How to Install USB 2.0 Hub

by Jack Gerard

The Universal Serial Bus, better known as USB, revolutionized the way that peripherals connect to computers and enabled true plug-and-play functionality. The biggest problem that most people have with USB (and it's second-generation technology, USB 2.0) is that there seems never to be enough USB 2.0 ports to plug in all of your peripherals and USB-ready components. This doesn't have to be a problem, however; with the addition of a USB 2.0 hub on or near your computer, you can greatly increase the amount of USB ports that are available for your use. Installing a USB 2.0 hub is easy, only taking a few minutes of your time.

Choose one of the devices that are currently plugged in to your USB 2.0 slots and unplug it. You can do this with your computer shut down if you wish, but because of the plug-and-play nature of USB, it isn't necessary. You should use your operating system's option to safely shut down the hardware prior to removing it if possible, however (not all operating systems will have this option.) Make sure that the slot that you vacate is an actual USB 2.0 port and not USB 1.0 or 1.1; though the hub will still function on one of the lesser ports, your transfer speed will be greatly reduced.

Place your USB 2.0 hub on a flat, stable surface near your computer (or on it, if you so desire.) You may wish to use dual-sided tape, hook-and-loop tape (such as Velcro), or a similar method to secure the hub without permanently affixing it to the surface you've placed it on. Attach the power cord to the hub and plug it in.

Connect the USB 2.0 hub to the USB port that you previously opened using the USB cable provided with the hub. Allow your operating system a moment to recognize the hub and install the proper drivers to allow the USB 2.0 ports in the hub to function.

Confirm that the hub drivers were installed successfully (a message from your operating system should inform you that your new hardware is ready to use.) You may now plug the device that you previously unplugged into the hub; you will receive the same connection speed and powered USB functionality from the hub that you would from a standard powered USB 2.0 port.

Tip

  • check Some USB 2.0 hubs are designed to allow 2 or more to be stacked on top of each other to maximize the number of ports that can be added in a relatively small space.

About the Author

Born in West Virginia, Jack Gerard now lives in Kentucky. A writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience, he has written both articles and poetry for publication in magazines and online. A former nationally ranked sport fencer, Gerard also spent several years as a fencing coach and trainer.