What Are Sd And Microsd Card Readers
Many laptops come with SD card readers or their smaller siblings, microSD, built into the frame. The most common use of SD cards is in digital cameras, but they can also be found in other media recording devices such as camcorders and audio recorders.
If your laptop only has an SD card slot but your camera, for example, only takes microSD cards, you can buy an SD to microSD card adapter. This is basically an SD card with a slot to pop in a microSD card.
If you only have a microSD card reader but have a full-size SD card you want to use, you could buy a USB to SD card adapter, or buy a new microSD card with an SD card adapter so you can easily put the same card into multiple devices.
If your computer has very little storage, you can use your microSD card slot as a way of expanding its storage. This could be a good way of storing files you dont use so often. Bear in mind, though, that SD cards are relatively slow compared to built-in computer storage, so shouldnt be used for storing large, frequently-accessed files or programs.
Why Do We Need More Usb Ports
You will find recent laptops with limited USB ports. On average, a laptop has 2-3 USB ports. Recent laptops provide thin and lightweight features that dont allow more USB ports. Laptop manufacturers are reducing the USB ports to make the device more portable.
For example, the latest MacBook has been designed with a single type C USB port. Here comes the imbalance. We have more USB-supported devices but fewer USB ports on laptops. A desktop PC has more than 6 USB ports. It is enough for an average PC user.
Who This Is For
USB-C hubs and docks let you hook your old stuff up to your new stuff. Many new computers, including Apples MacBook models and Dells XPS 13, have only USB-C ports. If you need to connect flash drives, printers, an Ethernet cable, a display, or any other accessories you already own, a USB-C hub or dock lets you hook them all up to a single USB-C port at once. If you just need more USB-A ports, a hub or dock that accepts that cable standard is still a great choice.
If youre looking for a more-powerful desktop docking option and your computers USB-C ports also support Thunderbolt 3, you might consider a Thunderbolt 3 dock, which can connect to more monitors and transfer data faster, though you have to pay quite a bit more for the privilege. If youre simply looking for a way to get more USB-C ports, unfortunately youre out of luck: As of mid-2021, we have yet to find any USB-C hubs or docks that add extra USB-C data ports.
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What Is A Usb Hub
Now you might wonder what a USB hub is? The answer is very simple, and by looking at the picture beneath you will probably understand it very quickly.
As you see on the picture it is quite easy to understand how a USB hub works. You simply plug in the USB cable to your USB port. Once connected you can later plug all your existing USB devices into the USB hub and you suddenly have four available USB ports instead of one. You can buy both bigger and smaller USB hubs than at the picture above, but there you have an USB hub with four USB ports. This can also be used on a TV or whatever device you want to make available for more USB devices at the same time.
How To Add Usb 30 Ports To Your Pc
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Update: You can now add some blazing-fast USB 3.1 Type-C ports to your computer.
This post explains how.
Original post continues below
In my opinion, no innovation in computer technology has had a greater positive impact on the average computer user than the Universal Serial Bus commonly referred to simply as USB.
Back in the early days of computing most peripherals such as printers and modems were connected to a computer via an RS-232 serial interface and cable.
Trying to get these rudimentary RS-232 connections to work properly was a delicate mixture of science, art and prayer. The cable pin-outs varied depending upon whether you were connecting a Data Terminal Device or a Data Communications Device . You also had to make sure the connectors were the right gender and had the correct number of pins .
Finally, once the hardware connection was in place and correct, you had to make a number of software settings such as 8 data bits vs. 7 bits, baud rate , and parity or no parity. It was a confusing mess, and if one setting was incorrect the communications between computer and peripheral would be garbled, rendering the device effectively useless.
Whats more, the software installation itself was often automatically handled for you behind the scenes by the operating system. What a huge improvement!
But there is a problem
If your computer is a desktop
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Best Usb Hub For Multimedia: Belkin Usb
Not much bigger than an Altoids tin and weighing just 4 ounces, Belkins USB-C Multimedia Hub squeezes a lot of video power into a small package. Topping out at a maximum bandwidth of 5Gbps, the USB-C Multimedia Hub has an HDMI port that can send a 4K video stream at a 30-hertz refresh rate to a display or projector, transforming any recent laptop into a presentation powerhouse for your small business.
If that were all the Belkin hub did, then it would be a winner, but the hub also has an SD flash card slot and Ethernet port for wired networking. It doesnt shortchange when it comes to ports, with a USB 2, a USB 3, and a USB C port. A big bonus is that the USB C connection can reportedly deliver up to 60 watts of power for powering a computing accessory or charging a phone.
It may be among the most expensive USB hubs available, but the Belkin USB-C Multimedia Hub works with recent Windows and Mac computers and can pay dividends with its two-year warranty.
These Are The Ports You Need On Your Next Laptop
BySherri L. Smith28 June 2018
If you’ve made the decision to purchase a new laptop, there are a few things to consider before you hit the buy button. Yeah, you’ll need to look at the CPU, GPU, RAM and storage, as all those specs are vitally important in their own right. But there’s something else to consider.
I’m talking about the ports you know, those holes along the sides that let you plug in all your shiny peripherals. You don’t want to get a system that’s sporting an old-school USB when what you really want and need is Thunderbolt 3. Here are the essential ports to consider when purchasing a new laptop.
Not to be confused with USB 3.0 or even 2.0, USB 3.1 is the latest standard for USB Type-A ports. This is the big rectangle port you plug your mouse, USB headset or external hard drive into. USB 3.1 launched back in 2013 and offers some serious transfer speeds up to 10 gigabits per second. To put that into perspective, USB 3.0 and 2.0 deliver speeds of 5 Gbps and 480 Mbps, respectively.
But not so fast! The USB Implementers Forum, a nonprofit group that promotes the use of the technology and creates compliance standards, declared that USB 3.0 is now called USB 3.1 Gen 1, while the 10-Gbps version is Gen 2. So how do you tell the two ports apart? Honestly, you’re going to have to look at the specs, where manufacturers should mention the speed. But USB 2.0 ports are typically gray, whereas USB 3.0 and higher are blue.
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Use Device Manager To Scan For Hardware Changes
Use Device Manager to scan for hardware changes. After your computer scans for hardware changes, it might recognize the USB device that is connected to the USB port so that you can use the device.To scan for hardware changes, follow these steps:
Click Start, and then click Run.Note If you are running Windows Vista, click Start, and then use the Start Search box.
Type devmgmt.msc, and then click OK. Device Manager opens.
In Device Manager, click your computer so that it is highlighted.
Click Action, and then click Scan for hardware changes.
Check the USB device to see whether it is working.
If scanning for hardware changes fixed the problem, you are finished. If this method did not fix the problem, go to Method 2.
How Can I Add More Ports To My Computer
There are lots of ways to add ports to your computer. Weve mentioned a few single-purpose adapters above as long as you have a USB port to plug it into, you can find an adapter for practically anything.
If you want to add lots of ports at once, youll want to find yourself a dock or hub that includes all the ports you need, be it Ethernet, an SD card reader or just even more USB ports.
This is especially handy if you have a dedicated desk with a separate, wired mouse and keyboard, but dont want to have to spend time connecting and disconnecting them every time you want to take your laptop elsewhere. With a hub or dock, you simply have to connect one cable and away you go.
Adapters come in all sorts of shapes and sizes If your computer has any USB-C ports, its best to buy a USB-C hub as this will allow for the fastest speeds from the devices attached to the dock to the computer itself.
You can also buy monitors with USB hubs built-in. This lets you have your bits and bobs connected directly to the monitor, and all you have to do is plug in a single USB cable leading from the monitor to connect them all at once.
Some USB-C docks will also have HDMI connections, but keep in mind that this will only work if the USB port youre connecting to supports display connections. Check with the specifications sheet of your laptop first to see whether it works.
Read our guide on how to buy the best laptop to nail down the features you need from ports to pixels.
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Best Budget Usb Hub: Sabrent 4
The Sabrent 4-Port hub is for those who only want and need a simple USB hub that turns a single USB 3 port into four downstream outlets for anything from a mouse and keyboard to a printer or scanner to help run your small business. At less than the cost of a fast-food meal for two, this hub is far from basic, however, with LED indicators that show which ports are active and moving data back and forth. Each port can be turned on and off by pressing a square button. Able to support speeds of up to 5Gbps, the USB 3.0 hub is backward compatible to work with USB 1.1 and 2.0 systems and accessories but cant charge or power accessories. The black plastic hub is 3.5 × 1.5 × 0.5 inches and has the flexibility needed to stash the hub under a desk or behind a desktop computer. It works with Windows , Macs , and Linux computers, making it one of the simplest, least expensive, yet versatile ways to add USB ports.
How Many Usb Ports Should A Laptop Have
A USB port is a small port that allows a variety of peripherals to be connected to it. Depending on the device, you may have one or more USB ports. For example, the majority of tablets have only one USB port, but you can easily find roughly 2 to 4 USB ports on a laptop or 4 to 8 USB ports on a desktop.
Why Usb 31 Is Better Than Usb 30
Just how fast is USB 3.1? Well, in a nutshell, at a whopping 10Gbps, USB 3.1 Gen 2 its literally twice as fast as the already amazing USB 3.0!
To put that into perspective, an external USB 3.1 hard drive will likely appear to be about as fast an an internal drive after you plug it into your computer.
If youre curious about the Type-C designation, that means youll be able to use the awesome USB-C cables that can be inserted into a USB port in either direction. No more fumbling around with your USB cables trying to determine which way is up!
Want A Usb Hub With Power Supply
A USB hub without a power supply distributes all energy from the USB port of the laptop or PC among the various connected devices. This is approximately 500mA. If you connect many devices at the same time, you may run out of power for all ports. To prevent this, choose a USB hub with a power supply. This way, you make sure that there’s enough power for all devices: an average of 500mA per device.
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How To Get More Than 100ma From A Usb Port
I heard that the current limit for a USB port is 100mA. However, I also heard that some devices can get up to 1.8A from a port. How do you get past the 100mA limit?
- \$\begingroup\$I added a long post trying to explain what goes into each group. If you need 1.8A the short answer is that a computer will not do it.\$\endgroup\$Oct 25 ’10 at 3:05
- 5 Kevin VermeerMar 31 ’11 at 12:50
- \$\begingroup\$@reemrevnivek, this was discussed down below, every computer I have used will not deliver 1.8A. I have used a couple that would even shutoff the port if there was too capacitive of a load and you violate the input rush current.\$\endgroup\$Mar 31 ’11 at 14:58
- 2\$\begingroup\$@Kortuk, Technically speaking, “Systems that obtain operating power externally, either AC or DC, must supply at least five unit loads to each port.” – Section 7.2.1, USB 2.0 Specifications. Note, “at least” 100mA x 5 = 500mA. There is no upper limit.\$\endgroup\$ Ale..chenskiSep 1 ’17 at 0:43
I think I can attempt to clear this up.
Identify Usb Ports On Your Laptop Or Motherboards Technical Specifications
If the USB ports arent labeled with what type of ports they are, its still possible to determine which version the USB ports are in by looking at the laptop or motherboards specifications.
For Windows devices, press the Windows Key + R to open the Run Command dialog and type msinfo32. If successful, a dialog box will appear with the list of system information.
Next, find the value the under System Model and use a search engine to look for a list of the laptop or motherboards specifications. For the most reliable results, check the results from the manufacturers website.
Some words to look for include: USB , USB Type-C, and other similar terms.
MacOS users can determine what model their Mac is by clicking the Apple logo > About this Mac. This displays an overview of the device, including OS version, model name, and serial number.
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Powered Usb Hubs And Charging Devices
Powered USB hubs plug into an external electrical source as well as your laptop. This is usually a wall socket, but can sometimes also be a portable charger. Since they have their own power, you dont have to worry about draining your laptops battery while using them.
Some powered USB hubs support Power Delivery, which lets them provide power to your laptop as well as whatevers plugged into them. If youre planning to charge your laptop like this, make sure the hub has enough power to do it. While some laptops need as little as 30W, others need as much as 85W to charge at full speed.
Even with a powered hub, dont expect to charge all of your devices at once. Just because the hub has the right ports, it doesnt mean they are designed for charging. Most give one additional port for charging at most, which should be indicated in the product description as a pass-through or USB C Power Delivery port.
USB or USB C data ports are only designed to connect accessories, not charge them, but some brands gloss over the difference or only mention it in the fine print. Read the product specifications carefully, and assume if it doesnt mention charging, its not designed for it.
What Usb Connection Standard Do My Devices Use
Whether your devices ports are USB-A, USB-B or USB-C will be obvious from their size and shape, but to find out what connection standard they use, youll need to consult the online manual or spec sheet of your device.
You might notice that some of your USB ports have different colours and symbols on them. Indeed, there are colour and logo standards for USB ports, but not all computer makers seem to follow these standards.
There are also stickers and logos that manufacturers can use, but they do not do so consistently. The manual and online specs are the only reliable source of truth.
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