These are two products that work well if you need them; most laptops today have four or more USB ports and at least one Fire wire port. If you are using your laptop to capture video then I can see the need for an addition port or two in this case. If the ports on the card were Fire Wire 800 Ports then it would be a definite must have. Transfer speed was no better than the onboard Fire Wire. The E-SATA card is an interesting animal, at the moment E-SATA drives are not as popular as USB or FireWire drives for that matter. But they certainly have the potential to overtake both connectivity standards when it comes to external storage. E-SATA offers a faster average transfer speed and ability to use external raid gives you added abilities you couldn't even dream about with USB or Fire wire.