Do USB hubs have to be Mac specific?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by wickedking94, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. wickedking94 macrumors 6502

    Apr 27, 2010
    So I'm looking to plug in both a mouse and a full sized keyboard, the problem is I have to use an external USB Mic at the same time and I only have 2 ports. I bought a little 4 port hub from the dollarstore, but it doesn't work on my macbook for some reason. (It works on my brothers PC though) Do USB hubs have to be Mac specific? Are there any that would work for around 5$ ish?
  2. Ledgem macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    They don't have to be Mac-specific (and I've never actually seen any, although it wouldn't surprise me if they're out there). What you need to be careful about is powered vs. unpowered USB hubs. Unpowered hubs draw their power from the computer's USB port, while powered hubs have their own power adapter. In practical terms, it's very easy to overdraw the power supplied by one computer's USB port when you're plugging in multiple USB devices; a powered hub allows you to plug in what ever you want, without having to worry about their power draw.

    I'm wondering if what happened here is your brother's computer has a higher power tolerance for its USB ports than the Mac. If you're going with extremely cheap hubs I suppose it's possible that they'd be incompatible with a wider range of systems for what ever reason.

    I've used a Rosewill powered USB hub for a few years, although some of the ports on it became wonky after a few years. It wasn't $5, but it was fairly cheap.
  3. mslide macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2007
    Yes. I've seen non-powered 4-port USB hubs for $5. In fact, I just got one at MicroCenter not too long ago. Works fine for a keyboard and mouse with my MBP.

    I'm pretty sure this is the one I have (it's at work so I can't confirm but it looks like this one):

    Just make sure your devices can work fine on a non-powered hub. Generally that means only things like keyboards and mice. Not sure about that USB Mic.
  4. wickedking94 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 27, 2010
    Hmm. I'm currently using an old microsoft wireless mouse....the receiver is like this big puck thing on a 4 foot cable. Im going to bet that it draws a lot of power. However I've ordered a Razer wired gaming mouse so maybe U'll wait and see if an un powered hub will cut it.

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