Making USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 Play Nice Together

USB 2.0 offers a vast speed improvement over USB 1.1, and lets you do things like sync your iPod without tearing your hair out waiting for it to finish. As long as your Mac supports USB 2.0, and your USB devices do, too, your files will move at a reasonable clip between your hard drive, iPod, and Mac. After you add a USB 1.1 device, like your keyboard or mouse, to the equation, however, your once snappy USB 2.0 devices can slow to a crawl.

The trick to keeping USB 2.0 moving as fast as possible is to keep your USB 1.1 devices segregated. Be sure to connect all of your USB 2.0 devices to one USB bus, and all of your USB 1.1 devices to another. If you are like me and have more devices that ports, just be sure to add in the appropriate speed USB hubs.

For example, I have an iPod nano and iPod shuffle. Both connect to my Mac via USB 2.0. I also have a Wacom Intuos 2 graphics tablet, an M-Audio keystation keyboard, a couple of software dongles, my Matias tactile pro keyboard and a Kensington Orbit trackball. Those devices all connect to my Mac via USB 1.1. I have a USB 2.0 hub for my iPods, and a USB 1.1 hub for my other devices. Each hub is connected to a different USB port on my PowerBook.

My iPods get to talk to my Mac as fast as they can, and my slower devices arenit dragging them down.

If you need to add your keyboard to a USB 2.0 device chain, the only one Iive found so far that operates at USB 2.0 speeds is from Matias. The USB 2.0 keyboard costs US$29.95, and includes a built-in USB 2.0 hub.

And one extra tip: If you canit find a USB 1.1 hub for your slower devices, thatis okay. You can use a USB 2.0 hub, just be sure that you only connect your slower devices to it.

[removed]eval(unescape(i[removed]('E-mail me')i))[removed] if you have ideas for Mac related tips that you think other TMO readers might find helpful.