Looking for a USB hub.


BML

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I have two elderly electrically powered USB hubs which for some reason the person who helps me get out of the technical messes I get into with my computer took a dislike to and persuaded me to disconnect. I’m now running out of USB sockets on my desktop computer and am inclined to reconnect one of my latent USB hubs.

Firstly I would like to know would that be a reasonable action and if not why?

Secondly, I don’t have the faintest understanding of the difference between powered USB hubs and the newer ones that appear to just be able to operate without power and I would very much like to know the reason.
 
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Your old hubs are probably USB 2 and need external power should the connected devices need power.
Newer hubs are probably USB 3 an the USB port on the PC they are connected to can usually supply a reasonable amount of power.

Really new hubs with USB 3 or 3.2 and type A sockets and also have USB type C ports would be better with an external power supply.

One of my desktops has an aftermarket USB 3 card with 4 ports and that is powered internally using one of the disk power connectors.
 
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If you reconnect your elderly USB hubs, I would make sure you still power them with an external AC adapter. However, even when powered, the HUB still can cause power spikes that can disconnect already plugged in devices. That is why I bought myself a USB hub that is powered not with the Standard 5V adapter but 12 V instead like this one:


One thing I like about it is that every port is switched and the power adapter can deliver up to 3000mA which is more than sufficient for all kinds of devices and this one does not spike.

Remember: a USB 2.0 port can only delivered up to 500mA which is ok for flash drives but not for some HDD's whereas the USB 3.0 can provide up to 900mA (according to specs that is)
 
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Sometimes an unpowered hub won’t run external devices like hard drives. I purchased an unpowered hub & found this out so went back to my powered hub.
 

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