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Thursday, April 19, 2012

1222. USB ports - need more.

Mary asked: I have two USB ports on my laptop, but I need to connect a USB mouse, keyboard, printer, and hard drive. Do I have to juggle the connections?

You can never have too many USB ports on a computer and two is almost never enough. If you hook up a mouse and keyboard, you're done, if you only have two USB ports.

The easiest solution is to purchase a USB 2.0 hub which allows you to attach multiple USB devices into one single hub device. (Note that USB 3.0 hubs, which support the latest standards, are trickling into the market. They're more expensive, and are only worthwhile if you have a new computer that supports USB 3.0 devices, or are planning to get a new computer that supports USB 3.0. USB 3.0 supports much faster data communication than does USB 2.0, but there are few devices now, few computers that support it, and the devices are more expensive than their USB 2.0 counterparts.)

I have several USB 2.0 hubs sitting here, each of which has ports for 7 USB devices. You can purchase a USB hub from a local office supply store or you can purchase one online for (most likely) less money.

My favorite spot for purchasing such things online is monoprice.com: they seem to have the lowest prices on cables and other electronic doodads.





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