How to Extend the Reach of Your USB Cables

USB cables offer you a great way to transfer data from one device and another. However, they also have their limits. The biggest limit relates to distance. The longer the distance between two communicating devices, the less effectively the USB cable will be able to translate the data with full integrity. With this limitation, it is easy to start feeling like you are constricted to a small space when using peripherals that require USB connections. However, there are ways that you can extend the reach of your USB cables and still preserve the integrity of your data transmission.

Use Extension Cables

As with regular electronic devices, with USB devices there are USB Extension Cables that can connect USB devices or shorter USB cables together. You can purchase extension cables that connect single or multiple devices over longer distances. You can purchase shorter extension cables for in-room use or longer “active” (or repeater) extension cables that can boost the USB signal across greater distances. You can also link several extension cables together to boost signals across greater distances, or buy a single long cable with extra transmission-boosting properties.

Convert to Wireless

Another way to extend the reach of your USB cables is to convert from cables to a wireless system. Here, you will need to purchase a wireless transmitter and then connect that to the central or “hub” device (often this is your computer). For each device that requires a USB connection, you will then need to disconnect the cables and go in and set the device permissions to allow wireless connection instead.

Use a USB Extender

A USB extender is designed to work with an Ethernet cable instead of a standard USB cable. The advantage of using a USB extender is simply one of distance. Ethernet cables can handle data transmission at greater distances without losing data integrity. Choosing between a USB extender and a series of regular extension cables is often a matter of personal preference.

Use a USB Over IP Converter

This option only applies if you want to connect different USB devices to a network so that several users can have access to those devices. Here again you will use the Ethernet port rather than the USB port to connect the converter and the devices to the network.

With these four options to choose from you can find a solution to even the most challenging distance-related USB data transmission issues.

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