In previous Aleratec blog posts we’ve talked about the new USB 3.0 standard and reasons to seek out products featuring “SuperSpeed” technology.
In this post we’ll take a look at the impact of the USB 3.0 standard on computer-connected USB duplicators. A USB duplicator featuring USB 3.0 technology offers many advantages over versions featuring earlier standards.
“USB” or “universal serial bus” describes the cables, connectors and protocols used for connection, communication and power supply between computers and electronic devices. It was designed to standardize the connection of computer peripherals—such as keyboards, digital cameras, and portable media players—to personal computers.
In the case of computer-connected USB duplicators, like the Aleratec 1:16 USB 3.0 Copy Tower Duplicator, the USB 3.0 standard will apply to the duplicator’s source and target drives as well as to any cable connection between your duplicator and computer.
When you are using a computer-connected USB duplicator, there are a few different paths along which you might transmit data:
- From a source flash drive to target flash drives
- From a computer to target flash drives
The following components in your system should be USB 3.0 to maximize data transmission along any of these paths:
- Source and target flash drives
- Source and target flash drive ports
- Cable connecting your USB duplicator and computer
- Cable ports in your USB duplicator and computer.
You won’t hurt your computer by plugging a 3.0 connector into a 2.0 host port, though you won’t enjoy the benefits of SuperSpeed technology unless you’re matching 3.0 devices, connectors and cables. The 1:16 USB 3.0 Copy Tower Duplicator comes with a USB 3.0 host adapter in case your computer does not have a USB 3.0 port.
You’ll notice that your USB 3.0 cable will be thicker than a USB 2.0 cable. USB 3.0 cables include additional data transmission lines: two for sending and two for receiving. This means data can move faster and it is possible to read and write data at the same time. (You will also notice the connectors on your USB 3.0 cable are blue. The cable itself may be blue or black.)
If all the components of your duplicator system are USB 3.0, then you are able to access the higher speeds allowed by most USB 3.0 flash drives whereas using a system with components that conform to earlier USB standards cannot. However, the maximum speed specified by USB 3.0 represents an ideal. Actual data transfer speeds will depend on a variety of factors, including the flash drives you use.
Your USB 3.0 duplicator will also be compatible with USB 2.0 flash drives, but duplication speed may be limited by the USB 2.0 drives used.
A USB 2.0 duplicator will duplicate USB 3.0 drives, but it may not take advantage of those drives’ full speed capability.
To fully enjoy the benefits of SuperSpeed technology you want to match USB 3.0 devices, connectors and cables. Take this simple step with your USB 3.0 duplicator and you will be delighted by how quickly you can copy USB flash drives.