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USB Questions and Answers

What are the benefits of the USB interface?
Cross-platform: All PCs and Apple computers include USB ports.
Hot swappable: No need to shut down or restart your computer when adding or removing a USB device. Plug it in and it's ready.
Multiple USB devices on a single USB port: Using USB hubs, you can connect up to 127 peripherals on a single USB port.
Easy installation: One standardized port makes it simple to connect.

There are multiple types of USB: SuperSpeed USB 3.0, Hi-Speed USB 2.0, and USB 1.1. Can I use any type of USB device with any USB interface?
Yes. Please note that adding a faster USB device to a slower USB interface does not optimize performance. For example, connecting a USB 3.0 device to a USB 2.0 computer port will not take advantage of the faster transfer rates available to USB 3.0. In such a case, the device could not go beyond 480Mb/s.

What are the speed differences between USB 3.0 and USB 2.0?
Transfer rates for USB 3.0 can attain up to 5Gb/s as opposed to USB 2.0's 480 Mb/s. This means USB 3.0 is theoretically up to ten times faster than its predecessor.

For more information about USB, please visit our Technology Page.

Delayed Data Transfers

Data transfers are the flow of data (e.g. files, folders, etc.) from storage to computer RAM or between storage devices. To avoid delays in data transfers or “hanging”, it is best to wait for a transfer to finish before launching other applications. Another reason for a data hang could be USB controllers that do not conform to OHCI (Open Host Controller Interface) standards.

If you experience a lag when transferring your data:

  1. Make sure that the USB cable is connected tightly and securely on the drive and the computer.
  2. Disconnect the USB cable. Wait 30 seconds. Reconnect.
  3. Check that the power supply and ground connection are seated properly (if applicable).

Technical note on the Controller: This is a component or an electronic card (“controller card”) that enables a computer to communicate with and manage peripheral devices. An external controller is an expansion card that fits into a free slot inside your computer and enables you to connect a supported peripheral (i.e. DVD/RW drive, Hard Drive, scanner, printer, etc.). If your computer is not equipped with a USB 3.0 controller card, you can purchase an external controller through LaCie at Accessories.

© LaCie 2022 Last modified : Mar 01, 2013