How do I connect multiple devices to my computer?

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How do you deal with connecting multiple devices to one computer? Not infrequently we need it but our hardware capabilities limit us

The salvation may be the use of USB hub. How does such a device work in practice? What functionalities can we gain thanks to it?

What is a USB hub?

Hub as such is a device that allows you to connect many network devices to your computer. You can find hubs with different number of ports – usually it is 4, 8, 16 or 24. USB hub refers to a device that increases the possibility of connecting a specific number of devices through these ports

Why is a USB hub useful?

Definitely, we live in times when miniaturization of electronic equipment is at a premium. Unfortunately, the compact size, especially the thickness of computers, is not conducive to a large number of USB ports pre-installed in them. On the other hand we have many accessories that we would like to use and not necessarily via bluetooth. Then a very useful device is a USB hub.

How many devices can be connected to a computer with a USB hub?

USB hub is compared to an extension cable with a strip, to which you can plug a specific number of devices. It usually comes in the form of a small box that has a certain number of ports on the side – from 2 to even 7. The operation is very simple: just plug the hub into one port mounted on your computer to be able to use more inputs.

What else can we gain when we choose a USB hub?

The advantage of such a device are sometimes its additional features. We can talk about SD or microSD card reader, but also about minijack, HDMI port or other connectors. However, the basic functionality depends on the number of ports – it determines how many devices we will be able to connect to our computer at the same time, despite of few built-in ports.

Among what types of USB hubs we can choose?

On the market we can choose from different types of hubs. Each of them works a bit differently and forces the user to take different actions. We distinguish first of all:

  • passive USB hub – this type of device is so convenient to use that it does not have the need for additional power, but it also has quite a big disadvantage. The power coming from one port is divided among all devices connected to the hub. This may cause problems;
  • active USB hubs – more troublesome due to the fact that they require additional power source, but they ensure good performance of devices plugged into particular ports. They can also occasionally serve as a phone charger;
  • passive-active USB hub – the most universal devices that have the ability to work in both configurations. We can use them depending on our needs and preferences.

What else should we pay attention to when choosing a USB hub?

The way it works is not everything. When buying a particular USB hub we should also pay attention to important performance parameters.

The quality of the housing and the length of the cable are of great importance. The first element has a huge impact on the durability of the device. Although such a hub is often perceived as a handy gadget, it is good that it serves as long as possible. In this context, models made of aluminum are especially recommended. They show quite high resistance not only to mechanical injuries, but also to scratches. They are lightweight and handy.

The length of the power cord, in turn, is directly related to the comfort of work. While in the case of a laptop the problem may not be too great, but already using a desktop computer we will feel it very much. You also risk the situation, that the hub will be awkwardly hanging between the floor and the tabletop level. It is better to choose a longer option.

Price. How much does a USB hub cost?

The most popular USB hubs on the market are not very expensive devices. Usually you will pay for them from 20 to about 120 PLN. Much depends on the brand, quality of workmanship and additional features.

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