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Arianna Rose

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With storage technology being improved constantly and the amount of data we ned requiring more space, switching or adding HDDs and SSDs, whether internal or external may already be common practice to many people. But usually, this is not so simple, as different devices may use different interfaces.

This is what makes picking the right cables for your PC build an essential part of the process, which is why we have put together our choices for the best SATA cables, whether it be basic SATA to SATA for a simple internal storage connection or more uncommon adapters to connect SATA drives to eSATA ports etc.

April 25, 20116:5eSATA is an external interface technology that grew from the internal Serial ATA interface. Serial ATA built upon the original ATA interface that connected hard drives to motherboards. eSATA delivers improved performance and ease of use over the older ATA multi-pin interface. eSATA, or external SATA, allowed for the use of shielded cables outside of an enclosure. Shielded eSATA cables are available up to meters in length. eSATA cables are not the same as SATA I cables, they are shielded and have a different connector than the L shaped design of internal SATA I connectors. This prevents the use of unshielded internal cables in external applications. eSATA uses a point-to-point connection, therefore each eSATA drive needs to be connected to its own eSATA port.

The eSATA port on the GT 050Q supports speeds up to 1.Gb/sec (150 MB/sec), much faster than FireWire 400 or FireWire 800. The eSATA port on the GT 062E and ForteRAID support speeds up to Gb/sec (300 MB/sec). If your computer does not have built-in eSATA, you'll need a PCI card to connect your drive with eSATA. Glyph sells PCI cards with or more ports to accommodate your drives.

This product is not eligible for a refund if the product is "no longer needed". "No longer needed" means that you no longer have a use for the product / you have changed your mind about the purchase / the size of a fashion product does not fit / you do not like the product after opening the package.

Conditions for Returns

The product must be unused, unworn, unwashed and without any flaws. Fashion products can be tried on to see if they fit and will still be considered unworn.

The product must be returned in the original and undamaged manufacturer packaging / box. If the product was delivered in a second layer of Daraz packaging, it must be returned in the same condition with return shipping label attached. Do not puttape or stickers on the manufacturer box.

I was the accessories editor at iLounge for a little more than three years and have been covering accessories at Wirecutter for a little longer than that. During my tenure, I’ve reviewed more than 1,000 iOS and Mac products, including numerous docking stations over several iterations of this guide. Wirecutter senior editor Dan Frakes—who also helped with the testing for this guide—spent more than a decade reviewing gear and coordinating accessory coverage at Macworld.

Who needs this

If you have a computer with a Thunderbolt port and want to connect several peripherals—displays, drives, printers, and such—a Thunderbolt dock lets you do it all with a single cable. If you use a laptop as your main computer and regularly move that laptop to and from a desk with multiple peripherals, you can leave all of those accessories plugged into the dock so when you sit down at your desk, you can simply plug your Thunderbolt cable into the laptop to connect everything instantly.

A Thunderbolt dock is also useful if your Thunderbolt-equipped computer—laptop or desktop—doesn’t have enough ports and connections, or if those connections are inconveniently located. You can run a single Thunderbolt cable from the computer to the dock and put the dock somewhere more accessible.

A dock is different from a hub, which simply gives you more of a single type of port. We haven’t seen any Thunderbolt hubs, but since Thunderbolt lets you daisy-chain peripherals, one Thunderbolt port is theoretically all you need to hook up all of your Thunderbolt accessories anyway.

If you have an older computer with Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt (which each use a Mini DisplayPort connector instead of USB-C) and plan to eventually upgrade your computer, you could buy a dedicated Thunderbolt dock, but you should be able to use any Thunderbolt dock with Apple’s Thunderbolt (USB-C) to Thunderbolt Adapter. Performance will be limited to Thunderbolt speeds (and you won’t be able to charge a laptop or use DisplayPort displays through the adapter), but you won’t have to upgrade your dock when you upgrade the computer.