Plugable USB 3.0 Sharing Switch
- Save desk space with slim design. Simple passive USB switch for maximum compatibility
- Easy to install with plug-and-play convenience. No drivers required for the switch itself
- 1 “A” Port for connecting any USB 3.0, 2.0, or 1.1 device or hub which will be shared/switched
- 2 “B” Ports for connecting the switch to two hosts. Includes 2 USB A to B cables (3ft/1m)
- Shared devices are hot-swapped between computers with a single button press
- 2 LED status indicator lights let you know which computer currently has devices
- Works with most USB devices without performance or compatibility loss
- Connect a powered hub like http://plugable.com/products/usb3-hub10c2 to share many devices
Want to share USB 3.0 devices between two computers with the push of a button? The Plugable USB 3.0 Sharing Switch is the ideal solution for sharing a single USB 3.0 device, or multiple devices when you attach it to a USB 3.0 hub (one computer has access to the shared device(s) at a time). Requires no drivers and works with any USB-enabled computer or host, including Windows, Mac or Linux.
In the box
- USB 3.0 Switch – two female USB 3.0 “B” ports for connecting two PCs; one USB 3.0 “A” port for connecting one device or hub
- Two standard, full-sized USB 3.0 A to B cables for connecting the switch to the two PCs
- No power adapter needed. Uses bus-power from attached host or hub
Q: The Amazon listing and product packaging indicates that this switch is not recommended for use with hard drives, flash drives, or other storage devices. Why is this, and are there any ways to work around the issue?
A: When the button on the switch is pressed, the net effect is essentially the same as if you were to unplug the storage device from one system, and then plug it into the other. As such, the same same storage removal precautions and “best practices” must be followed to minimize the risk of data loss or corruption.
A bit of additional background may help to clarify this recommendation further. To access data on any storage device, the filesystem must be “mounted” by the operating system. (This is the process that results in the user seeing a corresponding drive letter for the device in Windows.) If the device is disconnected or loses power without going through the proper unmounting/ejection process, data corruption can sometimes occur. This potential data corruption is why Windows performs a lengthy chkdsk (“check disk”) process when booting back up after a power failure or a crash, and it’s the same reason you see Windows pestering you to “check the drive for errors” when you insert a flash drive that was not properly ejected.
It is also the very reason we generally do not recommend using storage devices with this switch. If control of the storage device were to be switched between systems while the storage device was being accessed, there would be the same potential for data corruption.
However, if you still wish to use a storage device with the switch, there are two potential methods of doing so while drastically reducing the risk of data corruption:
Method 1: “Eject” the device from within your Operating System prior to switching control of the device. This is the suggested procedure to perform prior to removing/switching any storage device from your system. The process for doing so varies depending which OS you are using.
- Windows: Click the icon in your taskbar/notification area titled Safely Remove Hardware, and stop/eject the appropriate device.
- Mac: Open Finder. Under the Devices category on the left, click the eject icon next to the corresponding device.
- Linux: Unmount the device by ejecting it through your graphical environment, or by using the umount command.
Method 2: (Windows Only) Enable the “Quick removal” setting for your storage device inside your operating system. Windows 7 (and later) will often implement this setting by default on devices that it detects as portable, but it is wise to confirm that this setting is enabled. Please note that while this setting reduces the risk of corruption somewhat, it is not as effective as the steps outlined in Method 1 above.
Q: Can I use USB 3.0 cables longer than the 3ft/1m cables that are included with the switch?
A: USB 3.0 “Super Speed” transfers are very sensitive to attenuation and interference, and these problems can become more pronounced in situations where longer cables are used. We suggest avoiding longer cables for best results.
Q: What do the LEDs on the switch indicate?
A: The LED indicates which port is “in control” of the device(s).
Q: How do I switch the active port?
A: Simply press the corresponding button on the switch to swap the active port.
Q: I’m experiencing an issue where some of the devices plugged into my USB hub don’t recognize when I “switch” the hub between PCs. Are there any suggestions that may help with this issue?
A: If there is a USB extension cable being used to attach the hub to the USB switch, please remove the extension cable as it may help resolve the issue.
Where to Buy