As an owner of a monitor with a USB hub, I know the frustration of trying to figure out how to make the most of this feature. After doing some research and testing of my own, I’m here to share what I’ve learned about USB hubs on monitors, and what they can do for you. In this blog post, I’ll explain what a USB hub is, its purpose, and how it can help you make the most of your monitor.
The USB hub allows you to connect additional charge devices, peripherals, flash, thumb, and external hard drives. In general, a USB hub on a monitor makes it much easier for you to set up.
What Is a USB Hub?
Normally, a USB hub is a device that allows you to increase the capacity of a single USB port in your computer. The hub plugs into the computer that has additional ports and can be used to attach more USB devices.
It can be compared to a power strip for a USB, but it fulfills functions other than providing electricity.
In this case, though, the monitor comes with a USB hub built into it, with a varying number of ports. These devices also come in two types: downstream ports, and upstream ports.
There are going to be at least a few downstream ports that you can use to connect your peripherals. They’re labeled either as USB In or are completely unlabeled.
The majority of downstream ports are of the type-A variety. However, at some times, they could also be type-C.
The upstream port is what you’ll be using to connect your monitor to the CPU. It transports data to and from the CPU.
Upstream ports can either be USB types A, B, or C. Older monitor models usually have type B ports, while the newer ones would have type C.
Type C has the advantage of versatility, more power capacity, and higher bandwidth support.
Can the USB Hub Charge Devices?
USB ports that are part of a hub can pass power. This means that you can charge devices by plugging them into your monitor.
A monitor also has its energy supply, as its power cable is separate from the PC.
As such, even if you don’t turn the PC on, you’re still going to get power from the monitor’s USB ports.
Because of this, you can use your monitor as a charging station if you don’t have to use the other functions of the USB hub.
The amount of power that the USB hub can give you depends on what port types it has.
- USB 2.0 and earlier: up to 0.5 A
- USB 3.0 standard port: up to 0.9 A
- USB 3.0 charging port: up to 1.5 A
What if the Monitor Is Also a TV?
A lot of monitors can also double as televisions and are often used that way. Should this be the case, the functionality of the USB ports can be somewhat different from that of a dedicated computer monitor.
To get it to work, you’ll have to switch over the input, then you’ll be able to watch whatever you have in the drive. On the other hand, you may also plug the drive into the computer to watch media from it without having to change any inputs.
Can I Daisy-Chain Multiple Monitors Using the Monitor’s USB Hub?
Yes, you can. There are several ways that you could go about this. Some of these require an adapter or dongle. Others would need multiple output ports on your graphics card.
These are all perfectly valid approaches, but it’s better to set up without needing to use a dongle, adapter, or graphic card port. You can prepare it this way if your monitor’s USB hub uses type-C ports.
You’ll need two or more monitors, each with at least two type-C ports. The last monitor needs only one. Here’s what to do:
- Plug the USB-C port on the computer into the first port of the first monitor.
- Connect the USB-C port on the first monitor to that of the second monitor.
- Repeat this process until you’ve successfully plugged into the last monitor.
Monitors that have two or more USB-C ports are relatively new and rare. If the monitors only have one USB-C port, you’ll have to use an adapter or a separate USB hub device.
What if I Need More USB Ports?
You may find the number of ports insufficient for your needs, and want to further increase its capacity. When this happens, a separate USB hub device can come into play.
By plugging the device into the hub on your monitor, you increase the total port capacity of your computer.
Any type of USB device can be used on the connected hub, such as a hard drive, a mouse, or a keyboard. When connected, they’ll work just like when they’re used on the USB ports of either the PC or the monitor.
Summary: What is a USB Hub on a Monitor For?
The USB hub on a monitor serves to let you plug in more charged devices, peripherals, flash, thumb, and external hard drives. You can also use your monitor as a charge station with the help of a USB hub.
With type-C ports, you can make a chain of multiple displays as well. You could use it to further increase the total port capacity of your computer by combining it with another USB hub too.