The USB ports in a computer are used to connect different devices via a USB cable. These devices can be mice, keyboards, printers, etc. Desktop computers and laptops have a limited number of USB ports. Comparing these two, desktop computers usually have more USB ports than laptops. But if your work requires connecting more USB devices to your desktop computer or laptop, you need something that extends the USB connection. Here, you can use USB Hubs or USB Splitter cables. But the question is USB Splitter or USB Hub, which one is better for you? Let’s see.
USB Splitter or USB Hub? Which is better?
If you are confused between these two gadgets and cannot make the right decision about your purchase, this article will help you. We will explain what a USB Hub and a USB Splitter cable are. When you know the differences between these two gadgets, you will be able to make the right decision.
What is a USB Splitter cable?
As the name implies, a USB Splitter cable is a type of USB cable that is split into multiple USB connectors. Usually, a USB Splitter cable is split into two USB connectors. But you may also see some USB Splitter cables with more than two USB connectors.
One end of a USB Splitter cable has a male USB connector and the other end is split into multiple USB connectors. The split ends of a USB Splitter cable can have different or the same types of USB connectors, like both female USB connectors, one male and one female USB connector, etc.
Some USB Splitter cables are manufactured only for charging purposes. These types of USB Splitter cables have a male USB port at one end and the other end is split into the USB ports like Micro USB port, USB C port, etc.
A USB Splitter cable can extend your USB connection but you will not get as many USB connections as a USB Hub offers.
What is a USB Hub?
A USB Hub is an electronic gadget that allows you to connect multiple USB devices to your computer. A USB Hub has more USB ports than a USB Splitter cable. There are following two types of USB Hubs:
- Powered USB Hub
- Non-powered USB Hub
A Powered USB Hub comes with a built-in power adapter that provides power to the USB ports. On the other hand, a Non-powered USB Hub is a USB Hub that does not have a power adapter. Such types of USB Hubs draw power from the USB port to which they are connected.
Powered USB Hub or Non-powered USB Hub – Which is suitable for me?
If you want to buy a USB Hub but are confused between these two types of USB Hubs, let us explain. As we have explained above, a Non-powered USB Hub draws power from the USB port to which you connect it. Therefore, it is suitable if you want to connect low-powered USB devices to your system, like a keyboard, a mouse, a pen drive, etc. But if you want to connect the USB devices that require more power to operate, such as an external hard drive, you need a Powered USB Hub.
Also, a Non-powered USB Hub distributes the output power from the computer’s USB port equally among the USB ports. This can cause problems if you connect high-powered USB devices to your computer via the Non-powered USB Hub.
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USB Splitter or USB Hub – The Difference
Now, you have understood what a USB Splitter cable is and what a USB Hub is. Let’s compare both these gadgets in detail. We will take different parameters to compare both of these electronic gadgets. Let’s start.
Let’s start with the design of these two electronic gadgets. A USB Splitter cable has a simpler design. One of its ends has a USB male connector and the other end is split into two or more USB connectors. To use a USB Splitter cable, connect its male connector to your computer, and then you can connect your USB devices to your computer via the female connector on the other end of the USB Splitter cable.
A USB Hub has a USB male connector on one end and a rectangular case on the other end. This rectangular case contains USB ports and other types of ports. To use a USB Hub, you have to connect its male connector to the USB port of your computer. After that, you can connect different USB devices to the USB ports on the USB Hub. Your computer will recognize all the USB devices connected to the USB Hub.
Both USB Splitter cable and USB Hub are portable electronic gadgets. You can carry both of them with you easily. But if we compare the portability of these two gadgets, the USB Splitter cable is more portable than the USB Hub. You can roll the cable and put it in your pocket.
Number of USB ports
Another factor of comparison between these two gadgets is the total number of USB ports. A USB Splitter cable has a minimum of two USB ports to extend the USB connection. Some USB Splitter cables offer up to 4 USB connections. But a USB Hub has more USB ports than a USB Splitter cable. If you search on the internet, you will find USB Hubs that have up to 11 USB ports.
Types of Ports
The split end of the USB Splitter cable has both female USB connectors or a male and a female USB connector. Some USB Splitter cables are made to charge devices. These types of USB Splitter cables contain charging ports at the split end, like a Micro USB port.
A USB Hub also has different types of ports in addition to USB ports. If we talk about the USB ports, USB Hubs can have both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports. In addition to the USB ports, some USB Hubs also contain other types of ports, like an ethernet port, a port to insert an SD card, etc.
A USB Splitter cable draws power from the USB port to which you connect it. This property of the USB Splitter cable is similar to the Non-powered USB Hubs. The power drawn from the USB port is distributed among all the USB ports.
One more similarity between the USB Splitter cables and the Non-powered USB Hubs is that all the USB Ports remain active once you plug these gadgets into the USB port of your computer. Therefore, the USB devices connected to your computer via a USB Splitter cable or a Non-powered USB Hub will continuously draw power from the USB port of your computer even if you do not use them. Hence, if you want to save power, you have to disconnect the USB devices that you are not using.
The Powered USB Hubs come with a built-in power adapter that supplies power to all USB ports. Also, these types of USB Hubs have a separate switch for each USB port. Using these switches, you can turn off the USB ports that are not in use.
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Is a USB hub the same as a USB splitter?
No, both USB Splitter and USB Hub are different. A USB Splitter is a cable that is split into two or more USB ports. Whereas, a USB Hub has a rectangular case that contains different types of ports including USB ports, an HDMI port, an SD card slot, etc. A USB Hub usually has more ports as compared to a USB Splitter cable.
Is it safe to use USB Splitter?
Yes, a USB Splitter cable is completely safe to use. It helps you extend the USB connections. If your computer has fewer USB ports due to which you have to unplug the connected USB devices in order to connect other USB devices, you can buy a USB Splitter cable.
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