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Between my new iPad, BlueTooth headphones, USB Microphone, Camera, MagicJack, Printer, BlueTooth Mouse, Wireless Keyboard, iPod, Blackberry, and USB external hard drive I have left myself with 0 free USB ports on my home computer.
I was at Walmart and just saw a cheap and quick 4 Port Belkin USB 2.0 powered hub and picked it up. It works well and was able to move 3 devices to the hub (it takes up 1 port in the PC) plus add a new one for the iPad 2. The one problem is the iPad 2 cannot charge via USB from the computer, I tried on several computers and it seems to only be able to charge from being plugged into a wall outlet. I don’t know if there isn’t enough power to the USB from the Power Supply, or if USB 3.0 is required to charge or what, but this means I can’t leave my iPad 2 plugged into my computer assuming it is charging like I do my iPod.
Meanwhile, I did find there don’t appear to be any USB 3.0 external hubs yet as only the latest motherboards are sporting them and I don’t know of any USB 3.0 devices at this time. USB 3.0 is supposed to have 4.8GBPS transfer rates and real world analysis by PC World puts this should be around 1.2 Gigabyte moved between PC and USB 3.0 Flash Drive in 3.3 seconds compared with almost 40 seconds on a USB 2.0 drive.
This rate would make USB 3.0 drives much more desirable for doing backups of Terabyte drives instead of through a LAN which are still really slow to backup a huge hard drive to a NAS on 100MB lan and worse on a Wireless G network. It can take more than a day to sync a large hard drive over a slow wireless network to a SAN drive.
Anyway, after looking at Amazon online, I realized there are far better USB 2.0 powered hubs with more ports that are cheaper, so I probably should have not been so hasty and just ordered one from Amazon.com. I am not unhappy with the Belkin USB 2.0 4 Port Hub, it’s just that I probably could have gotten a 7 or 10 port hub for cheaper.
Even Walmart isn’t much of a deal compared to Amazon.com lately.