USB extension: When are extension cables, USB repeaters and hubs worthwhile?

USB extension is always helpful when you don't want to have individual devices right next to your Mac or PC. Even if you want to use existing devices in the office, home office or co-working space, but sit too far away, extension cables, USB repeaters or a USB hub are ideal. But when is which solution is worthwhile and which products are recommended? I want to answer exactly these questions in this guide.

usb extension active passive 5 meters 10 m cable hub repeater adviser question answer

Which cables and / or devices should be used for the USB extension? You can find the answers in this guide! Product images: Amazon

The individual USB extensions explained

First of all, the individual options for extending the USB cable should be explained. Perhaps you will then find out whether you would prefer to use a longer USB cable, a repeater or a USB hub. Corresponding recommendations are then listed below.

What is the recommended length for a USB cable?

It's been almost three years since that question last answered on this page has been. Then as now, it is true that passive USB cable maximum 5 meters long should be. With longer cables, the quality of which may not be outstanding, it can lead to very slow transmissions, to interruptions of the same or to data errors.

What is a USB repeater?

As with WLAN, one takes care of it Repeater for amplifying an existing signal. With regard to a USB connection, it is not (necessarily) a stand-alone device. Rather, they are common active USB cablewhich amplify the input signal. This means that distances of more than 5 meters can be bridged. But repeaters are not only worthwhile if you want to use 10 meters of USB cables, they can also ensure faster transmissions and fewer data errors up to 5 meters.

When can you use a USB hub as an extension?

As already mentioned in the post linked above, they are suitable USB hubs as connection points between two USB cables eachwhen it comes to their extension. In general, however, a USB hub is a distributor that ensures, for example, that a keyboard, mouse, one or two devices for charging their batteries, etc. can be connected to a USB port on a Mac or PC. USB hubs serve as connectors between USB cables for distances of up to 30 meters ( ).

When is which solution is worthwhile?

In addition to the possible costs and effort of cabling (for example, bridging 30 meters requires six cables of 5 meters each and five USB hubs), you should also take a look at the connected device. If you just want to connect a printer, it doesn't have to be the most expensive solution. Even with temporary problems, simple cables and hubs may be sufficient.

But if you want to find a long-term solution and / or connect more complex devices and systems, then you should not only use simple and inexpensive cables and hubs. Instead, active USB cables, i.e. USB repeaters, are more suitable. Especially when you feed a NAS or another RAID system with data you shouldn't skimp on the quality of the data transmission!

Recommendations for USB extension cables, repeaters and hubs

In order not to drag out this guide unnecessarily, I would like to present the products to be recommended in the form of a list. If you are missing important information, you can click the corresponding link to access further information on the product page:

USB extension cable recommendations

USB Repeater Recommendations

  • 5 meter USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 repeater with socket and plug as a USB extension: view here
  • 10 meter USB 2.0 repeater with socket and plug as a USB extension: Details here
  • 5 meter / 10 meter USB 3.0 repeater with double amplifier (rated very well by users with external storage systems): Details and product versions

USB 3 hubs recommendations

Recommendations for special cases: USB extension by 20 m, 30 m and up to 60 m

  • 20 meter active USB 2.0 cable or USB repeater from DeLock: view here
  • 30 meter active USB 2.0 extension (with 2 repeaters in the running cable) from DeLock: Details here
  • USB socket and plug with Ethernet or network cable adapter for the USB extension up to 60 meters Is there ... here - the appropriate CAT6 network cable (up to 50 meters) you can find here

Conclusion on the subject of USB extension

There are different approaches to bridging longer distances between computer and USB device or hub and device. Not only the costs, but also the duration of the solution and the quality of the data transmission must be taken into account when making a decision. If you have any questions on the topic, please use the comment function!

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11 comments

  1. o0Julia0o says:

    You can also first go from PC to USB socket, then 10m flush-mounted to USB socket. Then a USB amplifier in a can, and an active USB hub on it - then the devices on it? So after all the way? Is there a USB repeater coupler?

    • sir appleot says:

      Hello Julia! I think that's too much, because the distance from PC to socket and from socket to hub is also added. The only amplifier that can do 10 meters (and only 10 meters reliably!) Is this cable with built-in repeater (and USB 3.0 support). You can of course first try without the USB sockets to see whether you can still get reliable data transfer and good speed with them and two other extensions (which represent the path to the socket and from the socket to the hub). But I have concerns ...
      Alternatively, if you can live with USB 2.0 (which is easily enough for printers and the like), then I would this DeLock cable with 30 meters and built-in repeaters take a look. If you attach external hard drives, USB 2 is of course not particularly fast, but if you have the time, you can also rock data through. ;-)

  2. o0Julia0o says:

    a heartfelt thank you! USB 2.0 is enough for me. However, I cannot conceal the cable with the thickening. If so then I would have to have an amplifier (coupling) after the can. So without cables. I would then put an active HUB in there. There then mouse, keyboard, gamepads. Is there such a thing? Or does an amplifier bring something before the 1st can? Should also have the shortest possible cable (or coupler without cable) -> from PC to socket.

    • sir appleot says:

      Hello Julia! So you won't be able to do the 10 meters of concealed installation. This is only possible with these converters, which transport the USB signal via a network cable and then convert it again. That might be the best solution and I'm sure you can use 1-2 meters of normal USB cable to and from the socket without amplifying anything again. For the mouse and keyboard, latency is probably more important than data transfer speed. If the signal is "on the move" for too long, you have the feeling that your mouse pointer is always a bit behind. But I cannot say whether that is the case. I've never tried this USB-2 to network converter. :-) But a stupid question: Then your computer is 10 meters away from the mouse? What do you need that for ?! : D

  3. o0Julia0o says:

    OK thanks! The TV screen is bigger. Then you can play something on it without moving the PC.

  4. Unknown says:

    Hello o0Julia0,

    There are much better options for such a project. One of them would be a Steam Link. Perhaps you should find out more about how your project can still be implemented.

    Connecting the mouse and keyboard via a 15 m USB cable only sounds moderately useful. A stable wireless solution (high-quality wireless mouse & keyboard combination) could also work.

    • sir appleot says:

      Thanks for your suggestions. But I had to change your name to "Unknown", because "Apfelot" is already protected here. ;)

  5. Dilan says:

    Hello! Do you have a recommendation for a hub for a Macbook with Thunderbolt 3? There are so many, I don't really see through them. Above all, I need an interface for several USBs and 1 HDMI.

    • sir appleot says:

      Hello Dilan! I would you this one from Aukey recommend. It has a good HDMI output and - above all - four USB 3.0 ports. Most other USB-C or Thunderbolt hubs only have two USB outputs, which I find not enough. And it has an entrance for loading the MacBook - also important. I think the hub should meet your needs. LG! Jens

  6. Michael says:

    Hallo,

    Do you have experience, what is the maximum data rate that is possible with the 20 / 30m cables from DeLock? I would need 6Mbit / s, basically within the scope of USB2.0 easy to handle right?

    Mfg.
    Michael

    • sir appleot says:

      Hi Michael! I would assume so. The maximum speed according to the specification for USB 2.0 is 480 Mbit / s. In practice, this usually only comes out at 300 Mbit / s. With some 20 meter repeater cables I have read that only 1/4 of the "normal" speed can be achieved. That would still be 75 Mbit / s. Even if one were to subtract a percentage for the 10 meters more that the 30-meter cable has, 6 Mbit / s would still be easy to achieve.

      If you can work with USB 3 AND get by with 20 meters, this would also be 20m repeater cable from ROLINE a possibility. Since it is USB 3.0 compatible, you start to expect a higher transfer rate and then you always get your desired value.

      I hope the execution helps you! Unfortunately, I cannot show any empirical values ​​directly.

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