Choosing a USB Hub

Posted by Lucas Smith on

Choosing a USB Hub? Choosing the ideal USB Hub for your needs can be overwhelming when there are so many.

The most important things to consider when choosing a USB hub are,

Number of Ports.
USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 (Speed).
Powered or Unpowered.
Switched or Unswitched.

Number of USB ports. How many USB ports do you need?

USB hubs come in a wide range of Port quantities with the most common being 4 Port and 7 Port. We recommend counting how many USB ports you require and then allowing for 1 or 2 extra USB ports for future proofing.

Powered and Non-powered USB hubs.

What is the difference between Powered and Non-powered USB hubs?

As the name suggests, the main difference lies in how they draw power.

Powered hubs come with an adapter and plug into the mains. A powered USB hub is also known as a self-powered hub or an active hub.

Some usb hubs come with an optional use power socket built-in. This lets you purchase a power supply and connect only if required. They are still known as a powered hub even if they may not include a power supply.

Unpowered hubs plug into a computer’s USB port and draw power from its battery or internal power supply. An unpowered USB hub is also known as a bus-powered hub or a non-powered hub.

This difference is all-important when it comes to establishing which hub would be most suitable for your devices.

When would you choose a Powered USB hub?

Use a powered USB hub if you need to use several devices at once or devices that operate on higher voltages, such as External hard drives, Printers or Scanners.

When would you choose an Unpowered USB hub?

Unpowered USB hubs take power from the USB port that they are plugged in to. As computer USB ports produce small amounts of current, they are best used to power devices that need only low voltages, such as Flash drives, Game controllers, Keyboards, Mice, Smartphone chargers.

USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 (Speed).

USB 2.0 transfer speed is 480 megabits per second (Mbps), while USB 3.0 transfer speed is 4,800 Mbps. This means USB 3.0 is approximately 10 times faster than USB.

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