing an extra power supply. And the added bonus of these portable drives is they are light and easy to carry – so perfect if you wanted to share your photos with the family.
While you can buy portable HDDs already built, I have made it a habit to always strip the HDD out of any old laptop before recycling and making that drive into a portable external HDD with the help of an enclosure. This action has the dual benefit of making sure your data never falls into the wrong hands when being recycled, but also in providing a very cheap way to get an extra portable HDD.
Look & feel
There’s not much to look at here really – the DS-B6 is a small matte black boxed with softly curved corners. The enclosure comes in two parts that slide apart, giving you space to clip in add your 2.5″ HDD, and then there is a single USB-C port n the front. The enclosure is not as small as some of the really slimline portable HDDs, such as Seagate’s Backup Plus Slim drives, but it is still pocketable and lightweight.
The box comes with a USB-C to USB-C cable, but for older laptops, you can connect a USB-A to USB-C cable no problem and get the same USB 3.0 transfer speeds.
- Compatible HDD Type: 2.5″ SATA I / II / III HDD, SSD
- Output: USB 3.0 Type C(Backwards-Compatible with USB 2.0 or 1.1)
- Support Capacity: 2TB
- Operating System: Windows, Mac OS, Linux
- USB C to USB C Cable Length: 0.5m / 1.6ft
- Dimensions:136 x 85 x 16mm
As you would hope with an external HDD, there is no setup needed – just plug in the HDD to your laptop and it powers the drive and loads your files.
The enclosure worked perfectly for my needs of recycling up an old 2.5″ SATA HDD, which I quickly filled as a backup for my unwieldly music collection and photos collected over the last decade or more. The file transfer speeds were excelent as you would expect form a USB 3.0 drive, and the enclosure being USB-C means that it should be able to plug into any laptop for many years to come.
If you are looking to recycle an old laptop, save your HDD and turn it into another backup repository for your most precious files – you can never backup enough! The Aukey DS-B6 made this process very simple, and whilst its not exactly an exciting product – it is extremely useful and works exactly as described.
Price at time of review: £11.99 at Amazon