USB Extender – A Useful Tech to Beat the Max. Length Limit of USB Cables

USB Extender - A Useful Tech to Beat the Maximum USB Cable Length Limit

USB extender, is a useful tool that is often used to break the maximum length limit of USB cables. USB cable is commonly used for your phone, laptop, and most computer accessories.  It is frequently used as a power source for gadgets unrelated to computers. We typically utilize USB because it’s quick and easy. Additionally, we frequently use them for little tasks like charging a phone or attaching an external SSD.

But what if you want to transmit USB signals over longer distances? Consider the situation when you have a USB security camera but your monitoring PC is located at the opposite end of the home. A typical USB connection won’t function in that situation. You must extend your cable to its absolute limit in order to travel more than a few yards.

Today, we’ll discuss the length limitations inherent in USB cables. We’ll then discuss how you can go beyond that to finish your objective. Let’s take a deeper look since there are various possible approaches!

The Max. Length of USB Cables

A USB 2.0 cable can be as long as 5 meters right out of the box (about 16 feet). Of course, this length is rarely supplied, so you might occasionally need to utilize a connector or extension cable. This is perfectly acceptable but bears in mind that the 5-meter restriction is still in place. In other words, nothing will go wrong if you connect a 6-feet wire to a 10 feet cable. The cable is 16 feet long in total. However, connecting a 10 feet wire to another 10 feet cable won’t function. 20 feet will make up the total length, which is too much for USB 2.0.

It’s a little strange that USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 connection types have the same rating. Theoretically, there isn’t a “limit” at all. However, your signal will begin to deteriorate if you travel farther than 3 meters (approximately 10 feet). The speed and power it provides will decrease as the cable is extended further. If all you’re doing is transmitting a signal, this offers you some leeway.

A 20 feet run, for instance, is generally feasible if you need to relay a security camera feed, assuming there is little interference. On the other side, you can experience problems if the stream is from a 4K camera with two-way audio. And you’ll run into problems if the camera needs to be powered by the USB cable.

3 Ways to Extend USB Signal

Active Extension Cables

With one significant exception, active extension cables are comparable to standard extension cables. They contain circuits that enhance the USB cable signal. This enables you to extend the cable much beyond its recommended length. These cables often need an external power adapter because they need to be powered. Make sure to find one with a power supply when you’re looking at it. If not, it’s up to you to locate a power source. There is no requirement for much power here. A basic USB power supply will do the trick.

A USB 2.0 cable can be stretched out for up to 30 meters, or 98 feet. On the other hand, USB 3.0 and 3.1 cables can only be extended to 18 meters (about 59 feet). The original cable being an active cable is assumed in this sentence. If not, USB 2.0’s maximum length is reduced to 25 meters, or 82 feet, in that case. The maximum USB 3.0 and 3.1 cable length will be 15 meters (roughly 49 feet).

Another factor that determines your length is the initial cable. The length of your extension cables is limited to the original cable’s length. A 10 feet extension cable won’t work if your original cable is only 6 feet long. Either a 10 feet original cable or a shorter extension cable will be required.

USB Hubs

Multiple USB devices can be connected together using USB hubs. Typically, your computer is connected to a single point, and your devices plug into the other ports. You can increase the number of USB ports built into your computer by using a hub. They can also be used to increase the wired connection’s range, though. This has a warning attached. Powered USB hubs are required. The signal won’t be improved by a non-powered hub; it will merely support more connections. Fortunately, most contemporary USB hubs are powered, so finding one shouldn’t be too difficult.

USB hubs have several restrictions, just like active extension cords. The entire maximum length is the same, to start. The overall maximum length of a USB 2.0 run is 25 meters with a non-powered starting cord. The maximum cord length for USB 3.0 and 3.0 is now 15 meters. The original cable length is likewise subject to the same restriction. The series’ subsequent cables may be shorter than the first, but not longer.

A USB hub has an additional restriction as well. A USB hub is “smart,” as opposed to a powered extension cable that is “dumb.” It responds to the signal, making it eligible to be considered a USB-connected device. Only 7 tiers of devices can be connected using the USB standard. This indicates that you can use a maximum of 5 hubs between, counting the devices on both ends.

USB Extenders

If you want to extend the USB signal more than 25 meters, you need to use a USB extender. USB extenders usually consist of a transmitter(TX) and a receiver(RX). To extend the distance between your peripheral devices and the USB port, connect the TX and RX via a CATx cable.

For instance, you can connect the transmitter to a USB host device, such as a computer or Play Station, and the receiver to USB peripherals, like a keyboard and mouse. The USB signal is then fully transmitted over a long distance by plugging the CATx cable into both devices. Common USB extenders can typically support distances of up to 164 ft/50m in general.

If you are looking for a cost-effective USB extender with stable performance, AV Access is your best choice. AV Access USB extenders provide a convenient and efficient way to extend USB signals. You can extend USB 2.0 storage device signal up to 60m/197ft via Cat X cable.

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