Plugable USB 3.0 Sharing Switch
List Price : $26.95
Amazon Rating : (1317 Reviews)
- SIMPLE DEVICE SHARING—Compact design provides easy one-touch switching of a USB 3.0 device or hub between two computers
- ONE BUTTON TOGGLE—Attach a USB docking station or powered USB hub that is connected to keyboard, mouse, and USB graphics adapter for an all-USB KVM solution
- PLUG AND PLAY—Switch works with any USB-enabled computer without drivers, but note that any attached devices still require drivers. LED indicator lights show which connected computer has control of the attached devices
- COMPATIBILITY—Not compatible with USB-C or Thunderbolt 3/4 docks that support USB Power Delivery or USB Alt Mode video. We recommend using the provided 1.5m cables to connect the USB switch to your computer and keep connections less than 1.8m to your peripheral
- 2 YEAR WARRANTY—We love our Plugable products, and hope you will too. All of our products are backed with a 2-year limited parts and labor warranty as well as Seattle-based email support
Share Your Device(s) With Simplicity
The Plugable USB 3.0 Sharing Switch (USB3-SWITCH2) is the ideal solution for one-touch switching of access between two computers to a:
- Powered USB 3.0 hub
- USB keyboard/mouse
- USB 3.0 graphics adapter
- USB 3.0 docking station
- Virtually any other USB 3.0/2.0/1.0 device
A single button press is all that's required to toggle between connected computers. Blue LED indicator lights show which connected computer has control.
Potential To Do More
Looking to provide two-computer access to a single keyboard, mouse, and display? Just attach the switch to a powered USB hub, then connect all your desired peripherals for an all-USB KVM solution.
Just Plug In And Switch Away
Switch works with any USB-enabled computer without drivers. Attached external devices will still require drivers as usual.
In The Box
- 1x Plugable USB 3.0 Sharing Switch
- 2x USB-A to USB-B Cables (1.5m/4.9ft)
- Windows 11, 10, 8.x, 7, Vista, XP
- Not able to directly charge connected laptops, or drive USB-C/Thunderbolt devices with video outputs.
- Not recommended for switching mass storage devices such as hard drives, flash drives, card readers, etc, as these devices should be unmounted or safely ejected via the host operating system prior to switching.
- Drivers are still required for the connected USB devices.
- The switch is backward compatible with USB 2.0/1.0 devices
- Simple passive USB switch means no power adapter is needed (bus-powered).
Incompatible Setups and Features
- Autosensing of hosts is not supported; manual press of the button is required.
- USB-C devices with video output or power delivery are not supported.
- The use of USB-A to USB-B cables greater than 6ft/1.8m is not supported.
In The Box
|Item and Quantity||Item Notes|
|1x USB 3.0 Sharing Switch|
|2x USB 3.0 Type-A to Type-B cables|
|1x Quick Start Guide|
|Port||Placement||Power Host / Device||Connection Type||Notes||Voltage||Amperage||Wattage|
|USB-A to Host||Rear||Device||Bus Powered (No Power Adapter)||0.0W|
USB To Devices
|Port||Placement||Version and Link Rate||Features||Voltage||Amperage||Wattage|
|1x USB-A||Front||USB 3.0 (5Gbps)||5V||900mA||4.5W|
Connection To Host
|Port||Placement||Version and Link Rate||Features|
|2x USB-A||Rear||USB 3.0 (5Gbps)|
|Port Type (Side 1)||Cable Specification||Port Type (Side 2)||Cable Length||External Power for Cable|
|1x Male USB-A||USB 3.0 (5Gbps)||1x Male USB-B (3.0)||1.5m/4.92ft||No|
|1x Male USB-A||USB 3.0 (5Gbps)||1x Male USB-B (3.0)||1.5m/4.92ft||No|
- Plug the included USB cables into the Sharing Switch and the two computers that will share it.
- Connect the USB device such as a printer, scanner, USB hub, etc., into the Sharing Switch.
- When a device (other than the switch) is shared with a computer for the first time, drivers for that device may install.
Note: Because storage devices must be "Safely Removed" or "Ejected" in your computer's Operating System before disconnecting, we recommend exercising caution if using storage devices with this switch.
Questions? We're here to help! Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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USB Port Types
This is the standard USB connection that most computers offered prior to the introduction of USB Type-C (USB-C). Even after the introduction of USB Type-C, this is still quite common.
It can provide data transfer rates up to the USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 gbps) specification depending on the host and device, but does not directly support video in the way that USB-C Alternate Mode does. This limitation makes DisplayLink USB graphics adapters and docking stations ideal on systems that do not have USB-C, or in instances where more displays are needed beyond available video outputs of a PC.
Fred the Oyster, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
IngenieroLoco, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
This type of connection comes in a couple different styles depending on whether USB 3.0 and higher transfer rates are supported (bottom graphic). Usually this type of connection is used to plug into USB devices that do not have a fixed cable connected, such as USB docking stations, USB hubs, printers, and others.
One of the first connectors for charging a smartphone, wireless game controller (such as the Sixaxis and DualShock 3), and other small devices such as external hard drives. Not commonly used today, but is still used in some cases. Most devices using USB Mini B are using USB 2.0, though a USB 3.0 variant does exist. This specification also added USB On-The-Go (OTG) functionality, though it is more commonly implemented with Micro USB.
Fred the Oyster, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
IngenieroLoco, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
A smaller connector that serves many of the same uses as the Mini B connector, with added optional features such as Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) to allow devices like smartphones to output video to larger displays without requiring a dedicated port for video output.
The larger variant of USB-B is most commonly used for external hard drives for higher 5Gbps transfer rates.
USB-C, Thunderbolt™ 3, and Thunderbolt™ 4
The most recent USB connection, USB Type-C (USB-C), represents a major change in what USB can do. The connector is smaller, can be connected in two orientations, is able to carry substantially more power and data, and can directly carry video signals of multiple types (HDMI, DisplayPort, etc.) Intel has also adapted the USB-C connector for use with Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4.
It is important to note that while all Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4 connections are USB-C, not all USB-C connections can be used with Thunderbolt 3 or Thunderbolt 4 devices.
More details regarding physical USB connections can be found on Wikipedia . The graphics depicted here are adapted from Wikimedia Commons by various artists under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Does the Sharing Switch Support Autosense functionality?
No, the Sharing Switch does not automatically switch to the active computer input. You must press the toggle button on the Sharing Switch to swap between inputs.
Can I Use USB 3.0 Cables Longer Than the 1.5m Cables Included With the Switch?
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 and using the 1.5m cables that are included.
I’m Having Problems With My USB 3.0 Dock or Hub That Connected to the USB 3.0 Switch
With more devices connected in the "chain", we'll want to start by better isolating where the problem could lie.
Do the problems still occur when the dock or hub is connected directly to a USB port on your computer (bypassing the switch)?
- If the answer is yes, then this is not a problem with the switch itself and please refer to the product page of the dock or hub for more help
Does the problem occur on both computers connected to the switch or just one of them?
- If the answer is just one, we're likely dealing with a host-specific problem
Does the problem occur when connected to other USB ports on the computer?
- If the answer is no, then there could be a difference between the computer's USB ports
These questions should hopefully help you isolate and understand where the issues could lie. Please contact us at email@example.com for more assistance, along with a copy of the answers to the above questions to assist in troubleshooting and we'd be glad to help further.
Why Is This Switch Is Not Recommended for Use With Hard Drives, Flash Drives, or Other Storage Devices?
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 file system 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.
Can I Use the USB 3.0 Sharing Switch With a USB-C Dock or Hub?
No. Our Plugable USB 3.0 Sharing Switch is not compatible with USB-C docks or hubs, as these USB-C devices often rely on USB-C features such as Alt Mode and Power Delivery to function. The USB 3.0 Type-A connection offered on the USB 3.0 switch does not support these USB-C features, so these USB-C devices are not compatible even with the use of an adapter.
Plugable does not currently offer a USB-C sharing switch at this time.
Do Plugable products support the Apple SuperDrive?
Unfortunately Plugable products do not support the Apple SuperDrive.
The Apple SuperDrive has stringent power requirements that can only be met by directly connecting the SuperDrive to your host laptop. As a result at this time Apple recommends only using their USB-C adapter cables. You can find more information on that here -→ How to connect the Apple USB SuperDrive
If you have purchased a Plugable product to use with your Apple SuperDrive, and would like some additional assistance please do not hesitate to reach out. You can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or going to Plugable.com/Support.