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D Link High Speed USB Hubs

Posted: August 15th, 2003
Written by: Justin "The Sheriff" Woods

The Hubs & Flubs

4-Port Hub

7-port Hub

Looking at the hub once it's plugged in and ready to go, you'll notice that the top-most or left-most LED is lit up to indicate power. The odd thing about the hub is once you pug it in and it's powered up, ALL the LEDs light up.

All lit up and noone to...oh nevermind...

Mad Dog Multimedia was cool enough to send me an external 52x24x52 for this review, so I plugged it in to the hub to see what happens. The drive was immediately recognized and installed. I then proceeded to burn a 549 megabyte CD (Diablo II: LOD), the results were better than I had expected; it only took 2:49. Not bad, not bad at all.

Mad Dog's seriously cool contribution; a 52x24x52 external CD-RW

The only problem I had with the hubs, and this happened with both of them, is that after a day or two, my PC would hang right after POST. Now I have a Chaintech 9EJS1 motherboard which utilizes Intel's 845PE + ICH4 chipsets. USB 2.0 drivers are supplied by Intel as well, so the only thing I can think might be causing the problem is possibly a BIOS conflict with the hubs…I did some research but came up empty handed and flashing my BIOS isn't an option right now, though one could assume that doing so might solve the problem. I had a friend of mine test the hubs on his systems and he didn't see any problems. He didn't just test it one, but three desktops and one laptop, really loading the hubs too; plugging in a printer, CD-RW, media reader, and that new USB 2.0 kitchen sink everyone is raving about. He didn't report any problems at all. Back to the issue. My PC hangs right after POST, so I pull the USB cable out of my PC, reboot and "Tada", problem solved.

Overall I think the hubs performed well, but I cannot get over the fact that my PC crashed when I had either plugged in. For me this is a major issue, but again, my co-tester didn't have any issues at all. I leave this one up to you, there are a ton of USB hubs on retail shelves, some good some bad, these fall somewhere in the middle. I shouldn't have to flash my BIOS for USB devices to work, they just should.

D-Link and every other manufacturer out there should also really start rethinking their power supply design, or at least who they get the power supplies from. With all the external devices out there and more and more people having multiple PCs, firewalls, and whatever else you can plug in, power surges aren't designed for the 4" square power supplies. I've seen inline AC adapters, meaning the huge black box is in the center of the cable and the end that plugs into the surge protector is a normal sized plug. This is good, let's have more of this. I don't want to have to unplug my Igloo 6-pack cooler so I can burn a CD.

Rating: 70%

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