Help! I’ve Run Out of USB Ports

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

My computer has only three built-in USB ports, and all are in use. But now I want to plug in several other USB devices, such as a remote hard drive and a memory stick. What are my options?

You can buy a component called a hub that contains one male plug, which you insert into your computer, and several female slots to accommodate other USB devices.

There are two types of hubs: powered (which you plug in to a 110-volt wall socket) and unpowered. Unpowered hubs obtain their electricity via the USB plug directly from the computer— but this often puts a significant drain on the computer, and in some cases doesn’t provide enough power to run the plugged-in devices. A powered hub avoids this problem. Another advantage of a powered hub is that it can be used to recharge the battery of a USB-powered device, like an iPod, even when the computer is off.

Be aware, too, that you should only buy hubs that are labeled with the 2.0 spec. Some dealers are still selling old hubs with the slower 1.0 specs.

SPONSORED REPORT

Keeping client information safe in an age of scams and security threats

A look at the Dirty Dozen tax scams and ways to protect taxpayer information.

TECHNOLOGY Q&A

How to create maps in Excel 2016

Microsoft Excel 2016 has two new mapping capabilities. J. Carlton Collins, CPA, demonstrates how to make masterful 2D and 3D maps in Excel 2016.

QUIZ

News quiz: IRS enforcement, a hot job, and audit value

The IRS’s 2016 Data Book, a “hot job” of particular interest at this time of year, and insight into how executive and audit committees view the insights from financial statement audits received attention recently. See how much you know with this short quiz.