If you have used a docking station and a USB hub in the past, it may not be a challenge to pick which one you need to purchase. Today, many people get to the extent of asking whether they should buy the docking station or the USB hub because, for one thing, their laptop may lack enough ports.
Choosing between these two items can be a big challenge. One is more expensive than the other, one is also somewhat heavier than the other. If you can’t seem to make a difference between the two items, read on to see just which one will suit you than the other.
USB Hub – What is it?
A USB Hub device enables several USB ports so that there are more ports, not just one, to connect devices to a host system. In this case, all the devices connected through a USB hub will share the bandwidth available to the hub.
You must have been seen USB ports on computers, keyboards, monitors, or printers. In the case that you find one of those mentioned devices having several USB ports, it means the ports stem from one internal USB hub.
In the instance that a USB port provides only a connection port, the hub provides several connection ports.
USB Hub – Why necessary?
If you’re a person who goes about with several power-hungry devices every day, you certainly need a USB hub. Let’s say you just take one smartphone and a laptop with you to most of the places you visit or to your office each day; you may not need a USB hub.
However, if you have three phones, a laptop, a tablet, and other gadgets that you use each day, you certainly need a USB hub or a docking station. For the issue of the docking stations, please read on.
With a USB hub, all you need to do is stop worrying because you won’t need several main plugs. Just plug everything into one hub, and you’re good.
The drawback of using a USB hub
If the USB hub is unpowered, that may affect laptop speed and battery power. This is especially true when multiple devices are plugged in. in the other way round, if the USB hub is powered, it doesn’t affect the performance of your laptop.
The only other issue is that if you’re making use of a USB 2.0 port for the hub, the entire device will have to share fewer Mbps, which means that the bandwidth will be low, affecting internet speed and performance.
Docking Station – What is it?
A docking station powers your laptop, connects to a wired network, and allows you to keep USB devices, including a full-sized keyboard and mouse, all attached. It is a hardware device allowing laptops to connect with other devices.
In this sense, it does pretty much what a USB hub also does. This helps to boost performance with multi-display functionality and ports availability.
Docking Station – Why necessary?
It is meant to be the bridge gap between portability and having a stationary place for work or play. It doesn’t take much space because it is small. So you don’t need much space on your desk.
A docking station provides additional features that your laptop lacks. It saves you much hassle when connecting or disconnecting your laptop. Do you use your computer for work and need to bring it to the office every day? A docking station will make life easy for you.
A docking station allows you to have the experience of a desktop computer even though you’re using a laptop. A docking station helps you to cut down on the number of cables needed, making for a cleaner desk.
Charging & Power Supply
- USB Hubs: Many USB hubs don’t support charging at all. If they’re connected to a laptop, they draw power from it. However, there is a USB-C Power Delivery input port. It allows you to connect your laptop charger to the hub while connected to the laptop. It enables the hub to charge your laptop in what has been called pass-through charging.
Because the USB hub will still use an amount of power for other things, the power left for the laptop is usually lower than when you normally charge the laptop.
- Docking Stations: They come with an AC/DC power adapter, which will plug into the socket on the wall. Once it plugs into the wall, you can connect your laptop to the docking station so you can get a powerful charge, something that a USB hub can’t give you. In a nutshell, the docking station can provide a charge that’s as powerful as your laptop charger or even more. A docking station is an all-in-one device making it possible for you to charge your phone or another mobile device simultaneously using the other ports.
Where to use Docking Station & USB Hub
- USB Hubs: The hub may be the best for those who use the same laptop at home or at work. They are small and lightweight and can easily be carried around. Even for hubs with many ports, they are still outstanding for their portability.
- Docking Stations: Unlike USB hubs, docking stations support up to three external monitors and can support a maximum 8K resolution to a single screen. They can also feature more ports than USB hubs. They are larger and more suitable for professionals.
But they are heavier and may not be that good to pack and move from place to place. In this way, the best way to use it is to be in a stationary place like your home or office. Because they feature higher specs, docking stations are often more expensive than USB hubs.
File Transfer Speeds
- USB Hub: It usually has a file transfer rate of 5 Gbps or 10 Gbps
- Docking Station: They can reach up to 40 Gbps
Compare USB Hubs vs. Docking Stations
Because USB hubs are smaller and lighter, they are the favorites when it comes to moving around or traveling. On the other hand, docking stations are larger, more expensive, and are for professionals.