How Do I Use A USB Hub ?

  s99Raj 11:35 09 Feb 03

I may be being a bit thick here, but I'm confused. I hope the following makes sense.

I've just bought a 4 port USB hub, which I can use with and without power. It has one port (which I'll call A, for want of a proper name) which has six straight edges to it and four thinner rectangular ports (which I'll call B). I also have three USB cables each of which have a different plug at either end which fit into A and B.

Now, I want to connect my Broadband Modem to a desktop and a laptop. The modem has a port type A on it and the desktop and laptop have type B. I'd also like to attach a USB scanner to the laptop. But I just can't seem to figure out what goes where.

Can anyone help please?

  Giggle n' Bits 11:38 09 Feb 03

then your modem and other USB devices plug into the Hub. As long as your USB ports are enabled in the BIOS and in the Device manager the items should be detected.

Someone may post with a more indepth answer. You carnt do any harm long as you do not force the plugs/calbes into the port holes/sockets.

  s99Raj 11:39 09 Feb 03

I guess I'm using the wrong type of USB cable.
Maybe I need one with two thinner (type B) sockets at either end?

  1st RHA 11:48 09 Feb 03

that seems exactly the answer

  Stuartli 11:53 09 Feb 03

If you have two USB computer ports, the best type of hub (preferably a powered one)is one with four or six outlets and a cable which will fit into one of these two computer ports.

You then have one available port on your computer system, which should be used for something like a scanner, and four or six additional ports.

So, from two computer system ports, you gain either five or seven additional ports.

  Pauper 11:58 09 Feb 03

The 'six sided' port or 'A' on the back of the hub is the one which is connected to the port 'B' on the pc, this effectively changes that one pc port into four usb ports, this will allow you to connect up to four devices to the pc via the hub. However when you use a hub you are sharing the data transmission bandwidth from that one pc port between the devices on the hub, this can result in slower connections particularly in the case of scanners and possibly modems. If you wish to share the modem between two computers then you will either need to network the two pc's in some way and then use the appropriate software to share the internet connection, or you will need to purchase a router to which both computers and the modem can be connected. I have not tried to network a scanner myself, but I have read an article elsewhere which stated that there are issues which prevent this from working correctly, if the pc and the laptop are relatively close then you can easily plug the scanner into the desired computer as usb is hot swappable, alternatively once you have networked the pc's you can use one to perform the scan and then pass the file over the network.

  Forum Editor 12:02 09 Feb 03

an unpowered hub can result in a serious drain on USB resources if you plug more than a couple of USB devices into it. In such a situation you may experience loss of functionality - a mouse may stop working, or your machine may lock up altogether.

For this reason you should always connect the hub to its mains supply.

It's impossible to connect the leads wrongly, so don't worry about that - small square USB connectors are always on devices - like a network adapter, or a printer, and the slim rectangular ports are for the other end of the cable - the one that plugs into the computer or hub.

ADFSL modems have to connect to two things - one is the phone socket, and the other is a computer (or a broadband router if you want to share the connection between several machines). You can share a broadband connection between two computers at once by using USB wireless network adapters, or internal wireless adapters (the laptop can take a PCMCIA wireless adapter in its card slot, and the PC can have an internal wireless card, but an external one for the PC may be easier).

  jazzypop 12:03 09 Feb 03

"I want to connect my Broadband Modem to a desktop and a laptop" - do you mean that you want to be able to use the hub as a sort of 'Y-piece' or splitter, so that you connect the modem to one side of the hub, and the PC and laptop to the other, so that they can both share the broadband modem at the same time?

If so, I think that this is where your problem lies. That is not the purpose of a hub.

As others have said, a hub is a way to multiply the number of USB ports on a PC. Connect one USB outlet on the PC to the inlet on the hub, then use the extra outlets on the hub to connect additional devices through the hub to the PC. In effect, you gain 4 ports (on the hub) in exchange for the one port you used on the PC (to connect the hub to).

If you want to share the BB access between the laptop and the PC, there are several ways of doing this.

Please let us know if I have understood you correctly (or not), and we can break the issue down into several parts....

How to share access to your broadband connection

How to connect a scanner to your laptop

How to identify he various types of USB connector

  Forum Editor 12:04 09 Feb 03

sorry about that - you knew I meant ADSL didn't you?

  1st RHA 12:06 09 Feb 03

use a network (LAN) connection and share via that

modem-network hub-2 PC's

  s99Raj 12:13 09 Feb 03

Yes, my main reason is to connect my desktop and laptop to the broadband modem so that I may use both either one at a time without having to worry about the connections or to use both at the same time, if that's possible.

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