Advice for accessing and backing up multiple drives at the same time?

I just switched from a computer that had 4 internal hard drive bays to a new 27-inch iMac with a SSD 500GB. I used the drives to store tons of photos and videos. My Mac has USB3 and Thunderbolt connections. I do light to medium video editing with my Mac.

I'm now trying to figure out how to access my drives using a couple of Thunderbolt/USB3 docking stations. I keep my bare bones drives in plastic boxes and just take them out and put them into the dock as needed.

1. Is there some enclosure that will allow me to add 2, 3 or even 4 drives at a time, and have them all mount at the same time?

2. What is my best way of doing what I'm trying to achieve? A RAID?

3. Can anyone recommend some models?

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  1. Hi rwinches,

    Thanks for posting this. I do like this, however, longterm, I'd like to get something enclosed to keep the dust and other elements that could harm exposed drives. What is out there for this?

  2. Wait... how are these files backed up?
    so far you have only mentioned these were the old primary storage drives and I'd hate to see you lose a whole drives worth should one of the drives go bad.

    As for your storage, a 4 bay usb3 enclosure or if you want theres the lacie 5big thunderbolt enclosure that can be purchased without drives.
  3. They are actually a combo of old primary drives and other storage. The way I use my drives now is I bought hard plastic cases for all of my drives and I store them on a shelf. When I need one, I simply take it out of a case and plug it into the docking station connected to my iMac.

    Some of my regularly accessed bare bones drives in plastic cases that I connect to the docking station are:
    - Photos 1TB
    - Videos 4TB
    - Old work files 4TB
    - Music 1TB
    - Instructional videos 1TB
    - Video to convert
    - temporary photo/video storage 1TB

    - I use the built in Time Machine backup program with a 1TB bare bones drive to back up the SSD in the iMac
    - As ridiculous as it sounds, every so often, I manually drag the contents of each of the drives I listed above to separate backup drives, so I have a separate backup drive for my Photos, Videos, Music, Instructional Video, etc. it is tedious, and I would very much like a better way....

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