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What is a USB Switch?

A USB switch is a device that allows a USB printer or scanner to be shared between two computers. To switch USB devices between different computers the process is simple as most switches can be engaged through a hot key on the computer's keyboard or if a close connection to the host, a manual push button switch.

The usual connection between the switch and the device is a USB a to b cable up to 15ft. which is the maximum distance for USB cables to connect, however, this can be extended through the use of powered USB extensions.

The USB switch design ranges from 1 device port up to 4 device ports that can be shared between a computer or multiple computers depending on what the needs are. This is basically an electronic switch that enables multiple devices or multiple PC's to interact via the USB cable to improve working efficiency and time savings throughout the day.

Despite their size, (sometimes fitting into the palm of your hand) USB switches live up to the same specifications they were designed for whether it's USB 2.0 at 480Mbps or USB 3.0 at 5Gbps.

What USB Switches are not

Whether you call them an electronic switch, USB switcher, or sharing switch, none of them can store data but rather act as the data gateway for whatever information is being transferred between the computer and device(s). This is why the switches still have to meet specifications of USB, the data, whatever that may be still needs to be dispensed at the speed in which the computer and device can send and or receive.

Examples of a USB Switch

Dual port USB switch for two computers sharing one USB device. USB 4 port switch, allows two host computers to switch between 4 devices, manual switch. USB switch that allows 4 computers to work with one USB device.