What Is USB Hub Used For?

A USB Hub has become a helpful accessory in today’s world as it lets you connect a lot of USB peripherals through a single USB port in your laptop or PC. It helps you expand a single USB port into multiple ones and allows you to hook all the necessary devices.

Nowadays, most laptops and PCs come with limited USB ports, and it is done to support the trend of slimmer designs. However, the usage of different USB peripherals hasn’t reduced, and it has created a problem.

Many users have faced the problem of port limitations while connecting two or more USB devices. But USB Hub solved the issue as it comes with several USB ports in one end, and there you will be able to hook all the necessary USB devices.

You can quickly hook the keyboard, mouse, and speaker all together to your laptop and work with ease. However, USB Hubs are more than just connecting multiple devices and allowing easy computation. So if you are wondering what USB Hub used for is, let’s take a detailed look at this article;

Usage of USB Hub

USB Hub may not seem like a widely popular device, but it has revolutionized the market by allowing users to expand a single USB port into multiple. It is like a small adapter where on one end, there is a USB connector, and on the other end, there are several USB ports.

The basic usage of USB Hub is to expand your USB connectivity in your PC or laptop. It allows you to connect three to seven USB devices at once, which is not possible with the inbuilt USB ports.

Usually, a laptop or PC will provide you with two to three USB ports at maximum, and that is, too, depending upon the design. However, USB helps users to break that boundary and gives you the option to connect eight to ten USB devices at once.

At the consumer level, you might only get a connectivity option of eight to ten USB ports in USB hubs. But at a commercial level, you will find Hubs with up to 127 ports. Whether you want to connect large devices like portable printers and displays or small peripherals like speakers and keyboards, you can easily connect anything you want.

You can use the Hub for data transfer as well as charge multiple devices at the same time. However, to connect power-consuming devices or combinations of both large and small devices, you will need powered USB Hubs.

But for connecting normal USB devices, a standard USB Hub will do the trick. You should keep in mind connecting a lot of power-hungry, and high bandwidth devices can cause a slight decline in the performance and charging speed.

USB Hubs are not only just for expanding the USB port in your laptop for connecting mice, keyboards, printers, and other devices; there are more uses of it. So here we have put forward some widespread usage of USB Hubs;

Setting Up A Workstation

USB Hubs are widely used for setting up a workstation both at home and workplace. Workstation requires connecting a lot of high-end hardware so that users can seamlessly do their respective work.

Whether you are a digital artist, video editor, or designer, you will have to connect a load of items like scanners, printers, webcams, hard drives, digital pens, and many more. Sometimes, you will have to connect multiple monitors or external GPUs to handle 4K editing, AutoCAD, or processing-intensive work.

In those kinds of situations, USB Hubs act as a savior because most workstations have limitations in USB connectivity. Many top-end USB Hubs even come loaded with external HDMI, PCIe, 3.5mm audio, and many other useful ports.

Transferring A Lot of Files

If you are someone who needs to transfer a lot of files from different devices on a daily basis or occasionally, then you can benefit from USB Hub.

If you want to transfer a lot of photos to different clients’ drives or copy files from multiple devices at the same time, USB Hubs will make things simpler for you. Moreover, it is feasible to transfer all at once rather than connecting one device at a time and then transferring the files.

The USB port standard you want to use entirely depends upon your device’s USB port compatibility, and this standard will determine the speed. Some USB Hubs even come with SD card slots, so you can even transfer files directly to/from the SD card without needing any device.

Organizing Your Work Setup

USB Hubs can help you to organize your work setup, especially if you have a compact workspace. In most office spaces, cubicles aren’t that wide and the desktop case is located chiefly beneath the desk.

So it becomes problematic for users to connect USB cables, and moreover, the USB cord’s length might cause issues. USB Hubs help you in addressing these issues and allow you to create a neat setup in your workspace where all the devices will be placed near you.

Moreover, you won’t require long USB cables to connect certain devices to your office desktop. You won’t have to face any cable and device cluttering while organizing your office setup, as you can arrange the device according to space availability.

Connecting A Lot of Display

Some of the modern 4K displays can be connected through USB-C cable as USB-C supports seamless video signal transfer. You can easily connect your desktop or laptop to two to three monitors using a USB Hub and that too without compromising on the video signal quality.

However, while connecting monitors through USB, you might have to resort to a powered USB Hub as monitors consume a lot of power. At a time, you can connect two 4K monitors and four full HD monitors to your USB Hub for your multi-monitor setup.

Supports Portable Gaming

Gamers who prefer to game on their high-end gaming rigs benefit the most from USB Hubs. It lets them connect all the necessary USB devices, such as a gaming mouse, keyboard, gaming headset, temperature display, and many others.

Importantly, it helps you to game anywhere you want without needing any external support. Moreover, it gives you better flexibility while setting your laptop gaming setup. Some high-end USB Hubs will also let you connect an external GPU, which can take your gaming experience to the next level.

Different USB Hub Designs That Are Wide Used

In general, most users think USB Hubs only come in rectangular design but there are more design forms of this device. USB Hubs mostly come in three design forms, and they are rectangular, star, and octopus. Although the main application is the same, each of the design types has its own specific purpose. So let’s check out all the USB Hub designs;

Rectangular Design

Rectangular USB Hub is probably the most common design in the consumer market, and it is widely used by users. It has a simple design where one end has a USB connector while the other end gets three to four USB ports.

The USB connecting cable can either be directly opposite the port or on the side. This type of design is mostly used by regular users where users have to connect numerous USB peripherals.

Octopus Design

It may not seem like a famous name, but octopus USB Hubs are pretty important. In an octopus USB Hub design, one end has a long USB male connector while the other end has four to five short USB female connectors.

In general, each of the female USB connectors comes with 2 inches length, but it might vary according to the brand. This kind of USB Hub is more useful in stores and office spaces where you need to connect to a lot of small devices side by side. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t use it at home.

Star Design

Star design USB Hubs is a popular USB design that is often used by office employees and gamers while creating a multi setup.

Using these USB Hub designs, you can create a clean setup where each of the USB devices can be faced in a different direction. You can also use it at your home and create an aesthetically pleasing setup around your laptop.

Some Vital Usage Tips On USB Hubs

USB Hubs is still relevant USB device in modern times where wireless connectivity is taking over the consumer market. Not everyone uses an entirely wireless setup, so a USB comes in really handy while connecting different USB devices to the computer. However, not everyone is familiar with the usage of USB Hubs, and that is why we have put forward some useful tips that you can follow;

  • While using non-powered USB hubs, you should consider only connecting small USB peripheral devices that incur a lot of power. Connecting mice, keyboards, portable speakers, headphones, or network hubs through USB Hub won’t cause you problems.
    A standard USB Hub can only deliver up to 500MA, so it is best to connect multiple small devices to use all the devices properly.
  • When you want to connect two or three power-hungry USB devices, it is best to consider a powered USB Hub. In this type of Hub, the power is supplied externally, as the USB won’t be able to supply constant power to every unit.
    Even if you are using a USB-C USB Hub that has a 100-watt power supply capacity, it is best to opt for powered USB hubs for connecting large devices.
  • It is best practice to prevent powered USB Hubs from overheating and keep them disconnected in between. You should avoid using the Hub for a prolonged time; otherwise, overheating can cause damage to the port as well as devices connected to it.
  • You can opt for some high-end Hubs that have specialized circuitry to prevent overheating.
  • Always use the latest and highest USB standard while connecting many devices for transferring files or charging them. Currently, many USB Hubs come with USB 3 ports, and it is best to use this version because it will let you transfer files at a higher rate.
    USB 2 Hubs may be available at a cheaper price, but if you want fast file transfer while multiple devices are connected to the Hub, you should go for USB 3 Hub.
  • To get the best result, you should always connect your USB Hub to the high-speed USB port of your laptop or PC.
    When you are using a USB 3-based Hub, then you should connect it to the USB 3 port of your laptop or PC to reap the full potential of the USB 3 specification. However, if you connect the same USB 3 Hub to a USB 2 port, not only will you compromise on speed but reduce the overall performance.
  • You can chain your USB Hub if you are using a small-capacity USB Hub and expand the overall USB connectivity. You can easily plug one Hub into another through the required USB cable, but it entirely depends upon the daisy chain capability of the USB version. However, you should take care of the power limitation while connecting a lot of devices.

How Can You Choose The Ideal USB Hub For Your Usage?

When it comes to choosing the ideal USB Hub, you can’t choose randomly, and you will have to be diligent about your choice. There are many things that you need to consider one by one, and here we will discuss about them;

Total Number of Ports

The first thing you need to consider while going for a USB Hub is the total number of USB ports you need at a time.

It is a smart move to go for Hubs having five to six USB Ports, as it will allow you to expand your USB connectivity completely. However, if you don’t want to connect a lot of devices, then look for two or three USB port Hubs.

Power Source

If you plan to connect a large device or a combination of large and small devices, then you should go for powered USB Hubs that draw power externally. But if you think you will mostly connect small devices, then it is best to opt for passive or unpowered USB Hubs.

Considering The Power Output Of The USB Port

Many modern USB devices come with high power demand, and you should have a USB port having the capability to deliver that power. USB C is the best choice because this port can deliver power up to 100 watts with ease and help you connect power-hungry devices. You just have to make sure the ports in the USB Hub are capable of delivering the required power.

USB Version In The Hub

Always go for the latest USB version while choosing USB Hub, as it will ensure high transfer speed and fast charging. Even though some Hubs come with multiple USB version support so you won’t have a problem with limitations.

Availability of Other Ports

Depending upon your requirement, you can choose the USB Hub that comes with other ports. There are many brands that offer USB Hubs having Ethernet, HDMI, 3.5mm, and many other vital ports. So after considering all the factors, you should also consider this factor in the end.

Once you consider all the above factors, you will have to choose the ideal USB Hub you need for your requirement. However, it is vital that you should go for USB Hubs from reliable and top brands, as they ensure durability and performance.

Final Verdict

A USB Hub has many uses, and you just have to find the right way to use them. USB Hubs are widely used in home and workspaces as it helps modern laptops and PCs to expand their USB connectivity.

Although wireless connectivity is taking over, there are still millions of users who use multiple USB devices with their laptops. USB Hub is a boon to many and it makes it easier for you to connect multiple devices at once. These devices come in a wide variety and designs and you can choose the one that caters to your requirement.

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