A USB hub is a peripheral device that expands a single USB port into multiple ports to enable a range of USB devices to be connected to the host system. USB hubs enable the consolidation of several devices into a single hub allowing one step attachment and removal of the devices. Many devices such as computers, keyboards and printers feature built-in USB hubs but there are also a variety of external USB hubs available.
Designs vary with small compact USB hubs pluggable directly into a USB port and larger units which are connected via a cable and resemble a typical network hub. Often, the USB ports are closely spaced which may pose a problem with ports being blocked when plugging in several devices that don’t connect via a cable. USB hubs are either bus powered (powered via the host’s USB ports) or self powered (powered via an external power supply). High speed USB 2.0 hubs provide enable communication with high speed devices but can also support lower speeds for older USB 1.1 devices.
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