Home »  Hardware »  USB & Flash Drives

How Do I Extend USB Ports

September 29, 2011  |  Difficulty: Hard

How to choose and buy a USB extension card to PCI or PCI express slot

The Universal Serial Bus (USB) is commonly used to connect devices to a computer, especially newer computers. This type of connection replaced a variety of earlier interfaces, such as the serial and parallel ports and may cause older computers to have a shortage of available slots. Generally, slots can be extended by using a USB hub which connects to one USB slot on the computer. The hub contains several USB slots where various devices can be connected. For laptops, it is usually the best solution, but a USB hub is limited by the voltage of only one plug which limits the use of more devices. For PCs however, cards can be extended, and below are instructions on how to choose and buy a USB extension card. 


  1. Take the manual of your motherboard and read the information on how many slots, PCI or PCI-E (PCI Express 2.0 single lane (x1)) are available on the mainboard (e.g., four PCI slots).
  2. Now open the left side of your PC’s case and see if any slots are free for the USB card. (e.g., 2 PCI slots are available)
  3. Next, it’s very important to know the exact version of operation system installed on the computer. (e.g., Microsoft Windows® XP Home Edition)
  4. Lastly, choose the USB version (1.1, 2.0, 3.0) you require. The main difference between USB versions is in the data transfer speed.
  5. Now you have all the information you need to buy a USB card extension. For example, you can shop for a card fitting a PCI slot, supporting Microsoft Windows® XP and requires USB 2.0.

Tips and tricks:

  • If you want to extend USB slots using a USB hub and need to keep the voltage of all plugs, you can buy one with an additional power supply.
  • Most PCI/PCI-E cards have an internal connector for additional USB plugs, which is usually part of a PC case.


  • Make sure that you have enough space around the PCI slots to insert the card.

Most Popular Articles:

What Is the Best Backup Software for Me

Internet Security Solutions Detect Legitimate Soft

How Do I Block Internet Intruders from Spying

How Do I Choose a Data Backup Software

How Do I Install a FREE Spyware and Adware Blocker

Related Articles:

How to build a quiet PC, using an air cooling system.

How Do I Build a Quieter PC

How to choose a good power supply unit for your computer

How Do I Choose a Power Supply for My PC

How Do I Extend RAM Memory and important purchase information

How Do I Extend RAM Memory

How to use compression utility available in Microsoft Windows® for compressing files

How Do I Zip Files in a Folder

How to remove the old CPU cooler from Intel® Socket 775 and replace it with a new one

How Do I Replace the Fan on an Intel® Socket 775

Help Us Spread the Word!

Love us on Facebook to stay updated.

Stay aware and get our best content on health, celebrity, travel, living, career and the technologies that will change the world.