Computer Monitors with USB Hub

With smartphones and so many other USB-connected devices these days, it may seem as if you never have enough USB ports to connect at your workstation. A hub is a compact and expandable option for overcoming this challenge, and a monitor-based hub lets you streamline your setup. Monitors with hubs come in many different screen sizes and resolutions as well as with all the feature options you would expect from traditional displays.

What is a computer monitor with a USB hub?

A computer monitor is similar to a television, but it lacks a TV tuner card, is often optimized for reading and gaming, and can attach to your PC or laptop via VGA, HDMI, and many other cable types. USB stands for Universal Serial Bus and is a standardized adapter for connecting a broad range of components. A hub adds multiple USB ports to a PC or laptop, and in this scenario, the hub is integrated into another peripheral.

How does an integrated hub interface with a PC?

Most monitors that have an integrated USB hub will have an additional cable that runs from the set to the PC. If you choose not to use the hub, you can simply leave this cable unattached. If you attach it, then the hub will be recognized by your PC and separate from the display itself.

What devices can be connected via a monitor-based hub?

Typically, any electronic device that supports USB can be connected to your PC via the hub built into your monitor. This includes mice, keyboards, gamepads, digital cameras, printers, scanners, and so forth. Although not common, there may be exceptions and limitations. External drives that have high bandwidth requirements and smartphones that need to charge are two examples of consumer electronics that may require a direct connection.

Does the Universal Serial Bus version matter?

The USB standard is updated over time, and those updates are indicated via version numbering, such as 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0. All versions are backward-compatible and forward-compatible, which means that in many cases, the component you plug in will work regardless of the native versions in play. Versions do often provide performance improvements, and certain USB-based peripherals, such as external SSDs, may have version requirements in order to realize optimal performance.

What’s the difference between upstream and downstream ports?

The terms upstream port and downstream port are related to hubs. Upstream USB ports are used to establish connections from a PC to a hub, and downstream ports are used to attach devices to a hub and thus the PC itself. Note that the display you choose may have multiple upstream connections, which generally indicates more than one internal hub. If a set has three upstream ports, for instance, then that typically indicates that there are three internal hubs present.