USB1 Vs USB2 - Device Connection - Help

  Fastflys 11:22 28 Aug 2009

Hi All

I have 2 Seagate FreeAgent external hard drives which are self powered from the mains and other USB devices such as a webcam, camera, printer, scanner and fan.

My laptop is connected to a Docking Station which only has two USB1 sockets. My Laptop has two USB2 sockets, one of which is powered. However when connected to the docking station, only the powered USB2 socket is accessible.

At the moment my printer is connected to one of the two USB1 sockets on the Docking Station and works fine. A USB1 hub is connected to the other USB1 socket on the Docking station and plugged into the hub is my webcam, camera and fan. The webcam works OK. Don’t know if their would be any improvement if plugged into a USB2 socket and my camera downloads photos but could download faster if plugged into a USB2 socket. My scanner I haven’t used in ages so don’t know if it requires USB1 or USB2. My external hard drives are plugged into the powered USB2 socket on my laptop, one at a time although they are self powered. Does connecting self powered drives into a USB2 powered socket do any harm?

I have recently purchased a Wi-Fi keyboard & mouse [not yet connected].

I would like to purchase a USB2 hub but don’t know which type to go for. Mains powered or not.

I have read that devices that work on USB1 should not be connected along side USB2 devices into a USB2 hub as this will slow down the USB2 devices. Is this correct?

What are my options for connecting all the above so that they work at their best possible speeds?

Thanks in advance

  johndrew 12:40 28 Aug 2009

A powered USB hub will be better if you intend using several devices at once as the PC socket will not be overloaded. All USB devices will draw from the connection whether they are mains supported themselves or not. So if you have the keyboard (unpowered) and external HDDs (powered) on a single hub, the keyboard Wi-Fi will draw all its power to function and the drives some power to function. This may cause problems in an unpowered hub.

USB2 is backward compatible with USB1 but I am uncertain if any effect of having them both connected at the same time would cause a speed reduction of the USB2 devices. Given they are separate I should think they would function at their `normal` respective speeds. However if operating through the same connection there could be a data flow `bottleneck`.

  bremner 13:05 28 Aug 2009

Your fan, keyboard and mouse are all fine in a USB1 port.

Your camera and webcam would be better although not essential on USB2.

All external hard drives need to be USB2.

Get a powered 4 port USB2 hub and run both external hard drives camera and webcam through it.

Having a USB 1 device together with a USB2 device in a USB2 hub does not impact on the speed of the USB2 device.

  Fastflys 16:02 28 Aug 2009

Thanks for your quick response.

Powered USB2 hub it is then.

Just one question:
will it be OK to plug mains powered external disk drives into a powered USB2 hub which in turn will be plugged into a powered USB2 socket on my Laptop?

  bremner 17:01 28 Aug 2009


  Fastflys 17:40 28 Aug 2009

Thanks again


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