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I've gone through 2 USB hubs for my laptop and they both seemed to be unreliable. Both of these USB hubs are not powered.

If I plug both keyboard and mouse, one of the devices won't work. Or if I plugin an external drive, then something else is sure not to work.

Is the issue that it's not powered?
Or is it something with the OS configuration (win7 32bit)?

If someone can recommend an inexpensive hub (preferably non-powered) for 4-5 devices, that would be awesome.

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closed as off topic by Linker3000, studiohack Mar 22 '11 at 7:36

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USB 2.0 only supports 500mA per port, power consumption of devices on a hub usually requires that the hub is powered, unless it will only hold flash drives – MaQleod Mar 22 '11 at 4:31
Watch out - buying recommendation Qs are likely to be closed. A quick edit would fix this. – Linker3000 Mar 22 '11 at 7:15
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You need to get a powered hub, especially if you're connecting 4 or 5 devices. External drives and such consume more power than a mouse or keyboard. As to the expense, shop around online for a better deal. Google "battery powered usb hub" for mobility. Find one that allows you to choose between battery power or AC.

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I've looked at powered hubs as well and may of the reviews on Amazon actually complain that their powered hubs do not provide enough juice (example:…). That's why I was hoping for some specific recommendations. – AngryHacker Mar 22 '11 at 4:29

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