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Koutech HU1300 13-Port USB Hub

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There’s nothing remarkable about this device, save that it exists and that it actually works. As a rule, USB hubs come with four ports, and they typically arrive in packaging that suggests you should be grateful for that many.

While you can use multiple hubs, or hubs plugged into other hubs, the result is usually both messy and potentially troublesome. Each hub will add some propagation delay, or “latency,” to your network of USB devices, and this can degrade their operation.

By comparison, the HU1300 hub will let you plug up to thirteen USB 2.0 devices into it, and in so far as we’ve been able to tell, it doesn’t even break a sweat if you max it out.

It’s tempting to scoff at the prospect of needing this many USB ports – in practice, desktop computers attract USB gadgets with about the same tenacity as liberal governments attract new taxes and spending initiatives. For example, the computer I’m sitting at as I write this is hosting the following USB devices:

  • mouse
  • keyboard
  • multifunction printer
  • floppy disk drive
  • external hard drive
  • uninterruptible power supply monitor
  • guitar interface
  • label printer
  • Bluetooth adapter
  • telephone modem – actually, two of them
  • iPod dock
  • flash card reader

Most of these things are plugged into the HU1300 hub. It must be working, as the keyboard is one of them.

The HU1300 hub is unadventurous to set up – plug all your toys into it, plug it into an available USB port on your computer and plug in its power adapter. It lacks status lights for each of its ports – a minor deficiency – but there’s a bright blue power light to indicate that it’s on line.

Five minutes after you install it, you’ll have forgotten it exists, which is just what these things are supposed to do.

We got our Koutech HU1300 hub from Newegg.com. Even with shipping charges that came to about a quarter of the price of the device itself, it was worth it to lose the tangle of lesser hubs this box replaced.