Firewire vs. USB: Go for the Speed

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Firewire vs. USB: Go for the Speed

If you're going to connect an external drive to a PC or laptop, your main choice is going to be USB 2.0. Most newer PCs and laptops have multiple USB ports, making it easy to plug and play your storage peripherals. But if you're a Mac person, and even if you're not, there's an alternative to USB -- Firewire hard drives. Firewire has been getting a lot of publicity for ultra-fast uploads and downloads, especially with digital video cameras. So which would be better for your external storage needs?

Big name manufacturers like LaCie and Maxtor firewire are constantly coming out with improved firewire products. Asses your needs and capability when choosing the best firewire hard drive.

Firewire hard drives are faster, even though the USB 2.0 interface is rated at a higher speed. This is because of differences in the architecture -- the way the two interfaces are put together. Firewire uses an intelligent peer-to-peer architecture, whereas USB uses a more traditional master-slave architecture. The difference is that Firewire can work out any conflicts with the transfer, while USB merely does what it is told to do by the computer.



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Barbara Gibson