Ultra 7-Port Buddy Hub: The Right Tool for the Job?

The Job

PC manufacturers are doing better. Increasingly, four or more USB ports can be found on most computers. However, some systems, particularly laptops, remain stingy, typically providing only a pair of USB ports. That's simply not enough. Fortunately, USB hubs enable users to add multiple USB ports quickly and easily. The bad news: devices connected via USB hubs, such as photo printers, don't always perform as well as peripherals connected directly via a motherboard.

Ultra 7-Port Buddy Hub

The Tool Ultra’s 7-Port Buddy Hub provides a simple solution for adding additional USB connectivity to PCs and laptops. How does it fare in typical home or small office conditions? TechRepublic's Erik Eckel investigated. Get the lowdown on his findings below. Ultra's 7-Port Buddy Hub boasts several strengths:
  • The device is easy to set up; just plug it in, connect your peripherals, connect your PCs and you're basically set.
  • The device includes two USB cables several feet long.
  • The hub ships with its own power adapter (some similar devices do not).
However, the hub isn't perfect. Its weakness:
  • Slow performance (the model tested here supported only USB 1.1 speeds).
The Right Tool for the Job?

Overall, Ultra's 7-port Buddy Hub does a good job of maintaining connected devices' performance. As a bonus, the Buddy Hub enables connecting up to seven USB peripherals to two PCs (and sharing the devices via simple A/B switches). With simple switching and reliable performance, the Ultra 7-Port Buddy Hub is the Right Tool for any PC user (Windows and Mac alike) requiring additional USB ports.

Read Erik's complete Right Tool review gallery of Ultra's 7-Port Buddy Hub.