Although there are some manufacturers offering external SSDs, they have the disadvantage that they can't later be used in a NAS, for example.

My idea would be to use a USB-to-SATA adapter to use a standard internal SSD (like the Samsung Evo or Crucial MX) as an external hard drive with the option to use it in a NAS later.

Would there be any disadvantages about doing so?

As far as I see, it boils down to the performance of the USB-to-SATA adapters. Does anyone has experience with this type of adapters?

  • 2
    Are you aware of any external SSDs that don't use a USB-to-SATA adapter? Normally when an external USB-connected drive fails, you can remove it from the enclosure, disconnect it from the adapter, and try to read the data via SATA. It does not always involve destroying the enclosure. Jan 15, 2018 at 10:51
  • your title "Disadvantages of internal SSD as external storage" might be clearer if you said "disadvantage of connecting an 'internal SSD drive', externally, with an adaptor"
    – barlop
    Jan 15, 2018 at 11:15

3 Answers 3


Normally, there should be no major problem and/or difference.

  • A bad SATA adapter can turn into a bottleneck, but so can a slow USB 2.0/1.0 port. Be sure to use a new SATA standard and USB 3.0 port to match your SSD.
  • SATA adapters can have conversion problems for optical drives, but I am not sure for SSD/HDD. To me, no conversion problems happened with HDD/SSD.
  • uSB is more Universal.
    • USB stands for “Universal Serial Bus”.
    • An external SSD usually supports the universal USB-A to MicroUSB-B cable, which you probably already have for charging a non-Apple--Lightning smartphone/tablet.
    • USB 3.0 is backwards compatible to USB 2.0.

Hopefully, I could help you.


Assuming you have the appropriate adapters (i.e. SATA to USB and speed to match your HD), Be aware of ESD (Electro Static Discharge) when handling as well as while using an internal HD externally - make sure you have proper ground-strap and ESD mat for the Internal HD.

  • 2
    A USB enclosure is there to protect the drive. It's easy to spark or drop or scratch a drive while it's out loose. While SSDs are more durable than little spinning hard disks, they are still vulnerable while out in the open. Feb 26, 2019 at 16:42

I don't see it mentioned in other answers but I think it's worth mentioning:

TRIM support is quite an important aspect of SSDs that is rarely supported by the OS or the adapter when connected externally. (Refer here to learn why.)

TRIM has a significant impact on longevity and write-performance (once the whole disk space has been used at least once).

But if you don't mind the slower speeds or losing capacity (due to NAND degradation) faster than you would with a SATA connection, external usage can be acceptable.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .