What Is a USB HUB?

A USB hub is a useful and handy way of adding additional USB ports to a setup. They're the USB version of a regular plug extension lead, converting a single USB socket into a hub (a group) of them. All you need to do is plug it into your computer, then use the additional ports to use a mouse, keyboard, or other USB devices all from a single port.

However much like extension leads, USB hubs also have limitations. You can't load too many power-hungry devices onto it, or else difficulties will arise. But, if you want to use a keyboard, mouse, and a phone charger on one USB port, a hub has no difficulties with this.

Why You Might Need a USB HUB

1. Increase the Number of USB Ports on a Laptop

While there are some laptops that come with a bunch of USB ports, many only have two. This small amount of ports really isn't great in our current USB-saturated world. If you use a USB keyboard and mouse, then you don't have any spare ports to charge devices, hook up an external hard drive, or connect a printer.

Of course, this may be fine depending on what you need to do with your laptop. If you're always on the move and you don't need a mouse or a keyboard, then you won't have this problem. Maybe you'll just need to charge your iPad and use an external hard drive.

However, if you use a laptop as your primary computer, or regularly do more than just sending emails and writing while you travel, a small USB hub might be a really useful tool.

2. Charge a Multitude of Devices on One Port

A USB hub is great for charging a number of different devices at once. While unpowered USB hubs need to be plugged into your computer to do that, powered hubs instead use the mains. This lets you charge as many devices as you like, regardless of if your computer is on or not.

USB hubs are the perfect companion for someone with lots of high power USB devices. From phones to tablets to desk gadgets, a USB hub can meet the needs of any gadget that needs power. It's also convenient that you don't need to hunt for a spare mains plug; just plug everything into the same one.

3. Move a Lot of Data Between USB Devices

This is rather rarer of USB hub uses, but it's still very common. If you find yourself in the situation of needing to move a lot of data between a bunch of different devices, a USB hub can be very useful.

If you want to back up photos from your computer, tether your mobile phone to use cellular data on your PC, download images from your camera, print some documents, and upload music to your iPad, a high-quality USB hub can help you do all of that at the same time.

How Many Type Of USB HUBS?

Self-powered hubs

This type of hub has an AC adapter that provides external power to the hub. To use the hub, you need to plug the adapter cord into an electrical outlet or power strip. The hub supplies its own power, so you can connect most USB devices to it. Typical self-powered hubs have four or seven USB ports.

 

Bus-powered hubs

This type of hub receives power from the computer or another self-powered hub, so you don't need to plug it into an AC outlet. You can plug low-powered USB devices, such as a mouse or joystick, into a bus-powered hub.