In the Forums...
Posted: August 15th, 2003
High speed USB (USB 2.0) has taken over. It's everywhere now; you almost can't get a PC without it, which is cool. The problem is that we geeks now have so many USB devices that we need more than the 2 or 4 ports available on most of the pre-built offerings out there in retail land. Having to crawl under your desk to attach some new toy is also a pain, and most of the USB hubs on the market are non-powered, which means a lot of the more power-hungry peripherals, like cameras, won't run on them. Today we're going to look at a new set of products from a company you may not associate with USB; D-Link.
That's right, one of the largest PC networking companies is moving into peripheral arena. Of course, it already produces USB network adapters, which are considered peripheral devices. When I say the peripheral arena, I'm referring to the hubs themselves. It makes sense for D-Link to do this, as I mentioned, have several USB network devices, why not sell a hub for you to plug them into too…convenient (wink, wink).
We have not one, but two high-speed USB hubs from D-Link, both of which are external powered hubs. The first is a 4-port hub (DUB-H4), and the second is a 7-port (DUB-H7).
A Pair of USB 2.0 hubs in child-proof containers.
Looking at the external hub, you'll immediately get the sense that it's well-made. The plastic isn't that cheap flea market toy plastic that you see on some inexpensive peripherals. I have a small CF media reader made from that stuff, granted it only cost me ten bucks and it works perfect, its just that when you buy something that, for all intents and purposes, could be the primary hub for all external peripherals in your geek arsenal, you want it to be the best you can get. In any event the hub feels solid.
Once opened, you get everything you need to hook 'em up.
The four port hub houses the 4 USB 2.0 ports on the front in a horizontal arrangement while the 7-port switch allows for the extra 3 ports by aligning them vertically, separating them with green LEDS (more on these later). I like this design, as you get more connectivity in the same size case, which means it doesn't cost you more because D-link was being lazy at the design stage. The extra money you'll spend on the 7-port, should you choose to pick it up, will be spent on the convenience of having the extra ports and the beefed-up power supply.