How Many USB Hubs Can You Daisy Chain?

How Many USB Hubs Can You Daisy Chain?

USB hubs are a great way to add more USB ports to your computer. But did you know that you can daisy chain multiple USB hubs together? This can be a great way to add more ports if you don’t have enough on your computer or if you need to connect devices that require more power than a single USB port can provide.

If you’re looking to daisy chain multiple USB hubs together, it’s important to know that there are some limitations. For example, each hub can only provide power to a certain number of devices. So if you’re trying to connect a lot of high-powered devices, you may need to use multiple USB hubs or a powered USB hub.

Additionally, the length of the cable between each hub can also affect performance. So if you’re running into issues, try using shorter cables or connecting the hubs closer together.

Despite these limitations, daisy-chaining USB hubs is generally a pretty simple process and can be a great way to get more out of your existing hardware.

Below, our tech-savvy experts will discuss how many USB hubs can be daisy-chained together and how to do it!

USB Tiers and USB Hubs

USB Tiers and USB Hubs

There are now a variety of input and output devices that you may connect to your computer or laptop. Printers, scanners, webcams, keyboards, external hard drives, and other common gadgets are all examples of this. The one thing they have in common is their connectivity [1].

All of them communicate to a host device, such as a computer, via the Universal Serial Bus (USB). A computer or laptop, on the other hand, is limited by the number of USB ports it offers.

A USB hub comes in useful here because it allows you to expand the number of USB ports you are restricted by.

When multiple USB connections are made through a single hub, each connection becomes its own USB device and the start of a new layer of USB devices. The tier number for any USB device is the sum of the non-root hubs in the connection chain plus two. The maximum number of tiers allowed by the USB standard is seven. As a result, there’s a hard limit of five daisy-chained hubs (not including the root hub).

The vast majority of host systems include only one USB control integrated into the host system chipset [2].

Not only that, but many host machines include hub chips internally to expand the number of available USB connections. As a result, it’s conceivable that your host machine’s USB connector is already two or three tiers deep in the overall USB tree.

Defining USB Endpoints

Each USB device can have up to 32 endpoints (16 inputs and 16 outputs, but only one must be a control endpoint), however, the majority of devices only have 2 or 3 endpoints.

USB hubs have zero control endpoints, while USB cables and adapters do not. Every USB controller design may have limitations on the number of layers or endpoints it supports. The majority of modern USB 3.0 host devices employ eXtensible Host Controller Interface (XHCI) USB controllers.

Defining USB Endpoints

The XHCI specification allows for a staggering 7,906 endpoints! However, the majority of XHCI controller designs impose their own limitation on the overall number of endpoints. The Intel series 8 architecture types are the most notorious of these.

This implies that the maximum number of typical devices that can be linked to an Intel series 8 XHCI host controller is only 32 devices because 3 endpoints per device allow for a maximum of 96 endpoints/3 endpoints per device = 32 gadgets.

The good news is that the number of XHCI controller designs that have this limitation is on the decline. More and more motherboard manufacturers are beginning to use a different series of chipsets altogether, such as the ASMedia ASM1142, which doesn’t have this limitation.

USB Limits

The number of devices that can be daisy-chained together is limited by the USB specification. A standard USB connection has four wires: two for power and two for data. The data wires are called D+ and D-. When you connect multiple devices together, each one uses one set of wires (D+ and D-) to communicate with the device downstream from it.

So how many devices can you daisy chain together? The answer is 127. That’s because the USB specification allows for a maximum of seven “hubs”, which includes the root hub built into your computer. Each hub can have up to six devices connected to it, for a total of 127 devices [3].

A Deeper Look At Daisy Chain

In electrical and electronics engineering, daisy-chaining involves connecting several devices in a sequence. The term “Daisy Chain” is derived from a garland of daisy flowers that are linked in a chain or ring formation.

A Deeper Look At Daisy Chain

Power, analog signals, digital data, or a mix of the two can be passed from one device to another using daisy chain connections [4].

It’s most often used in series to connect big appliances. Power Strips are one of the most common uses for daisy-chaining, and you may be familiar with it. To add more power outlets, connect another power strip to the first.

USB, FireWire, Thunderbolt, and Ethernet cables are just a few of the other frequently used applications for daisy-chaining. A USB hub is a device that makes use of USB protocols to communicate; as a result, two can be linked together to create a daisy chain configuration.

How Many USB Hubs Can You Theoretically Daisy Chain?

This is where things can start to get a bit confusing. Theoretically, you could have as many as 127 devices plugged into a single USB connection if everything were daisy-chained together perfectly. In reality, however, there are some performance issues that arise when you start pushing the limits of the USB standard in this way.

One potential issue is that each time a new USB device is added to the chain, the maximum data transfer rate for all devices on that particular branch is reduced by half.

So, if you’re trying to connect a high-speed device (like an external hard drive) to a chain of multiple low or full-speed devices, you may run into some performance issues.

Another potential issue is that not all USB hubs are created equal. Some hubs are “powered” and include their own power supply, while others rely on the host machine to provide power. This can be an issue if you’re trying to daisy-chain a large number of devices together, as the host machine may not be able to provide enough power to all of them.

Are There Any Issues When You Daisy Chain Multiple USB Hubs:

1) Shared Power

One potential issue is that if you have multiple devices daisy-chained off of a single USB port, they will all be sharing the same power. This can lead to problems if one or more of the devices is power-hungry. In this case, it might be necessary to use a powered USB hub.

Shared Power

2) Data Transfer Speeds

Another potential issue is data transfer speeds. If you have multiple devices daisy-chained off of a single USB port, they will all be sharing the same data transfer speed. This can lead to problems if one or more of the devices is data-intensive. In this case, it might be necessary to use a high-speed USB hub [5].

3) Latency

Latency can also be an issue when daisy-chaining multiple USB hubs. If you have multiple devices daisy-chained off of a single USB port, they will all be sharing the same latency. This can lead to problems if one or more of the devices is latency-sensitive. In this case, it might be necessary to use a low-latency USB hub.

4) Power Consumption

Another potential issue is power consumption. If you have multiple devices daisy-chained off of a single USB port, they will all be sharing the same power consumption. This can lead to problems if one or more of the devices is power-hungry. In this case, it might be necessary to use a powered USB hub.

Connecting Sensitive Devices In A Daisy Chain

Another thing to note is using a daisy chain to link sensitive devices. External hard drives are examples of such equipment. As previously said, there are some concerns that may develop when USB hubs are daisy-chained together. Shared power and data transmission speeds are two examples of concerns.

Connecting Sensitive Devices In A Daisy Chain

An external hard drive is a storage device that you can use to backup your essential documents, photographs, films, and so on. If it’s part of a daisy chain arrangement with other “power-inefficient” equipment, it won’t receive adequate power to function smoothly.

This indicates that if the power goes out while you’re trying to save vital data, you’ll lose it all. The easiest option is to connect the hard drive directly to a computer’s USB port.

Can You Daisy Chain Any Version Of USB Hubs?

The quick answer is yes, you can daisy chain any version of USB hubs. The older versions of USB hubs were not as reliable as the newer versions, but they should still work if you are careful.

One thing to be aware of is that not all USB devices are created equal. Some devices require more power than others and may not work properly if they are plugged into a lower-powered hub. If you are having problems with a device, try plugging it into a higher-powered port on the hub or directly into your computer.

Another thing to keep in mind is that daisy-chaining can put a strain on your computer’s resources, so it’s best to use it sparingly. If you find that your computer is having trouble keeping up with all the devices you’ve plugged in, try unplugging some of them or using a powered hub.

Can You Daisy Chain Any Version Of USB Hubs?

FAQ

Can you chain multiple USB hubs?

If you want to link and synchronize more than 15 mobile devices, you may connect many USB hubs together (either in a star topology or daisy-chained) to allow for the management of additional devices from a single host computer simultaneously [6].

However, while it is possible to daisy chain multiple USB hubs, doing so may result in decreased performance due to the increased number of devices sharing the same bandwidth.

When chaining multiple USB hubs, it is important to keep in mind that each hub added will decrease the amount of available power for all devices downstream of that hub.

Can you have too many USB hubs?

The answer is no, you can never have too many USB hubs. You can always use more USB ports, and with a daisy-chainable USB hub, you can add as many ports as you need.

A daisy-chainable USB hub is a great way to expand the number of available USB ports on your computer. By daisy-chaining multiple hubs together, you can create a custom setup that meets your specific needs.

There are a few things to keep in mind when setting up a daisy chain of USB hubs:

  • First, each hub in the chain must be powered. This means that you’ll need to use either an AC adapter or a DC power supply;
  • Second, the total length of the chain cannot exceed 16 feet. This includes the length of the cables between each hub as well as the devices that are connected to the hubs;
  • Finally, keep in mind that not all USB hubs support daisy-chaining. Be sure to check the specifications of your hub before trying to connect it to another one;

With these things in mind, you can easily add as many USB ports as you need by daisy-chaining multiple USB hubs together.

Can I piggyback USB hubs?

Yes, you may connect two USB hubs together. Make sure both USB hubs are self-powered; they have their own power supplies and aren’t drawing electricity from the computer system.

When you daisy chain USB hubs, the devices connected to the second hub receive power from the first hub. If one of the hubs isn’t self-powered, then it will receive power from the computer’s USB port, which can result in decreased performance [7].

If you have a lot of devices that need to be connected to a computer, then you may need to use multiple USB hubs. You can daisy chain up to 5 USB hubs together. After that, the performance of the devices connected to the hubs will start to suffer because of the lack of power.

How many USB hubs can you connect?

You can connect as many USB hubs as you want in a daisy chain. However, the number of devices that can be connected to each individual hub is limited. The maximum number of devices that can be connected to a single USB hub is 127. This includes both downstream and upstream devices. If you try to connect more than 127 devices to a single USB hub, it will not work properly.

One thing to keep in mind is that the more devices you connect to a single USB hub, the slower the data transfer rates will be. This is because each device has to share the bandwidth of the USB connection. So, if you are connecting a lot of devices to a single USB hub, you may notice that data transfer speeds are slow.

If you need to connect more than 127 devices to your computer, you can use multiple USB hubs and daisy chain them together. However, keep in mind that data transfer rates will be slower with multiple USB hubs. Also, make sure that each individual USB hub has its own power source. Otherwise, it could cause problems with your computer or devices.

Can there be too many USB devices causing problems?

When multiple devices are connected to the same hub, they may enter selective suspension at the same time. One of the devices on the hub can receive a wake request if this happens before the suspension request has been completed. The devices become unbalanced if this occurs before the suspension request is finished.

The device that received the wake request can keep the other devices on the hub in a low power state. This is because when any device on the hub sends a suspend request, all of the devices must enter selective suspension. The device that received the wake request can prevent this from happening if it is not itself suspended.

If too many devices are connected to the same hub, then this unbalanced condition can occur more frequently and cause problems for USB hosts. It is best to use multiple hubs to connect large numbers of USB devices to a single host. This will help keep things running smoothly and avoid potential conflicts.

Does daisy-chaining USB slow it down?

As a result, the data transfer rate to any peripheral devices connected via USB hubs linked in series to a single port will be lower. This is because the data must travel through each hub in the chain before it reaches the peripheral device.

The number of devices that can be daisy-chained together is limited by the amount of power available from the USB port. If too many devices are connected, they will not all be able to function properly.

It is important to note that while daisy-chaining multiple USB hubs can provide a way to connect more devices to a single port, it will slow down the data transfer rate to all of the devices. This is something to keep in mind when deciding how to set up your USB connection [8].

Can you daisy chain Thunderbolt 3 hubs?

A daisy chain can connect up to six Thunderbolt 3 devices, but the ones in the front of the line must be turned on before the others will be recognized [9].

Thunderbolt hubs are available that have multiple ports, and it is possible to daisy chain these together to create a larger network of devices. However, each hub in the chain will decrease the data transfer rate. When deciding how to set up your Thunderbolt connection, keep this in mind.

Can you daisy chain active USB cables?

If power is available for each transceiver in the chain, you can connect cables together to make a longer network.

USB cables are available that have built-in active repeaters. These can be used to extend the length of a USB connection without sacrificing data transfer speed. When connecting multiple devices in this way, it is important to make sure that each repeater has its own power source [10].

Can you overload a USB port?

It is possible to overload a USB port by connecting too many devices or drawing too much power. This can cause problems for the USB host and may damage the port.

When connecting multiple USB devices, it is important to make sure that they are not overloaded. Otherwise, problems may occur for the USB host and the devices may be damaged.

Useful Video: TOP 5: Best USB Hubs

References:

  1. https://electronicguidebook.com/how-many-usb-hubs-can-you-daisy-chain/
  2. https://acroname.com/blog/how-many-usb-devices-can-i-connect
  3. https://computer.howstuffworks.com/usb.htm
  4. https://electronicguidebook.com/how-many-usb-hubs-can-you-daisy-chain/
  5. https://electronicguidebook.com/how-many-usb-hubs-can-you-daisy-chain/
  6. https://www.cambrionix.com/help_pages/connecting-devices/daisy-chaining-and-scalability
  7. https://www.techwalla.com/articles/can-i-connect-a-usb-hub-to-another-usb-hub
  8. https://www.toptenreviews.com/usb-hubs-daisy-chaining-bandwidth-and-power-demands
  9. https://www.akitio.com/faq/292-can-you-daisy-chain-with-the-second-thunderbolt-port
  10. https://blog.tripplite.com/usb-cable-max-length