With all the traveling I have been doing and the amount of RAW pictures I have been taking the storage on my devices was getting low. I thought cloud storage was a good solution because of its convenience and features, but the price per gigabyte is much higher than a standalone hard drive, and, unlike standalone hard drives, cloud storage is a never ending subscription, or, like I call it, a money hole.
So, the next option was travel hard drives. Not any drive would do, but one that can withstand the abuse of travel. I needed a drive that was always with me and that I could backup my sd card, Ipad, or IPhone at anytime. I found some really great options like the Sandisk Extreme Portable External SSD, WD my passport wireless pro, Samsung T5 portable SSD, Gnarrbox, and some other generic travel drives. Some of these have great features like automatic backing up of ad cards and shock resistance. These were all great options, but again more expensive than Im normally used to paying with hard drives.
So I got to thinking, and my thoughts lead me to a recent device that I purchased, the Ravpower filehub. This Ravpower has powerful features such as automatic backup of sd card to connected hard drive. This device is always with me because of the limitations of the Ipad and its file management. Could I use this in some way to and build my own travel SSD for a fraction of the price?
The answer is yes. First I purchased a 2.5in bare SSD. These drives are relatively inexpensive and 2.5 inch drives are not that power hungry and can be powered by a standard usb-a port. Next I purchased an enclosure for the bare drive. Bare drives have their components exposed, so they need to be protected. I went with one that had a usb-c port on it since I didn't want to carry any extra cables, one port to rule them all.
Then I simple put the SSD into the enclosure and now I have a travel SSD. While this will be cheaper than the other travel SSD’s, it does not not have the specific features you will find on others such as water resistance.
This is an SSD, so by nature it does not have any moving parts, and because it is a 2.5 in drive it is made for laptops, so it should be shock resistant. I can not guarantee its shock resistivity especially at the matting point of the enclosure and bare drive, but I think it should hold up just fine. Time will tell.
With the combination of my makeshift travel SSD and filehub, I can now, with one touch of a button, backup my sd card or I could access the hard drive and sd card from my Ipad. This feature is found in the very expensive Gnarbox or WD my passport wireless pro. If you would like to know more about the Ravpower filehub check out our review. Below is a short list of all the components used for this build and their respective affiliate links.
Update: I just realized I can transfer RAW files, that I thought were forever stuck on my ipad and deleted everywhere else, to my travel drive making this invaluable.