What is it?

A hard disk dock for retrieving data from internal computer drives. Before cloud storage revolutionised data management it was a major hassle to take efficient backups. External hard drives allow a transfer of files as a precaution against computer failure, but when such calamities occur it can be time-consuming and expensive to repair.

With older computers that fail the most effective way of getting your data back is with a dock like the Communicator C2.

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Good Points?

Newer SATA type disks fit in with a simple push so you can start accessing data immediately without any adapters or additional software.

The device also comes with five built-in card readers including SD and TF types. This is a nice feature when dealing with multiple storage media and means you don't have to employ additional hardware.

There is a one-touch backup button that quickly transfers files to your specified location using the supplied software. Two USB ports provide additional support for external and flash drives.

Bad points?

The IDE adapter for older hard disks is a bit fiddly to attach and should preferably be screwed into the drive to allow easy removal from the dock. This particular shortcoming is a hefty drawback.

Best for ...

Those who have old or unused hard drive laying around that can be utilised to store data or retrieve information from legacy equipment.

Avoid if ...

You are looking for a slick method of backing up your files as storing internal drives outside computer hardware can lead to data degradation and static electricity causing faults.

Score: 7/10.

Winstars Communicator C2, £34.99 (maplin.co.uk)