Feedsee Storage : eSata Storage : Connecting external hard drives with the same data transfer speed as internal components
eSATA, or external Serial Advanced Technology Attachment, is a standard for connecting and transferring data between a computer and an external hard drive. Introduced in the early 2000s, eSATA was designed to offer the same performance and capabilities as the SATA technology used inside computers but in an external context.
In 2007, Western Digital's new My Book Premium ES Edition external hard drive incorporated both eSATA and USB 2.0. eSATA (external Serial ATA) was a new technology that transfered data between the external device and the computer at higher rates than ever before and USB 2.0 was the most common method of connecting external devices to personal computers. eSATA used the same new interface technology that became the standard inside PCs. It was designed to connect peripherals such as external hard drives with the same data transfer speed as internal components. Use of eSATA by the computing and consumer electronics industries was increasing with the expectation that its superior performance would drive it to be the next standard interconnect for external devices, offering an obsolescence prevention plan for consumers. Virtually all motherboards shipped then included the SATA interface for internal drives and many PCI cards were available to connect eSATA hard drives to PCs and Macs. An increasing number of motherboard manufacturers were incorporating support for eSATA connector ports. eSATA offered consumers superior performance for multimedia applications such as streaming music or movies, or video editing.
Here are some of the ways eSATA has improved over the years:
- Speed: One of the key benefits of eSATA has always been speed. The original SATA interface had a transfer rate of 1.5 Gb/s. With SATA II, this was increased to 3 Gb/s, and with SATA III, the speed was doubled again to 6 Gb/s. These speed enhancements have been carried over into the eSATA world.
- eSATAp (Power over eSATA): This is a significant development that combines the functionality of an eSATA and a USB port into a single interface. In addition to supporting the high-speed eSATA interface, it can also provide power over the interface for external devices. This eliminates the need for an additional power source for the external drive.
- Improved Cable Length: Originally, SATA was limited by the relatively short cable length (about 1 meter). eSATA improved on this with a maximum cable length of about 2 meters.
- Increased Market Availability: Over time, eSATA has become more commonly supported, with a greater number of external hard drives and computers including eSATA ports.
Today, the use of eSATA has been somewhat superseded by other technologies such as USB 3.0, USB 3.1/3.2, and Thunderbolt, which offer high data transfer speeds as well as power over the same cable, making them more versatile for various applications.