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Are the cheap USB hubs (No external Power needed) good for connecting Printer, 1TB WD HD, portable WD 250 GB HD and Mouse?

Posted on 2009-12-18
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Last Modified: 2012-05-08
I want to connect couple of hard drives and a printer to my computer and I have this cheap USB hub:

http://www.amazon.com/Belkin-4-Port-Ultra-Mini-F5U407/dp/B000Q8UAWY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1261141201&sr=1-2

I have noticed that my printer slows down and I am suspicious of connecting all my devices to this hub.

I want to know if you guys would recommend buying a powered USB hub vs this one. Will that improve performance and handle all my devices well or does it not matter.

Please recommend a good USB HUB (Great if you provide a Link).

Devices that I want to connect:

Mouse
Printer
1 TB external WD hard Drive (Powered)
250 GB WD passport
150 GB external portable HD
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Question by:darthvader747
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Expert Comment

by:edbedb
ID: 26080150
Unless portability is an issue I would use a powered hub. If price matters, this one looks good.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817107610&cm_re=usb_hub_2.0_powered-_-17-107-610-_-Product
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 26080568
I recommend a powered USB hub - each port is theoretically supposed to provide up to 500mA at 5v, and if you connect hard drives that don't have their own power supplies, you will run up the current demand.  This one got good feedback and gives you the option of self-powered or not: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817111976
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Author Comment

by:darthvader747
ID: 26080666
What should I be looking for to understand whether a USB hub is goor or not? Also I would prefer more than just 4 ports.
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Author Comment

by:darthvader747
ID: 26080673
I meant good or not (Previous comment) not goor!
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by:edbedb
ID: 26080856
This hub has 7 ports.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182139

The only way to have any idea if an item is good or not is to go by recomendations and reviews. Used to be you could be safe going by brand name, those days are gone.
The thing that matters the most is the seller. I know for a fact that Newegg's RMA handling is excellent.
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BRB-TCE earned 2000 total points
ID: 26081199
If a USB hub follows all of the protocols defined by the USB specification committee, in theory they should all be the same.  The power and through put supplied by the hub is dictated by the USB specifications.

However, the real world involves manufacturing quality control, design quality, quality of components, etc, etc (AKA, the real world).

Determining if USB hub is good or not is subjective so I typically try to find reviews from real people on a reliable site(and the more the better).  Real world tests of power supplied to the devices, the hub overheating, and real world transfer speed would be some measurable performance tests.

Here are some links to check out:

1.) http://www.amazon.com/CyberPower-High-Speed-7-Port-USB-Hub/dp/B0006TIA8Y/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1261150156&sr=1-5
This has 7 ports and has 147 reviews and it is rated 4+/5 stars (pretty good).

2.) http://www.amazon.com/D-Link-DUB-H7-High-Speed-7-Port/dp/B00008VFAF/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1261150156&sr=1-12
This has 7 ports and has 433 reviews and it is rated 4+/5 stars (pretty good).

3.) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817364017&cm_re=powered_usb_hub_2.0-_-17-364-017-_-Product
This one has 13 ports and has only 20 reviews but it is rated well.

If you want to get a better feel on the device, dive in reading the reviews.

From the reviews that I read, #1, the Cyber Power USB seems to get the best comments and it has 7 ports.

Here is an article reviewing some powered hubs.

http://www.brighthub.com/computing/windows-platform/articles/1756.aspx

Good Luck!!!!
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Author Closing Comment

by:darthvader747
ID: 31667725
Very detailed and informative. Thanks!
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