on January 19, 2014
This item received October 6 2013. Stopped working Jan 19, 2014. If that's what you like about a product (hardly any life span) buy it.
At around $35 each that's only $100 a year. What a bargain. (That is, if your dumb enough to buy a second one.)
UPDATE After I wrote this review I discovered that one of the ports on this device had shorted out. When I separated the wires causing this, the product began working again, minus the damaged port. In the meantime, the company contacted me and offered to replace the device once I explained what I had found. They did this very quickly, and even thanked ME. So I think anyone who buys this can rest assured that should any problem occur, the company stands behind its products 100% and will bend over backwards to fix it.
I am not a techie but I will explain the product. First, you require a 3.0 USB port on your computer. Plug the hub into your computer and you now have (7) 3.0 ports for about $5 each. Just about any device which requires 2.0 or 3.0 will run on these ports without interfering with any other device. Also, contrary to a desktop it provides greater convenience for plugging and unplugging devices when not using them..
This hub is powered, meaning it must also be plugged into 110 AC. I have found that the advantage to that is it supplies a stronger power source than my computer. I have a device that will not run on a 6' cord between the device and computer, but it will run on the same six foot cord between the Plugable and the device. So all in all I vote for it. Because this is an update, Amazon is not letting me change the stars but I would give it 4.
on November 7, 2012
I can only refer you to Mr. John Williamson's in-depth review as my testing results are similar, but using different equipment. My testing was not as detailed as his, yet the results are the same. If you want a reliable, esthetic, and a very robust 3.0/2.0 USB hub you need not look any further. Plugable devices are state of the art, and as good as it gets in what is being developed in this marketing arena. Buying this product will save you a lot of aggravation and from many directions. Plugable products are the new standard of excellence to equal or top by other manufacturers, and I do not believe Plugable will let that happen. I highly recommend this hub too. Their email support is very good, and can provide work arounds for device issues. However, it's inexcusable for a technical developer of products not to support a PDF database of specifications on their site for any of their products. They do have a great article called, "USB Power Primer" that's a must read. Directions how to link to it are given in the comments area of the following paragraph. (Amazon does not allow for other direct website address' in this review area. It would be removed.)
Some of you who may have concerns about hubs might enjoy reading the discussions between Mr. Anhnhat Tran and me as to why he originally gave his one star review, but then changed it to five stars . Towards the end of our discussions I give information about hubs, from Plugable, you might find interesting. See: "Was not designed for external USB hard drives," November 18, 2012, by: Anhnhat Tran (in the comment's area).
on May 24, 2013
Well I was skeptical , with all the USB 3.0 standards and the 1+ year late belkin thunderbolt adapter ( presently only avaliable direct ).
But after I flashed to latest firmware all happy. ( had to borrow a friends USB 3.0 windows lappy ).
I now have a dozen USB 3.0 devices hanging of my mac, and super speedy.
( I am also using the 2xpluagble USB 3.0 displaylink adapters http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007L6NYAO/ and 2x apple thunderbolt displays, for extra displays )
Re-flashing can only be done on windows.
on January 27, 2013
After read some reviews, I have concern about the stability of USB 3.0 hub.
I use it with my windows8 on ASUS UX31E and WD Passport 2T and 1T.
The portable hard disks dead after several minutes without operation.
Before I throw it back to the box, I think maybe the power saving option caused it. So I goto control panel and found the "USB selective suspend" option, and changed it to disabled.
After that every thing works fine, even after one hour I leave the laptop do nothing.
I just used used it about two weeks, I hope it can keep stable for a long time.
on September 3, 2013
Functionally, this is a good hub. The VL812 is one of the best, coming from the only company to currently have (as of this writing, anyway) a certified USB 3.0 KGH (Known-Good Hub). This may only mean something to you if you're into USB device certification. Anyway, the hub itself is pretty straight-forward. Internally, however, there are some things you may want to be aware of.
All of the through-hole parts are very light on solder. In fact, most of the through-hole mounts for the Type-A USB jacks are very anemic; the holes are not filled as they should be. Additionally, the differential pairs for all of the jacks are very light on solder, and although I didn't find any pins that were open, a few came very close (< .25mm). Most disturbing, however, is that I discovered that all 3 of the poly-fuses (F1, F2 and F3) had been replaced with 0-Ohm Resistors (direct shorts), removing any hope that poly-fuses would be available in-circuit to protect against any shorting that might occur on any given output. That means that you could potentially pull all 4 amps of power from the power supply through a single USB port, causing severe damage to the jack, the cable and whatever caused the short. This is particularly frustrating with this hub because even on the PCB, these parts are labeled as F1, F2 and F3, which means the manufacturer was just being cheap and decided to sacrifice safety for cost savings. I consider that offense alone worth 3 stars, if not more, especially after claiming this as a feature printed on the box. Poly-fuses acting as a safety devices serve a very valid purpose in this design, and getting rid of them to save 15 cents is lame, any way you cut it. The box states that the unit provides "USB overcurrent detection and protection", but this is very misleading since the 5V/4A power supply is now directly hard-wired to each of the 7 output ports, making that claim a lie (even if the controller detects a short or overcurrent condition, you can't cut the current to the affected port - all you can do is ASK the USB device to terminate the connection and hope that it stops). This is why poly-fuses are important safety devices. Very lame.
The Power Adapter is branded Plugable, Model SW-050400. The label claims a rating of 5V/4A. My testing showed that the supply can actually provide 6A with no significant jitter, and I was able to actually pull 7.15A before the supply shut down (hiccup, actually). So 5V/4A is a way-safe margin IF THIS WAS A USB 2.0 HUB. USB 2.0 rates a maximum of 500mA per port, times 7 ports = 3500mA (3.5A), however, this is a USB 3.0 hub, meaning each port has an enumerated max rating of 900mA per port, or 6300mA (6.3A) total. As a result, the included power supply is "technically" under-rated by the label, which claims a maximum of only 4 Amps. Again, however, my testing shows that the supply can reliably provide closer to 6 Amps without any apparent short-term issue, so you can probably load this hub to USB 3.0 maximum power spec without any problem. Just please keep in mind that the power supply included in your box may differ in performance from the one in my box. Also keep in mind that without Poly-Fuses in the output circuit, you could potentially pull 7 Amps of current through a single port, and that would most definitely cause catastrophic damage to the hub, the jack, the cable and possibly the attached peripheral as well. This also means that you could mistakenly plug-in an incorrect power supply into this hub (i.e. 12VDC), and the hub would do nothing to protect itself OR any of the attached devices - all of them would burn.
The electronics of the included 5V/4A power supply were "MEH", and although I wouldn't call it "high quality", nothing inside caused me to raise a red flag. As I mentioned earlier, the power supply will hiccup if overloaded (i.e., automatically reset and try to power-up if more current's being pulled than it can supply) at around 7 Amps.
Summary: Buyer beware.
on July 6, 2013
Do not order this if you have a Mac. It does not have the latest firmware update and can not be updated from a Mac, only from a Windows Machine, and not from VMware or Parallels. It has manuf. known issues regarding devices that may not be recognized after your Mac sleeps. Shame on Amazon and on the Manuf for still shipping these items with out of date firmware that can not be upgraded by Mac users. They should have designated as Windows only devices.
While the manuf. offers to replace the items, why should a customer be forced to exchange a new item on day one.
on November 18, 2012
I connected 3 external 3TB Seagate hard drives to this hub. Only 2 lights on the hub lighted up. I plugged the drive, which was not recognized by the hub, directly to the USB 3 port on the computer and the drive works fine.
After a few days, only 1 light turned on. 1 more external drive was not recognized by the hub. Either the hub is defective or it was not designed specifically to handle the high power demand of multiple external USB drives. I returned it to Amazon and tried a similar product of another brand.
Updated on 11/22/2012:
The manufacturer contacted me and offered to send me a replacement hub. I plugged 3 external USB drives ( Seagate 3 TB ) into the new hub and the 3 lights are stable until now (In the original hub, only 2 lights were on). I added SMB shared drives for those 3 drives and tried to access the shared drives from other computers in the same network. They can be accessed remotely. It could be that the original hub was a lemon. Since it is too early to say anything, I will keep monitoring the hub a few more weeks to see if it is stable. In the meantime, I will raise the rating for this hub as an appreciation for the excellent customer service from the manufacturer. In the future, I will be happy to purchase again from this manufacturer.
Original rating: 1 star.
New rating: 5 stars.