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Glossary of Technical Terms

External Drive Enclosure



An external hard drive enclosure is a casing used to house a hard drive independently from the host computer to which it is attached. Since the drive is not directly part of the system, the external hard drive must derive its power either from the interface that connects it to a host computer, or an external power adapter. External hard drives are very practical and convenient, as they are designed for both stationary use and portability. Some external hard drive enclosures come with another convenience, namely the ability to "hot swap" the hard drive. (connecting/disconnecting the hard drive without shutting down the computer it is being used with).

It is important to note that an external drive enclosure can be connected to a host computer in a variety of ways (i.e. eSATA, USB).