USB or eSata?

One major grouse of any computer user is the lack of storage space. As hard drives grow in size, files also seem to grow exponentially. It is hard to imagine a time when 1.44 MB floppy disks allowed a user to carry around multiple files.

As users run out of storage space and physical space within the computer casing itself, they often find themselves turning to external storage devices. The reason why this was always a second choice is that external devices are always more expensive than internal devices. However, with mobility and sharing becoming priorities, the trend is changing. Users are shifting more and more towards portable devices and that brings them to the question, “Which technology should I choose?”

We will briefly examine two methods which are appealing to users.

USB 2.0 – This is currently THE most popular technology for external storage devices. This is because every single computer manufacturer has included USB technology in their computers. Therefore, making a storage device that uses this technology was a surefire winner. The only drawback is that as fast as USB 2.0 is, in this day and age even that speed of 30-35 MB/s is a little slow with the huge files that are being transferred. While the world waits for USB 3.0 (with transfers up to 400 MB/s), there is another alternative.

eSata – Simply put, eSata is just the external version of a Sata drive that sits inside a computer. This makes it one of the fastest external storage devices with transfer rates up to 300 MB/s. One of the disadvantages is that the cable length can only go up to a maximum 2 m, less than half of the length supported by USB.

The choice is really up to the user; neither technology can be put down and therefore the deciding factor will always boil down to cost.

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