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How to Convert FireWire Connections to USB

Updated July 20, 2017

FireWire, also known as IEEE 1394, was developed for fast data transfer, and is considerably faster than the USB specification. It allows a user to quickly send information to various devices, and can even power them. However, FireWire has not become quite as ubiquitous as USB. It is possible to connect FireWire devices to a USB port. This can be helpful when using FireWire devices on a computer that does not contain a FireWire port.

Plug the FireWire cable into the FireWire-to-USB adaptor. Make sure the cable is inserted fully into the adaptor (it will connect only one way).

Plug the adaptor into a USB slot in your computer. Your device will now be properly connected to the computer, but will not be able to benefit from the faster speeds of FireWire. FireWire is able to transfer data at a rate of 800 megabits per second (Mbps) whereas USB is able to accept only up to 480 Mbps. Because of this discrepancy, the computer is able to accept data through the USB port only at up to 480 Mbps.

Test the connection with the FireWire-to-USB adaptor by using it to power a FireWire-connected device.

Things You'll Need

  • FireWire-to-USB adaptor cable
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About the Author

Based in Chicago, Timothy Machroli is currently a full-time student at Columbia College, studying to become a filmmaker. Though this marks his first venture into writing in a professional capacity, he has always enjoyed writing—both fiction and nonfiction—as a rewarding hobby.