Upgrade from USB 1.0 to USB 2.0 high-speed Hub?

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Jules E. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I have a low-speed USB (Universal Serial Bus) connection on my computer. Can you tell me if there is a way to convert this to a high-speed USB adapter, and is it possible to do so without replacing the existing unit? I have an external USB DVD drive and would like to burn at 8x and 16x speed, but my current hardware configuration prevents me from doing this. Any help you can offer is greatly appreciated. "

My response:

It is not possible to "convert" a low-speed USB hub to a high-speed USB hub, per se. Also, most USB adapters are built into the computer (whether it's a desktop PC or a laptop), so you would most likely purchase a separate 4 or 5-port high-speed USB 2.0 hub and add it to your machine (rather than replace the existing unit).

RE: 4 or 5-port USB 2.0 hub (desktop configuration)

If you own a desktop computer, the USB card would fit inside the machine (the ports would then be available at the back of the computer). The fact that the card is "USB 2.0" means that it's a fast hub; the "PCI" part of the description identifies the type of interface the card uses -- in this case, the PCI interface means that it goes inside the computer. The 4 or 5 ports means that you have 4 or 5 empty slots available to plug in a USB peripheral. The cost for such a card should be no more than $25 at a local computer store. Click here for a picture of a 5-port PCI USB 2.0 hub.

Side note: the above picture link shows a 4 port hub in the back of the card, with a 5th USB port coming off the top card. I've got a similar card in my desktop machine and have run a standard USB wire from the 5th port to the front of my computer. Now I can plug a USB peripheral from the front (and back) of my machine.

RE: 2 or 4 port USB 2.0 hub (laptop configuration)

If you own a laptop, you can buy a PCMCIA card that [typically] has 2 or 4 USB 2.0 ports on it. This type of card fits in the PCMCIA slot of a laptop (which is usually located at the side of the laptop). The cost for this type of card is around $50 ~ $75. Click here for a picture of a 4-port PCMCIA USB 2.0 hub.

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