There are many advantages to having an external SATA (Serial ATA) docking station: 1) extend your current working storage on your laptop, desktop, or both 2) backup data that would normally be too large to put on CD-R or DVD-R (DVD+R), and 3) use up spare SATA drives just sitting around the house or your place of business. As I discuss these advantages, keep in mind that there are single and dual-stations currently available in the consumer market. These devices are normally connected to the USB port on your computer.

Extend Your Working Storage

If you are like many of us, we have a tendancy to collect huge amounts of digital information. Whether the data is personal or business related, we can all benefit from adding more hard drive (HDD) space to our workstation. If at work, be sure to check with your Information Technology (IT) staff so that you are not potentially violating any company policy by connecting this device to a company computer.

Backup Data

I was a recent victim of failing to follow my own rules. I had a year worth of family pictures and home videos until my laptop HDD crashed. Unfortunately, I didn't backup this data during 2010 - not even once during the year. What a disappointment! Anyway, learn from my mistake and be sure to backup your data and do it frequently. Of course, you can back up to CD or DVD but if you have a lot of data, you will find yourself with many, many discs.

Use up those spare HDDs

You may have some extra drives lying around at home. Maybe you have some at work (get permission first before you take them). Even a 100 Gigabyte (GB) HDD would be useful. The equivalent in DVDs would be approximately 25 discs; with CDs, you would have to burn over 100 discs!

With the ushering of inexpensive storage, everyone with a computer would benefit from an external SATA docking station. It may not be as portable as other USB devices but there's a good chance you'll leave this setup on your desk. There are many deals to be had online, if you can't find somewhere local to shop. A single-drive dock is good but there are devices that can handle a pair at a time. You can even get free backup software or the ability to combine two hard drives into a single, large jumbo hard drive. Happy shopping!