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Benefits of USB 3.0
What is USB?
USB (Universal Serial Bus) is a universal connection used to connect electronic devices (like digital cameras, external hard drives, printers, etc) to a computer. The idea was to replace all of the different connection types needed for different devices with one easy to use connector.
We take for granted how much easier things are now that we have USB. For one thing, it was designed to work over all of the major operating systems. It’s also “hot-swappable,” meaning that you can add or remove a USB device without restarting the computer. Back in the day you would have to restart your computer in order for it to recognize your device. And finally, USB is “plug-and-play,” meaning that your computer will automatically recognize the device and install the right drivers for you.
All of these things seem commonplace right now, but back in the 90’s, when USB was invented, these were revolutionary advances. And USB hasn’t stopped being innovative. There have been three different versions of USB released over the years, each one becoming increasingly faster. The first USB drives only supported speeds of up to 11 Mbps, which didn’t give it much capability. Later USB 2.0 came out, offering speeds of up to 480 Mbps. This was a huge step forward and allowed external hard drives and other mass storage devices to be used with USB. Now SuperSpeed USB 3.0 is out, and it is once again changing the way we look at USB.
What’s so Great About USB 3.0?
Every year people seem to have greater demands for transferring larger files at faster speeds. It’s not just companies that need large file backups anymore. With the price of hard drives becoming more and more affordable, many at home now have external hard drives that are 1 terrabyte or larger. Not only that, but more people are now able to afford cameras that allow for high quality video and photos, making the files much larger. You need faster transfer rates. SuperSpeed USB 3.0 gives you transfer rates of up to 5 Gbps. That’s ten times faster than USB 2.0. Not only that, its bidirectional, letting you read and write data at the same time. What does that mean for you? It means you can download photos, music, videos, and data faster. But not just faster, ten times faster. And, if you want to upload something on your device, but it’s already downloading something else, you don’t have to wait.
One more great thing about USB 3.0: It’s much friendlier on the environment and your wallet. USB 3.0 has new capabilities for managing power. These new capabilities allow for any unused devices you may have connected to your computer to enter into sleep mode, lowering your carbon footprint and your utility bills.
If you have some USB 2.0 devices, don’t worry, USB 3.0 is backward compatible, so it will still support all of your USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 devices. Just remember, if you want to achieve USB 3.0 speeds, you’ll need to upgrade your computer with a USB 3.0 host card, like the Xpand. You’ll also need to make sure that your device (like your external hard drive) is compatible.