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USB Hubs: an excellent addon

by Bob Wright
2001/03/02


USB Hubs: an excellent addon

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.

 

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