If you're currently in the market for a new USB hub, you would do well to consider purchasing a powered USB hub. These sorts of hubs have a number of advantages over their non-powered counterparts that are sure to please virtually any PC owner.
They Generate Their Own Power
Unlike non-powered USB hubs, powered hubs don't rely on your personal computer's internal power supply, also known as its "bus," to generate power. Instead, they receive their power from an AC adapter that is connected to the hub and then plugged into an electrical outlet. This helps to ensure that powered USB hubs don't slow down your computer's performance. While not having to plug a non-powered hub into an electrical outlet may seem convenient, this "convenience" will result in a lackluster performance from heavy-duty USB components, as well as a decrease in the speed of your personal computer.
They are Well Equipped to Accommodate Heavy-Duty Components
Another key advantage to powered USB hubs is their ability to handle large numbers of demanding PC components. Whereas non-powered are primarily recommended for small-scale components like video game controllers and joysticks, powered hubs are able to run heavy-duty components, such as external hard drives, external disc drives, printers, scanners and printer/scanner combos.
They are Able to Run Many Components at Once
Because they are capable of generating their own power, powered USB hubs are able to run many devices at once without slowing down your personal computer's performance. This is particularly helpful to people who use a large number of USB devices. So if you want to get the most out of your USB hub without overtaxing your computer's power supply, a powered hub is just what the doctor ordered.
They are Recommended by Most PC Manufacturers
Most computer manufacturers recommend purchasing a powered hub for people who are interested in running USB devices. This is because many non-powered hubs are ill-equipped to properly run newer USB devices.
They are the USB Hub of Choice for Macintosh Computers
In recent years, Apple's iMac computers have grown immensely in popularity. So if you're among the current generation of Apple devotees, you may be interested to learn that Apple highly recommends powered USB hubs for the computers they produce. Many iMac-oriented USB devices require a fair amount of power to function and, as such, are scarcely able to operate to their full potential when run through a non-powered USB hub.
So there you have it. Although they may be slightly more expensive than non-powered hubs, powered USB hubs are well worth the extra cash and will enable your computer's USB components to perform to their full potential. So when shopping around for USB hubs, be sure to make the right decision for you and your computer.