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What Ports Can You Add?

Let's do a quick rundown on the types of ports you can add to your computer system:

  • Parallel ports are used primarily for connecting printers to your system

  • Serial ports are used to connect some types of mice, keyboards, and printers, as well as PDAs, PC cameras, and other assorted peripherals

  • USB ports are used to connect just about any type of peripheral; peripherals conforming to the new USB 2.0 standard run much faster than the existing 1.1 devices

  • FireWire (IEEE 1394) ports are used to connect fast digital devices, such as digital video recorders and digital still cameras

  • SCSI ports are used to connect fast external hard drives

Most computers today come with a single parallel port, one or two serial ports, a FireWire port, and anywhere from a couple to a half-dozen USB ports. As you can see, if you add enough new devices to your system, you easily run out of available connectors.

caution

To install a USB 1.1 port on your system, your computer must be running Windows 98 or later. To install a USB 2.0 port, your computer must be running Windows XP with Service Pack 1 installed. To install a FireWire port, your computer must be running Windows 98 or later.


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