This post will tell you what is USB hub and how to use it.

An Introduction to USB Hub

USB hub refers to a device that expands one Universal Serial Bus (USB) port into several and enables those ports can be used at the same time. With this device, you don’t have to worry about the port is not enough anymore. In addition, it is small and lightweight.

Main Types

USB hub can be divided into three types according to the USB protocol. They are USB2.0 HUB, USB3.0 HUB and USB3.1 HUB respectively.

  •  HUB 2.0 hub supports USB 2.0 anddownwardly compatiblewith USB2.0/1.1, the theoretical bandwidth can reachup to 480Mbps.
  •  HUB 3.0 hub supports USB 3.0 anddownwardly compatiblewith USB3.0/1.1, the theoretical bandwidthcan reachup to 5Gbps.
  •  HUB 3.1 hub supports USB 3.1 anddownwardly compatiblewith USB3.0/2.0/1.1, the theoretical bandwidth can reach up to 10Gbps.

Therefore, you should choose a suitable USB hub according to your demand. For example, the choice is different between choosing aUSB hub for gaming and a USB hub for mac.

According to the power supply form, USB hub can be divided into three types. They are illustrated one by one in below.

USB hub

The bus-powered hub(passive hub) draws all its power from the host computer’s USB interface, requiring no separate power connection. However, many devices need more power than this hub offers and fail to work in it.

On the contrary, the self-powered hub (active hub) is the hub that gets power from the external power supply unit so that it can offer full power (500MA at most). After all, USB hub with power supply will enable you to use power flexibly. Many hubs can work either as bus-powered orself-powered hubs.

Nevertheless, there are many non-complaint hubs in the market. They announce themselves as self-powered hubs to the host computer, but they are bus-powered hubs in fact. Similarly, many non-compatible devices use more than 100MA current but don’t announce the fact in public, even they may not identify themselves as USB devices at all. 

Dynamic-powered hubs can work either as bus-powered hubs or self-powered hubs. They can switch to each other automatically based on whether there is a separate power supply or not.

Though converting from the bus-powered hub to self-powered hub needn’t renegotiate with the host immediately, if the connected device previously requested more power than still available in the bus, it will switch from self-powered to bus-powered operation which may result in a USB connection reset.


USB hub consists of USB and hub. USB is an interface technology applied in the PC field to connect external devices like scanners, printers to host controllers. Hub is an interface device, connecting multiple USBs.

The USB hub can connect with lamp, fan, MP3, USB flash drive, digital camera, etc. Besides, it has some other features.

  • A USB interface can be expanded into multiple independent working USB interfaces.
  • It adopts the second-generation USB HUB controller.
  • It can be directly connected to the computer, without an external power supply, and it is easy-to-use.
  • It is installed as soon as the computer automatically identifies it, requiring no driver. You can plug and play it freely.
  • It supports USB2.0, speeds up to 480Mbps, downwardly compatible with USB1.1
  • It also has a built-in current protection device.
  • It supports Win95/98/Me/2000/XP, Linux2.4andMac OS 8.5 or above systems.

How to Use USB Hub

USB hubs are widely used in computers, keyboards, monitors, or printers and other devices. A USB hub usually has four new ports, or more than four ports probably.

Insert the USB hub into the computer, and then plug the device like keyboard, mice, printer into the hub. You are able to create dozens of USB ports on one computer by connecting together the USB hubs.

As described above, USB hub has three types. Therefore, choose a suitable one based on the device’s power consumption condition. For instance, you should choose a self-powered USB hub for the printer or scanner because of its highpower consumption, while select a bus-powered USB hub for the mice or digital camera.

Usage Tips

USB-HUB is widely used in daily life, but some problems happen frequently. Here are some usage tips for you.

  1. USB-HUB is a device that offers an extended USB interface. Whether the2.5-inch mobile hard disk can work depends on the power supply capability of the computer expansion port when hub disconnects the external power source. 
  2. Generally speaking, 2.5-inchmobile hard disk needs to be powered by computer or hub, while the 3.5-inch disk needs an exclusive power source. You’d better not connect the 3.5-inch mobile hard disk directly.
  3. Without the external power supply, the current provided by a computer’s USB port is about 500MA, which can barely be used for a 2.5-inch mobile hard disk, but it’s not enough for an ordinary 2.5-inch mobile hard disk if it is consumed by the USB-Hub.
  4. Many front-end USB ports of compatible chassis, because of one more transfer, plus material problems such as wire material, the power supply capability is even worse, which leads to failing to use the mobile hard disk even losing data or damaging the disk.
  5. If your mobile hard disk makes a “beep” sound, it is caused by the insufficient power supply. We suggest you connecting the USB hub to the integrated USB port on the back of the chassis to ensure better connection and power supply.
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