A lot of times, there are situations where you have multiple devices that need to be plugged into your computer but you can’t because there are not enough USB ports to go around. It can be quite frustrating and leaves you handicapped. But what if I told you that there is a way around it now? Thankfully, with USB hubs, you can connect whatever device you want directly to your computer. In this blog post, we will delve into everything you need to know about what is a USB hub, including the different types available, their functions, features, and what you should consider before purchasing one. Without much ado, let’s dive right in!
What is a USB Hub?
A USB hub is an essential device in modern technology, providing connectivity and increased functionality to computers, smartphones, tablets, and game consoles. It expands the number of available ports on any one device, allowing a user to plug multiple USB devices into one port and get the benefits of having multiple physical ports from only one connection. Some people may wonder do USB hubs add latency. Actually, you probably can’t notice a big difference even if multiple devices may add latency.
2 Types of USB Hubs - powered and Unpowered
USB hubs come in two different forms. They include powered and unpowered. Let’s look at their different features and functions:
Powered USB Hubs
These USB hubs are usually plugged into the main source of electricity. They come with an in-built AC adapter which provides power to the external devices plugged into them. Powered USB Hubs are powerful enough to connect or power multiple high-voltage demanding devices like printers, scanners, and external hard drives. It’s especially helpful at workplaces, where there are many workloads and devices to work with. However, these powered USB hubs actually cost a lot more when compared to their unpowered counterparts, but it is fair since it provides more power. They also need access to a main socket so that leaves you hoping there’s a power source or socket close by, in order to use them with other devices.
Unpowered USB Hubs
An unpowered USB hub is a device that allows multiple USB devices to be connected to a single USB port on a computer or other device. This USB hub doesn’t have its own power source like the powered USB hub. Rather, it relies on the power generated by the computer or device it is connected to. For this reason, there are limited types of devices that can be used with the unpowered USB hub. It mainly accommodates low-voltage demanding devices like smartphones, keyboards, flash drives, and game controllers. However, the unpowered USB hub is cheaper when compared to the powered USB hub. They also come in handy when you’re traveling or in a place where you can’t access power.
Benefits of Having a USB Hub
Powered or unpowered, USB hubs are lifesavers, and here’s why.
Improve Data Sharing
It would have been such an arduous task connecting peripheral devices that work hand in hand with your computers at the same time. And that’s where USB hubs come in. Hubs like Anker USBC hub make it easier to connect to and transfer data between these devices.
It would be outrageous to think of how creators in our time would have coped with managing all devices they use in producing content. Music artists, for instance, have studios with heavy-duty workstations. Sometimes for smooth production, you need to connect a webcam, recorder, and scanner at the same time. The workstation computers may not have enough ports to carry all at once, hence the need for USB hubs.
Easy to Gaming
Most gamers prefer using gaming laptops to a desktop, especially for the ease of carrying them around. However, these gaming laptops do not have as many ports as possible. A USB hub provides a port for connecting other gaming accessories like the gaming keypad, headsets, and other devices used in playing a game.
Convenient Data Storage
A USB hub for laptops allows you to connect multiple storage devices to your laptop at the same time. That way, you can easily send files to different storage devices without unplugging or re-plugging them into your computer. Aside from that, some USB hubs come with in-built card readers that help you to transfer data seamlessly from your memory card, not your computer.
How to Use a USB Hub
So you just bought a USB hub and you’re wondering, how does a USB hub work? The process is a simple one.First, plug its AC adapter into a main power source (that is if you are using a powered USB Hub )Plug the hub into your computer through the USB cable that comes with it. Now, connect your devices to the USB ports on the hub. Once the devices are connected to the USB hub, it’s quickly recognized by your computer and ready to use.
USB hubs can be easily purchased from reputable tech gadget stores such as the Anker website where you can appreciate the warranty and customer service. As USB hubs will vary depending on the type of port on your computer. Therefore, you want to make sure that the USB hub you buy has the same type of ports as your computer.
FAQ about USB Hub
Are USB hubs a good idea?
Sure. USB hubs can be a great addition to any workspace when it comes to managing the number of cords and devices.
First, they provide an organized way to keep all your USB-powered technology contained in one area, eliminating the possibility of misplaced items and ensuring your space remains tidy.
Second, they also facilitate transfers between different devices. So, for those who need to accommodate numerous peripherals or multiple users using the same device, USB hubs are a great idea.
What is the difference between a USB charger and a USB hub?
These two items vary a lot in their purposes. A USB charger is a device that supplied power to a USB-enabled device just by plugging it into a power socket. While a USB hub is a device that allows multiple USB devices to be connected to a single USB port on a computer. Besides, a USB hub may charge the connected devices but the USB charger may never be used as a USB hub.
Can I use a USB hub to charge multiple devices?
Yes, you can use a USB hub to charge multiple devices. For powered USB hubs, they can charge your devices when plugging into the electrical outlets. While non-powered hubs can be plugged into a computer or other host system to charge the connected devices.
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