Best External USB 3.5-Inch Floppy Drive 2020 Detailed Review.

Best External USB 3.5-Inch Floppy Drive 2020 Detailed Review.

Best External USB 3.5-Inch Floppy Drive: Have you got a box of old floppies kicking around? They might contain old documents, images from an early digital camera, or maybe even some classic games that you’d like to fire upon an emulator. 

Overview 

How can you access the information on a floppy disk? You could try and pick up an old computer, although that would leave you stuck with an ancient operating system that restricts access to modern software.

You can also find internal drives for your desktop, but these aren’t particularly portable. Likely, your best option is to find an external USB floppy drive.

These are readily available from a variety of manufacturers, so you can take a trip down memory lane and access your old data for less than the cost of a burger and a beer. 

Sabrent External USB 1.44MB 2x Floppy Disk Drive

Sabrent External USB 1.44MB 2x Floppy Disk Drive 

Sabrents tagline is “connecting differently”, and this is clear once you see their product line. They focus primarily on cables, adapters, and converters that will allow you to access information stored on virtually any storage device.

What separates them from the competition is the fact that they tend to modernize older hardware, and this is evident with their external USB floppy drive.

There might not seem like a whole lot you could do to bring the trusty old floppy disk into the 21st century, but Sabrent somehow managed it. 

Design 

With the Sabrent External USB Floppy Disk Drive, portability is key. The disk drive is barely bigger than the floppy itself, and it’s one of the thinnest drives on the market. It’s made from a very lightweight, durable plastic that can easily be tossed in a bag, or carried around without being awkward.

The cable is fixed, so you don’t have to worry about losing it. The casing is very minimalist, employing a flat black look with the exception of the stylized Sabrent logo on top of the drive.

Along the front, you’ve got an ejection button that recedes into the front of the disk drive when no disk is inserted but remains easy yet firm to press when you need to eject a disk. You’ve also got a green access light, that shows you when the drive is in use. 

Performance 

We never thought that we would see a high-performance floppy drive, but Sabrent seems to have done it. This drive is rated at 2x, which allows for 1 Mbps read speeds on a 1.44 MB drive.

In reality, this results in the ability to copy a completely full disk in around 10 seconds. This might seem slow compared to modern disk drives but is incredibly fast where floppies are considered. 

Mougerk 3.5” USB External Floppy Disk Drive

Mougerk 3.5” USB External Floppy Disk Drive

 

This company offers a wide range of external computer peripherals, generally designed for the professional marketplace. This means that they are compatible with a wide range of computer hardware, and built to be rock solid.

If you’re on the market for something that’s a little uncommon like a portable USB voice recorder or a VGA to the composite converter, the Mougerk will likely be one of your first choices. 

Design 

The Mougerk External Floppy Disk Drive is just marginally larger than others on the market but still retains its portable design. It’s got a very high-quality casing, meaning that you’ll be able to bend, squeeze, and generally chuck this drive around without risking damage to the fragile internals.

The build quality is especially evident in the drive mechanism. Sliding disks into it respond with a solid “clunk”, and both the ejection button and drive door feel firm and solid.

Although almost completely plain in design, there is just a slight gray accent on the door flap and ejection button that set it apart from the competition. 

Performance 

The read and write speeds of this drive are completely on par with other standard USB floppy drives. Depending on the density of your drive, the speed can change. With a standard 1.44 MB floppy, you’ll be able to read and write at an average of 500 Kbits per second.

For the older standard density floppies, the speed will be around 250 Kbits per second. This means that a typical full drive copy will take around 20 seconds, although you can expect the speed to be a little slower with software that is performing both read and write operations as the drive head will lag when switching. On average, the latency for this change is around 100 Msec or 1/10th of a second. 

Chuanganzhuo 3.5” USB External Floppy Disk Drive

Chuanganzhuo 3.5” USB External Floppy Disk Drive

 

The Chuanganzhuo USB External Floppy Drive is both affordable and simple. It’s got everything you would need in a basic floppy drive, with no unnecessary frills or add ons. 

Design 

Similar in design to the Mougerk, it’s only slightly larger than some other floppy disk drives on the market. It’s got a nice long cable, so you can plug it in remotely should you feel it’s necessary.

It feels quite lightweight, much more so than any of the other drives we’ve tested. Overall, the design is both simple and functional, offering you everything you could want in an external floppy drive. 

Performance 

Although the manufacturer advertises compatibility with the USB 2.0 standard, we found that this had no effect on performance. It will still work with any USB equipped computer, but performance will be the standard 500 Kbps that you’d expect from any other floppy drive. 

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Conclusion 

If you’ve got a large pile of old disks laying around and you want to back up the data, you’ll probably do well to pick up the Sabrent External Floppy Drive.

This disk drive is capable of reading disks at twice the speed of competing models, so you’ll be able to back up all of your data in very short order.

Floppies do degrade over time, so it’s probably a good idea to start your backup now and prevent any data loss from occurring in the future. 

Alternately, maybe you’re looking for a floppy drive to fix up some old computers. In this case, Mougerk External Floppy Drive will provide everything you need. The primary reason you’d want to choose this one is its compatibility.

It will work with more computers than any other drive on the market and can be used as a USB boot device if possible. Many of these old computers are not capable of booting from CD, and their boot media is the only image for floppy drives, making this model the obvious choice. 

Looking to play some old games or access floppies for a specialized purpose? Again, the Mougerk is your best choice. It’s the only option for software that will access non-standard formatted drives on a sector by sector basis, making it compatible with any software that reads the drives directly. 

Lastly, perhaps you’re looking for a floppy drive to spruce up an old PC or Mac? The Chuanganzhuo External Floppy Drive is perfect for this kind of application, and Its plug and plays compatibility will have it running instantly on any Windows PC.

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