Plugable Launches New USB 3.0 Switch for Sharing a Device or Hub Between Two Computers

For several years, thousands of customers have enjoyed the functionality and flexibility of our best-selling USB 2.0 switch to share a device (or hub full of devices) between two PCs. For most simple, low-bandwidth devices such as a keyboard, mouse, or printer, the USB 2.0 switch is still an excellent, cost-effective choice.

To meet the needs of our customers who wish to switch a device or hub that benefits from the increased bandwidth of USB 3.0 such as our various USB 3.0 display adapters or our USB3-HUB7-81X seven-port USB 3.0 hub, Plugable is excited to announce the launch of the next generation USB 3.0 member of our switching family, the USB3-SWITCH2.

One of the most popular scenarios we envision with this device is connecting our UD-3900 docking station with attached displays, keyboard, and mouse to the USB 3.0 switch, allowing for switched access to the dock, monitor(s), and peripherals between multiple systems – an all-USB KVM of sorts. In an age where many of us have a combination of devices such as a home laptop and another for work, a laptop and Windows tablet, or a desktop PC and a laptop, switched device access can save time, desk space, and clutter.

Aside from USB 3.0 graphics adapters, the type of device that benefits most from the increased bandwidth of USB 3.0 is external mass storage devices. Given the way the switching process works (in practice the switch is essentially unplugging the device from one system, and plugging in into another), we suggest that USB 3.0 storage devices remain directly attached to a USB port on the PC rather than the switch. A dedicated, non-switched USB connection for the storage device will minimize the risk of accidentally switching the device without cleanly ejecting/unmounting it first. For additional information regarding switching and storage devices, please check out the FAQ on our product page: USB3-SWITCH2 FAQ

As with all of our products, the USB3-SWITCH2 is available at Amazon.com. If you have any questions about its functionality or have trouble getting things set up (or if you just want to share a photo of how you’ve got things setup with the switch at your home or office), please contact us at support@plugable.com. We’re here to help!

Where to Buy

12 comments on “Plugable Launches New USB 3.0 Switch for Sharing a Device or Hub Between Two Computers”

  1. Francis Nugent Dixon Reply

    Show me the plugs and I may raise an eye-brow! Show me some connection diagrams and I may even be interested – You must be joking – Trying to sell a box with one usb 3 socket visible, whatever the spiel !

    Remember – A diagram says a thousand words !!

    It is not often that I can fault a “Plugable” ad.

    • Gary Zeller Reply

      Hi Michael,

      In most cases the switch will work great for sharing a peripheral between a desktop and laptop system. If you have any further questions by all means feel free to email support@plugable.com and we’ll be glad to assist!

      Thanks!
      Gary

  2. Vincent LaVallee Reply

    Gary, I am looking for a 4 port manual USB 3.0 data switch box for sharing USB device amongst 4 computers. I want to connect up to 4 computers using USB 3.0 to this devices and then connect its cable to a USB 3.0 hub with several devices on it, including USB 3.0 external HDDs. The ONLY reason for using USB 3.0 is if you have USB 3.0 HDDs! And your comment about not using USB 3.0 HDDs with your switch is not really warranted – if you are determined to swap your USB devices (that all sit on another USB 3.0 hub), then without the switch you are forced to unplug your hub from one computer to another – meaning you have powered down any an all HDDs on that hub. SO, a switch simply allows you to do this with just a just of a button rather than finding the jack, unplugging it, and finding the other USB jack and re-plugging it back in.

    I have 3 and sometimes 4 computers on and running, and all connected with a 4 PS KVM. So, I am looking for a USB 3.0 manual computer switch that will allow me to port these USB devices from one computer to another easily.

    Vincent

    • Gary Zeller Reply

      Hi Vincent,

      We haven’t encountered any 4 port manual USB 3.0 data switches on the market as of yet. Hopefully if demand ramps up for this type of switch, one will be developed to respond to the demand.

      As you mention, USB 3.0 storage devices certainly do benefit greatly from the additional bandwidth (though they certainly aren’t the only devices to benefit – USB 3.0 graphics adapters and docking stations also enjoy a substantial performance boost with the additional bandwidth). In our FAQ for the switch we do go somewhat in-depth regarding the potential risks of of using mass storage devices with switching. Ultimately we just want potential customers to know that risks are involved with switching and mass storage devices, and the “why” behind those risks. We explain our reasoning for this recommendation and if someone wishes to use the switch with storage devices hopefully they’ll take proper precautions regarding unmounting/ejecting the storage device through their operating system.

      And to your point about switching a hub with hard drives from one PC to another, there’s certainly the same risk of data corruption in that scenario as well. Based on our FAQ about switching and mass storage devices, hopefully users who are considering that type of configuration will understand the potential concerns, regardless whether they’re using a switch, or manually swapping a hub between machines.

      Thanks!
      Gary

  3. Bruce Korb Reply

    I am an ex-programmer and read the product description on Amazon. I never stumbled into any caveat about not having good Linux or OS/X support. My understanding about USB is that USB hubs and switches were all basically universally supported. It was part of the big idea. Imagine my surprise after plugging in my keyboard, mouse, SD-card reader and camera tethering support. None of it is seen on either my Mac or my Linux box. If I plug the hub directly into the Mac, it sees it all. But running the signals through the “plugable” does no good.

    Grumble, grumble. First, I despise Windows. I’ve hated it since I met it in 3.1 and Win95 days, back when it was really a DOS program. Anyhow, you do know what Linux is. Are there experimental drivers for supporting USB 3.0 hubs and switches? Can you please point me in the right direction? WRT OS/X, I’ll go ask a friend who works at Apple and see what’s in the pipe line.

    • Joshua Henry Joshua Henry Reply

      Hi Bruce,

      Support for USB switches is generally universal. If it’s not working then there could be an issue with the switch. The real trick is with hubs. USB 1.1 and 2.0 hubs basically “just work”, but for USB 3.0 it’s a whole different world. Depending on the implementation of the xHCI controller and USB driver stack, some USB hubs work very poorly with Mac or Linux where driver development has lagged behind that of Windows. Our 3.0 hubs almost always use VIA chipsets and typically have good support for Mac and Linux and we continually try to update our hubs with the best firmware possible at the factory before they go out to Amazon for sale. Sometimes Amazon’s stock rotation isn’t the best and users can get an outdated hub and those are usually when we see issues for non Windows users.

      So to address your issue, you’ve presumably got our USB 3.0 switch but what hub do you have attached to it? If you bypass the hub, does a single, simple device work through the switch? Like a keyboard or mouse?

    • Joshua Henry Joshua Henry Reply

      The Amazon listing does actually. “In the Box: Plugable USB 3.0 switch, two 1m/3′ USB 3.0 A-to-B cables for connecting two computers to the switch”.

Leave a Reply