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What is a USB Hub?

Author: Apogeeweb
Date: 13 May 2022
powered usb hub




Related Video


Operation of USB Hub

Types of USB Hub

When Do You Need a USB Hub?

Pros and Cons



A USB hub is a convenient way to add more USB ports to a device. When using USB hubs, all devices must share bandwidth and power supply from the computer's USB port. No matter how many devices are connected, the bandwidth and power from the computer's port remain constant.


However, the USB hub has its limitations.  For example, connecting devices that consume too much power can increase their instability, requiring users to read the instructions before using them properly.  When users want to connect to common electronics such as phones, mice and keyboards to power them, the USB hub can meet these basic needs.  


Video: What is the difference between a USB hub and a USB charging station?

Video Description:

In this video, I explain the difference between a USB hub and a USB charging station, and let you know which one you should choose for your needs, depending on whether you are looking to simply charge your USB devices, or also connect them to your PC, Mac, iPhone or iPad.



A USB interface can be split into multiple working USB interfaces.

It uses a USB HUB controller from the second generation.

It is simple to use and can be directly connected to the computer without the need for an external power supply.

It is installed as soon as the computer recognizes it, and no driver is required. You can freely plug and play it.

It supports USB2.0 at speeds of up to 480Mbps and is backwards compatible with USB1.1.

It also includes a current protection device.

It is compatible with Windows 95/98/Me/2000/XP, Linux 2.4, and Mac OS 8.5 or later.


Operation of USB Hub

A USB hub has one 'upstream port,' which connects to the host, and several 'downstream ports,' which connect to other hubs or peripheral devices / connections.


Most systems operate with hubs that are transparent and do not appear on any system visible mapping. Data received from the upstream port, i.e. the host, is broadcast to all devices connected to the downstream ports, whereas data received from the downstream port is routed only to the upstream port and the host.


With the introduction of USB 3, a Point to Point routing capability was introduced, in which a routing string sent in the data packet header allows the host to direct the data to a single destination port. This reduces the amount of data on the USB'network' while also lowering power consumption.


Another advantage of using a USB hub is that it can provide a system length increase. For low-speed USB 1.1 devices, for example, USB cables are limited to 3 metres. A hub can be used as an active USB repeater to increase cable length by up to 5 meters at a time.


Types of USB Hub

Powered USB Hub & Unpowered USB Hub

Powered USB Hub

Powered or active USB hubs use an external power source to raise the energy level of each hub port to that of an on-system port. Active USB hubs are typically powered by a wall outlet. While active USB hubs are not required to distribute power to all connected devices, the hub does distribute data bandwidth to all connected devices.


In brief, the USB ports on your computer generate a small amount of power. When you "split" a port (by plugging in a hub), the power is also split among the additional ports. And, depending on the devices you plug into the hub, there may not be enough power for everything.That is why choosing a powered hub with its own AC adapter is critical. You can fill every port with power-hungry devices without fear of limited amps causing operational problems.


Unpowered USB Hub

Unpowered USB hubs lack an external power source and rely solely on the computer's USB port for power. Unpowered hubs have compatibility issues with devices that require more power than the hub can supply.


A USB flash drive, for example, may work perfectly fine when connected to the computer's USB port or an active hub, but it may not power on when connected to a passive hub. The USB 3.0 standard improves on previous versions' power management capabilities and may be able to use higher power devices that hubs running older standards cannot.


When Do You Need a USB Hub?

Now you might think about some essential factors when you want to purchase a USB hub.


Check the connection options first. Users can choose to connect four or five ports.  


The second step is to check the cable connection to the main device to determine if the appropriate hub has been purchased.  


Third, you should buy a USB device with the latest connection protocol, because older devices have slow transfers or are incompatible.


Finally, you should purchase USB devices that are suitable for the user's daily use situation, including size, portability, etc.  


Pros and Cons

Powered USB Hub


Make their own power

Can provide power to high-voltage devices

Can power multiple devices at the same time



Unpowered USB hubs are typically more expensive.

Need access to a power outlet.


Unpowered USB Hub


Small and portable

less expensive than powered USB hubs

There is no need to look for a power outlet.



High-voltage devices cannot be powered without causing performance issues.

Struggle to power multiple devices at the same time.



1.What is a USB hub used for?

A USB hub functions as an extension cord for USB devices. It connects to your computer and allows you to connect more devices than your current USB ports allow. Some USB hubs are powered, while others are not.


2.Is it OK to use USB hub?

USB hubs are the ideal companion for anyone who has a large number of power-hungry USB devices. A USB hub can meet the needs of any device that requires USB power, from phones to tablets to desk gadgets. It's also convenient because you don't have to look for a spare power plug; simply plug everything into the same hub.


3.Can you plug a USB hub into a wall charger?

Yes. You can charge your iPad/iPhone by connecting it to a wall charger with a USB connector, just like any other Apple wall charger. It will work with any other device as long as the power source to which the hub is connected can charge your devices.


4.Can I charge my phone through A USB hub?

While non-powered hubs must be plugged into a host system to charge your devices, powered hubs can charge your devices even when those systems are not available. Because they come with their own AC adapter, these USB hubs require access to an electrical outlet or power strip.


5.Can I use USB hub for power?

When using power adapters for USB peripherals, the USB ports on the hub are only used for data transfer and do not draw power from the hub. Low-power USB peripherals (such as keyboards and mice) can be used on hubs without a power adapter in conjunction with other low-power USB peripherals.


6.What is the purpose of USB hub?

This port hub is remarkably small, but its specs are impressive:

1.Connects to your computer via USB 3.0

2.4 USB 3.0 ports (backwards compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 1.1)

3.Data transfer rate up to 5 Gbps

4.Supports hot swapping


7.What is 4 port USB hub?

The USB splitter expands one usb port to 4 Ports USB3.0 , connects your PC or Laptop with hard drives,USB headphone, speakers, memory cards, mouse, keyboards, USB flash drives, printers ,etc.


8.How to identify USB ports on your computer?

Quick Navigation :

Method 1. Check Port's Color and Logo

Method 2. Check the USB Controller

Method 3. Check Pins' Number

User Comments


9.How to create a programmatically switchable USB hub?

1.USB device manufacturing

2.USB device validation and development

3.Plug/unplug cycle testing

4.Functional testing

5.Battery charging

6.USB device resets

7.USB power monitoring

8.Controlling USB device enumeration sequence


10.Where is the USB hub port?

USB hubs are small devices with a few USB ports that connect to your computer or a power source via a single port. USB hubs expand your capacity for connected USB devices in the same way that a power strip allows multiple appliances to plug in for electricity.


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