Thanks to FireWire technology and the USB 2.0 standard, external hard drive products are a snap. Solutions are available from Maxtor and Western Digital as well as smaller housings that can be equipped with the hard drive of your choice. In addition, there are also extremely versatile combination devices that support not only hard drives, but CD and DVD drives as well.
Recently, manufacturers have started offering external drives with up to 250 GB (Maxtor) or 200 GB (Western Digital) directly. However, the prices are hefty and opening up the housing to exchange the hard drive may void the guarantee. Furthermore, manufacturers may make it impossible to install external hard drives.
Traditionally, external hard drives have been used for good ol' backups and to mobilize stored data without having to make any compromises. Several dozen gigabytes (say, a video that is to be edited or the music database of a radio station) cannot be quickly copied via the Internet, not even today. Even DVDs or CDs have trouble coping with these data volumes. External hard drives have made the time-consuming installation and disassembly of hard drives from existing PCs a thing of the past. Just plug in the external drive and off you go.
The USB 2.0 drive kit developed by ADS Technologies not only allows you to run any ATA hard drive you choose, but also supports CD and DVD drives. So, will external housing allow you to run important drives externally?