What is a Usb Hub
USB data transfer technology is literally a backbone of modern electronics. And when there aren’t enough free ports, USB hubs are used. A hub is a small splitter with multiple USB and (optionally) memory card slots. Any USB hub itself is plugged into a USB port of your device (PC, Mac, laptop, etc.). Thanks to USB hubs, you can upload photos from your camera, charge your iPod, and download a movie from an online store right to an external hard drive.
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What Features to Compare
Interface and Data Transfer Rate
The first issue to consider is the interface supported by every USB hub. For example, all modern computers and laptops have USB 3.0 support and this type of interface is several times faster than USB 2.0, let alone older versions (1.0, for example). That’s why don’t forget to check what the supported USB version is. The interface is closely tied to a data transfer rate it provides. If you need to connect several external disk drives, for example, you need a USB hub with a high data transfer rate.
Design and Size
Of course, a design itself has no impact on quality of each USB hub. However, design is important, since a hub is always near your computer or laptop, it has to be stylish. No need to say, a hub has to be convenient - all the surface must be used reasonably. Make sure to choose the right size - if you travel a lot and carry a hub with you, choose a smaller one. Whereas a USB hub for home use can be of any size. There is another major feature that you need to pay attention to - cord length. As we've already mentioned, every hub connects to a computer or laptop via a USB cord, so the longer the cord is, the more convenient it will be to use it with a PC, whereas a shorter cord will be perfect for a laptop. Buying a USB hub with a short cord for using with a PC makes no sense - it will be very uncomfortable for you to lean and plug in and out the devices and flash drives. However, it isn't a problem if a main unit of your PC is tabletop.
Number of Ports and Extras
The next important criterion is the number of USB ports in a hub. No need to say, it’s different - some hubs have just 4 of them (which means 4 devices can be plugged in), whereas others have up to 8 USB ports. Don’t forget to check all extras every USB hub has. For example, a really versatile hub has the slots for memory cards (like SD, microSD, etc.), so you don’t need to buy a card reader. Extras are particularly important if you use a PC - it’s very uncomfortable to lean down and insert them into a computer tower. Also, some USB hubs are connected to a power source so that you can charge or provide sufficient power to several devices (like external hard drives or cell phones) simultaneously.