eSATA

eSATA, or External Serial Advanced Technology Attachment, is a computer bus chiefly designed for the fast transfer of data between a computer and a mass storage device, such as optical drives and hard disk drives. It is an external interface like the more popular Universal Serial Bus (USB) and Fire Wire 400. eSATA devices and adapters communicate over a high-speed serial cable.

eSATA was developed as a successor of ATA or Advanced Technology Attachment. It is seen as the next generation of internal bus interfaces for hard drives. It is more efficient than its antecedent technology and provides greater speed than the older technology through its serial structural design.

Advantages

eSATA is advantageous over the parallel cables because it has more dependable operation with better data integrity checks. It has the facility to add or take out devices while operating (hot swapping). It also allows faster data transfer.

Moreover, the cables used in this technology are a bit narrow and can reach only approximately 3 feet, as compared to the much wider and shorter parallel cables (usually just 18 inches).

The most important advantage of using this technology is the fact that it can transfer data at a speed around three times faster than the USB and the Fire Wire 400.

Unlike other external interfaces, eSATA does not have to translate data between the computer and the interface. It is moved or copied from the computer to the interface, or vice versa. This allows the computer to save processor resources while enabling the user to have faster data transfer.

Disadvantage

While this technology can transfer data thrice as fast as USB and Fire Wire 400, it has one disadvantage. The technology must have a power connector unlike the others. Nevertheless, it is a good choice for external disk storage.

Using eSATA

An eSATA connector is needed for an individual to use the eSATA external disk storage. If your computer doesn’t have a connector, you can set up a bus card to provide the computer with an eSATA interface.

If you have a notebook computer, you can utilize its Peripheral Component Interconnect or PCI card. You would have to hook up the power connector of the eSATA external disk to a power source so you can transfer files from your computer to the external disk.

Additional Reading on ESATA