The other day as I sat down to start working my USB hub died. I raced over to Fry’s where I stood in front of a few dozen choices for a replacement. I decided on the Belkin F4U017 and, other than a very weird installation hiccup, I absolutely love it.
When you attached the 7 port hub to a Windows 7 PC it tries to use some sort of Bluetooth device. Obviously that fails. After searching online I found out that you can go into Device Manager and manually install it as a USB hub using the built in drivers and it works perfectly.
So what does this hub do that makes me so happy? Nothing. It doesn’t do anything extra. It is just a USB hub. But it is a well designed USB hub. It is compact and takes up very little of my valuable deskspace. It’s also sturdy so I can move it around without USB cables coming out. But the thing I love about it most is something I didn’t even realize until I turned out the lights: no LEDs! No annoying flashing lights, no power light. Every other device on my desk, external hard drives, speakers, scanner, each has at least one LED and I don’t need anymore. The USB hub it replaced had 8 lights, one for each port if it was connected and one for the hub power. When data was transfered the light for that port would flash. Annoying to say the least.
Now I have a small stealthy USB hub. It blends into the background and quietly does it’s job.