Hard drive enclosures contain external hard drives, making them portable yet well protected. The enclosures are plugged via a USB or Firewire port to the computer, and can be switched on or off even while the rest of the system is running.
Hard drive enclosures offer numerous benefits. For example, it allows users to back up important information, or store sensitive information in a separate system. This protects it from viruses and spyware that may penetrate the network, mainly because you minimize the exposure: it can be taken off whenever it is not in use, or when the system goes online. (Most threats penetrate the PC via the web.)
Hard drive enclosures are also helpful when more than one person uses a system, since it keeps information private. Or, they can free memory and reduce system maintenance by de-clogging it of large music, movie and graphic files.
Hard drive enclosures are also a good way of using the older hard disks with smaller data capacity. In the days of the 250 GB drive, the 30 GB drive is useless for most software requirements. However, it can be used for archiving and back-up.
Hard drive enclosures can also be turned into a data transfer device, due to its portability. Simply connect with a USB port or Firewire to the source computer, download the data, then connect to the destination computer. It’s a lot like a very big memory stick.
The true geek might also want to use hard drive enclosures to store an alternative operating system like Linux, enabling them to tinker with it without endangering the main system or existing configuration.