Today's PCs and motherboards all come
with USB ports, but are limited to only two ports on most systems.
The great part about USB devices, when using these ports they do not use IRQs or system resources like other common peripheral
devices and they are always plug-n-play. Plug-n-play is important,
especially for USB devices, as they are immediately defined by all the
latest versions of Windows.
So, what happens when you decide
to add more than two USB devices? Then you can add a USB
hub. Typically, these hubs plug into one of your computer's USB
ports and then provide either 4, 6, 7 or 8 additional USB ports for
additional USB devices.
In using USB devices, you plug in this
new hub both to an existing USB port and a power supply. Then it
is only a matter of plugging in your new USB peripheral device into a port
on the hub. So, what USB devices can be added to your PC?
Here is where USB really shines.
Devices connected to a USB port work far better than conventional ports
like Comm ports, PS/2 ports or parallel ports. This can be devices like
keyboards, printers, scanners, modems, joysticks, hard drives, zip
drives, and others. These USB devices are instantly recognized by
your PC and far easier to configure.
What are these hubs going to cost
you? I recently purchased an Asante FriendlyNet USB 4port hub for
under $30. This hub retails for $35 and even at this price it is a
bargain. If you are going to upgrade your system or just add new
devices, I highly recommend USB. Your PC will have the least
amount of problems accepting the device and it does not require an
expert to assist you. Just plug it in, use the accompanying
drivers disk when prompted and you are going.
Final analysis, if you need more USB
ports, I highly recommend adding a USB hub.