A versatile, bi-directional I/O interface capable of up to 10 Gbps of throughput in each direction. Thunderbolt is compatible with both data devices and displays as well as daisy chaining, allowing two external hard drives to connect to a computer through a Thunderbolt-enabled monitor, for example. Thunderbolt 2 technology doubles interface’s raw throughput to 20 Gbps in each direction.
Universal Serial Bus is a widely popular peripheral interface able to connect up to 127 devices to a single USB port through the use of hubs as expanders. USB 2.0 offers a maximum throughput rate of 480 Mbps while USB 3.0 boosts this to 5 Gbps (625 Mbps).
Also known as IEEE 1394 and designed largely by Apple in the late 1980s, FireWire is a serial bus interface technology used primarily for storage peripherals and digital video cameras. The format has undergone many updates in both speed and connector design over the years. FireWire’s popularity peaked with IEEE 1394b (400 MBps) in the mid-2000s, and by 2008 the format had largely been supplanted by USB. Today, Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 have largely taken its place.
Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) is a point-to-point data protocol for moving data between computers and data storage devices. Like parallel SCSI before it, SAS uses a more robust set of features for task management than consumer-class storage technologies such as SATA, making it more suited to enterprise environments. Mini-SAS refers to any of several internal or external SAS connector types sporting a more compact physical design than the common SFF-8482 connector used for backward compatibility with SATA.
SATA & eSATA
The Serial ATA interface serves to connect computers with data storage devices. Now up to version 3.2 (16 Gbps), SATA covers a broad range of optical, magnetic, and flashed-based storage products. Before the market surge of USB 3.0, an external 3 Gbps SATA variant called eSATA arose to challenge USB 2.0 and FireWire, particularly for external hard drives.
A method of virtually conjoining two or more physical storage drives into a single logical drive.
SSD (Solid State)
A data storage device that uses NAND flash memory to store data persistently.
Floats in water and should it be dropped into a pool of water up to 1ft for 30 secs, your drive is protected.