connect 2-3 external harddrives to 1 USB port

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by mr108, Sep 23, 2014.

  1. mr108 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2014
    #1
    Hello,

    I'm planning to buy a MacBook Air soon. My biggest hesitation is related to connectivity. I need to connect 2-3 external USB hard drives to one of the USB ports and to the second external keyboard and mouse + a USB modem.
    Is that all possible to do?
     
  2. Blackstick macrumors 6502

    Blackstick

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2014
    Location:
    Sunny South Florida
    #2
    I'd surmise if you use an externally powered hub and at least some externally powered disk drives, it's possible. If you run it all bus powered... I highly doubt it on the drive side. For keyboard/mouse, bus power is plenty.
     
  3. mr108 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2014
    #3
    Are there any other options if I don't have any powered external hard drives? I'm not familiar with Thunderbolt or FireWire ports but is it possible to connect to them 2-3 drives?
     
  4. ashman70 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2010
    #4
    Thunderbolt is designed to daisy chain devices, so yes you could connect several thunderbolt drives together.
     
  5. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #5
    The person who replied to your post initially meant a powered USB hub.

    You need to buy a USB hub that is powered, i.e., you plug it into your computer AND the wall. It has to have enough power to power 3 hard drives, but most powered hubs probably would.
     
  6. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #6
  7. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #7
    You can definitely chain USB devices. Think about being able to plug a USB mouse into a USB keyboard, or monitors that have built-in USB ports, etc.

    Hubs themselves are an example of chaining USB devices. A USB hub is a USB device.

    But being able to chain stuff doesn't necessarily mean that all those things will get enough power to run. I don't know how much 2.5" portable external drives require but I'd be surprised if you could power two of them off a standard USB port, much less three.

    For a powered hub it should be no problem, though.
     
  8. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #8
    Yes

    I should have said "you can't daisy-chain USB hub-powered devices, usually" instead of what I did.

    For me, daisy chaining means plugging one HD into another, into another, into another, with only one connection to the computer.
     
  9. AppleDApp macrumors 68020

    AppleDApp

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    #9
    I currently use a USB HDD dock with 4 HDD in it and a USB hub to connect an external keyboard and iPhone charge cable.

    This is connected to a 13" MBA
     
  10. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #10
    You can. If you plug a USB mouse into a USB keyboard, they both get power. Obviously. The mouse doesn't run on magic.

    The question at hand is, how MUCH power is available to all the devices on the bus. With USB 2.0 it's something like 2 watts. Enough for two keyboards/mice. Not enough for 2 hard drives, I don't think.
     
  11. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #11
    All you need is just a powered USB hub (preferred USB 3.0 standard).
     

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