4 port USB hub - what to buy?

  matthewowl 10:52 27 Dec 06
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I need more USB ports so was looking at 4 port hubs. Like all these things there is far too much choice. Prices seem to vary greatly so I was wondering if anyone could give me any pointers. I don't want to spend too much.

Thanks

  Jackcoms 10:54 27 Dec 06

If you're adding 4 more ports, make sure that you buy a powered hub.

  matthewowl 11:04 27 Dec 06

Thanks Jackcoms.
If I don't get a powered hub does that mean there is a risk of not enough power getting to the PC?

  Jackcoms 11:34 27 Dec 06

"If I don't get a powered hub does that mean there is a risk of not enough power getting to the PC"

No. It means there's a risk of not enough power getting to whatever you are going to be running from the 4 ports.

A 'normal' single USB port draws its power from the PC and will provide the hardware (scanner, printer, modem, etc, etc) with a max of 500Ma.

So, if you use an un-powered hub, you can effectively only provide each of the 4 items with 125Ma (500 divided by 4).

So, items like scanners, printers or modems which are power hungry will simply not have enough 'juice' to operate.

By using a powered hub, you will ensure that each of the 4 ports is able to provide the full 500Ma.

  matthewowl 11:37 27 Dec 06

Aha! Yes that makes perfect sense. Thanks Jackcoms.

Anyone got another other advice? Ta.

  Jackcoms 12:20 27 Dec 06

Have a look here click here IMHO you can't go far wrong with Belkin or Kensington.

  Taff™ 12:48 27 Dec 06

Slightly disagree with Jackcomms. A printer has it`s own power supply and some scanners too so these shouldn`t draw power from the USB port.

I use a 4 port (unpowered) USB hub on my laptop to which I attach Scanner, printer and external USB hard disk - all have their own power supply. In addition I use it to attach a USB memory stick. I don`t have any problems and this leaves my other 2 USB ports free for anything else. The 4 port hub came from Poundland but you can pick one up for less than £4 if you hunt around.

  Taff™ 12:50 27 Dec 06

Better add - I agree that a powered hub is better but note that in my setup the chances are that I`m not using all four ports at once anyway!

  terryf 15:09 27 Dec 06

I use a NEC Chipset 5 Port USB 2.0 Card, NEC Chipest USB PCI Card from click here, about £12.95 inc pp and works better for me than outboard usb hubs

  terryf 15:10 27 Dec 06

sorry that is supposed to be chipset but I copied from website and as is well known - website designers don't use spell checkers :-)

  isca2 18:53 27 Dec 06

I use a belkin 4 port Tetra Hub. It is powered but it also reserves 12Mbps bandwidth for each port so that the is no sharing. A traditional 4 port hub would normally provide 12Mbps bandwidth to be shared by all the connected devices. Expensive at £30 or so but worth it.

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