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Saturday, 5 October 2013

What Is eSATA?

Short for External Serial Advanced Technology Attachment eSATA is an extension to the Serial ATA standard that enables SATA drives to be attached externally. Prior to eSATA, external hard drives were connected via USB 2.0 or FireWire. While eSATA can provide faster transfer rates than USB or FireWire, it requires its own power connector.

SATA replaced ATA legacy technology as the next generation internal bus interface for hard drives. The SATA interface is more streamlined than ATA and provides serial architecture for greater speed than the older parallel technology. eSATA cables are narrow and can be up to 6.56 feet (2 meters) in length, whereas parallel cables are much wider and limited to a length of 18 inches (45.7 cm). With eSATA, the speed of SATA expands to encompass exterior storage solutions.
While eSATA reaches transfer rates of at least triple those of USB 2.0 and FireWire 400, it does have one drawback. eSATA requires its own power connector, unlike the aforementioned interfaces. It is still an excellent choice for external disk storage, however. Unlike USB and FireWire interfaces, eSATA does not have to translate data between the interface and the computer. This enhances data transfer speeds, while saving computer processor resources and eliminating the need for an extra off-load chip.

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