There are many types of Universal Serial Bus (USB) hubs with varying number of ports available so that you can expand the use of a specific USB port in a computer for more USB connections.
Devices Connected to the Computer’s USB Port or a USB Hub
A USB hub is attached to the computer’s USB port to connect it with more external devices like keyboards, printers, monitors, mice, mobile phones, GPS units, network connections, cameras and portable media players. Inserting a bus-powered electronic device in the computer’s USB port or a USB hub connected to the computer also allows recharging of its battery.
Power Requirements of USB Devices
Although a USB hub allows more devices to be connected to the computer, since the hub plugs only into one of the computer’s USB ports, the hub’s additional ports don’t have independent USB circuitry from its mother port. Self-powered hubs generally provide up to 500 milliamps at each port; while bus-powered hubs need to split the total 500 milliamps among all ports and the hub itself, which generally draws about 100 milliamps already.
When too many USB devices are attached to a hub and all of them are bus-powered, meaning they function by getting power through its USB connection with the computer, chances are these devices wouldn’t get enough power they need. Examples of these devices include flash drives, joysticks and cell phones. Self-powered USB devices like large external hard drives and printers are not dependent on the power a USB connection provides, since they are generally plugged in to an electric outlet, then separately turned on for them to function.
Bus-powered and Self-powered USB Hubs
USB hubs are either bus-powered or self-powered. While bus-powered hubs offer mobility especially when using laptops and traveling in various places, self-powered hubs are better used if attaching a number of bus-powered USB devices at the same time. A self-powered hub requires the plugging of its cord into an electric outlet.
“A 16-Port USB Hub Hubbub,” Chris Pirillo.
“USB 2.0, Hi Speed USB FAQ,” Everything USB.
“Tips for Solving Problems with USB Devices,” Microsoft Windows.”USB Hub,” Answers.
“Adding a USB Hub To Your Computer,” Computer Adviser.
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