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SuperSpeed USB 3.0

USB 3 LogoMost peripheral devices connected to a PC now do so through USB (or Universal Serial Bus). There are probably many devices connected to your PC now which do so through USB.

USB was first created in 1996, and was intended to simplify and standardize the connection of peripherals to any pc – and it succeeded spectacularly. Since then, two further iterations of the standard have been released, each a drastic improvement over its predecessor.

One of the primary uses of USB has been to create cost effective, fast and efficient external storage which makes them perfect as backup media for mid-range backup solutions (where previously we might have used tape). Until now USB2.0 has been the fastest standard available, and in most cases this has been adequate. However, as the amount of data that businesses store has grown, USB 2.0 has struggled to keep up, resulting in long backup times. Step forward  the most current revision of the USB standard, 3.0 or “SuperSpeed USB”

Like USB 2.0, the 3.0 standard is backwards compatible with 2.0 and 1.0. This means that even if you can’t currently afford to make all of your PCs PC 3.0 compatible, you can use the 3.0 device on one 3.0 compatible machine to its full capability, and still use that same device on 2.0 compatible machines. Any machine with USB 3.0 hardware would also be backwards compatible with USB 2.0 and 1.0 devices.

The most important aspect of the 3.0 standard is its increased transfer rate. It’s advertised as “10 times faster than USB 2.0”, but in reality, USB 3.0 speeds can get up to 2 or 3 times that of USB 2.0. This means that any backup or file storage will be much faster – an average 1TB server backup would take around 6 hours instead of 12 hours plus. Not only that, but it can adjust its power consumption to match what is required by the device instead of operating constantly at full power.  It’s also capable of providing far more power to devices through the USB 3.0 port, for especially power hungry devices like large HD monitors or other USB devices that might otherwise require an external power adapter.

The USB 3.0 standard is already supported by a number of devices, and adapters are readily available to make your PC USB 3.0 compatible. If you need more advice or informaion on USB 3.0 devices or how to make your systems 3.0 compatible, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

Posted on by Emily
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