Probably dumb question about USB hubs

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Ymir, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. Ymir

    Ymir Guest

    Hi all,

    My firewire time machine drive recently died, and without thinking I
    replaced it with a USB drive. Now I find myself with a shortage of USB

    I've never had to purchase a USB hub before, but the cheap ones I've
    found have been unpowered and contain a warning along the lines of
    'Caution: do not attempt to connect more than one high-powered device to
    this hub at the same time'.

    Is it safe to assume that this cautionary note applies only to
    *bus*-powered devices?


    Ymir, Jan 6, 2014
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  2. Ymir

    J Burns Guest

    That sounds right to me. However, I once had a USB drive that wasn't
    supposed to be bus-powered. When its power supply failed, it drew power
    from my cheap USB hub, damaging it.

    Probably a certified hub would have circuit protection. I use a USB 2.0
    hub with a wall wart waiting in the box in case I need more power. If I
    were replacing it, I'd go for a 3.0 hub because USB 3.0 provides more
    power as well as speed.
    J Burns, Jan 6, 2014
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  3. Ymir

    Lewis Guest

    Not really, cheap USB hubs are pretty crap. I wouldn't try to put any
    hard drive on one.
    Lewis, Jan 7, 2014
  4. Ymir

    isw Guest

    My TimeMachine drive has been working fine for years on a cheap
    unpowered hub. YMMV.

    IME, the problem with cheap (i.e. $1-4 from eBay) hubs is that a given
    one may just not work. But if it works, it works as well as a more
    costly hub.

    isw, Jan 7, 2014
  5. Ymir

    Alan Browne Guest

    Essentially yes.

    Best practice is low power devices to the hub and higher power devices
    (esp. disk drives) direct to the computer as ports permit.

    From my _powered_ hub I connect camera cards (via a reader), a GPS data
    logger, my printer, iPhone (when needed to be connected), wireless
    keyboard widget...

    Ext. disk drives using USB - directly.

    It's a good time to think of getting a USB 3.0 hub if your computer
    supports that - or if you thing you'll be upgrading in the not too
    distant future.
    Alan Browne, Jan 7, 2014
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