Components that Plug into USB Ports

Bus Riders – Ten Components that Plug into USB Ports

Universal Serial Bus, or USB, ports are an external bus standard that support data transfer rates of as much as 12 Mbps. There are over 100 devices that may connect to a computer via the USB ports. There are, however, ten basic components that plug into USB ports on computers. Most computers have only a limited number of USB ports without having to use USB hubs. So, then, it is important to know what the basic USB port users are so that you can figure out how many ports you need on your computer.

First of all is the computer mouse. The mouse is a pointing device for computers that is handheld. Most people today, know what a mouse is, but you still need to account for the mouse when adding up those USB ports. There are, however, mice that do not require USB ports, but rather they connect with your computer a different way. It is certainly something to keep in mind when setting up your computer.

Second is, of course, your keyboard. A keyboard is a tool designed for the input of text and characters and the overall operation of the computer. Again, though anyone who has been on the planet more than a day knows what a keyboard is, you still need to account for it when setting up your computer and figuring out what your USB needs are. There are keyboards with alternative connections, so keep that in mind when shopping for keyboards and other peripheral components.

Thirdly, if you plan to play any games on the computer, you will probably have a gamepad. A gamepad is an input device for controlling video games on the computer. They are used to control the movement of different parts of the video game. If you plan on playing games on the computer, or if you have kids or a spouse who do, you will likely need to account for the gamepad in your USB needs.

Fourth, and similar to the gamepad, is the joystick. The joystick is another control device for computer games, but it is not flat like a gamepad. Instead, it is a stick, usually with buttons. Most joysticks connect via a USB port, which makes them easy to install, but takes up a precious port. Something to keep in mind, however, is that both joysticks and game pads may be disconnected easily when not in use so long as you’re USB ports are easily accessible.

Fifth, computer scanners take up a USB port. Scanners are devices that convert a physical object (usually a photo, hand writing, or printed text) into a digital image. Most of them do connect via the USB port, but depending on how much you use yours, you may want to disconnect it between uses to conserve your USB ports.

The sixth user of USB space is, surprisingly to some people, your digital camera. A digital camera is one that takes the images and transforms them to electronic data. Most of the time your camera is not connected to your computer, but when it comes time to load images, your digital camera will likely need a USB port. Again, it isn’t permanent, but still has to be available when you need it.

Seventh is a more permanent USB plugged item: your printer. A printer is a device for the computer that produces a hard copy of information, usually on paper. Your printer is going to take up a USB port and is something you will likely leave plugged in. That means a USB port you can pretty much write off.

Eighth to take up USB space for you is a hard drive. If you have an external hard drive, it will likely be installed via a USB port. External hard drives are devices that have the ability to store information or memory on them that are not inside the computer or part of its original design.

Ninth, if you have more than one computer, count on your networking components to take up USB space. A computer network is a system in which two or more computers can communicate. When using cabled connection, it is often via a USB port.

Lastly, in this day and age, you may have a web camera. If you do, it will almost certainly need to be installed through a USB plug. The web camera is a device that feeds moving images through the computer to be recorded or sent through a network or the internet. A web cam may however, be disconnected when not in use, depending on how much you use yours.

So with these ten items in mind, take care when planning out your computer’s peripherals. USB ports are a common connection, and since most computers only have a few, you need to figure out what you are going to be connecting and whether or not you need to add more.

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