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How to Test the Speed of an USB Port

Updated March 23, 2017

Universal Serial Bus (USB) ports are an extremely useful tool in computing for connecting an external storage device or any one of hundreds of different gadgets. USB 1.0 was introduced in 1995, followed by USB 1.1 in 1998, and finally USB 2.0 (or high-speed USB) in 2002. Most modern computers come equipped with high-speed USB ports, and there are several ways to test the speed of your USB ports.

Click on "Device Manager" inside the Control Panel. Expand the tree called Universal Serial Bus controllers, and note the different types of controller. Typically, the word "Enhanced" (as in "Standard Enhanced PCI to USB Host Controller") indicates the presence of USB 2.0.

Connect the USB drive to a USB port on your computer and transfer a large file or group of files by copying and pasting into the USB drive through My Computer.

Click on "More details" in the transfer dialogue box, to see the transfer Speed. USB 1.1's maximum transfer rate is around 12 Mb per second (approximately 1.5 megabytes per second). USB 2.0's maximum transfer rate is 480 Mb per second, so it is safe to say that any speeds above 2 megabytes per second must be a USB 2.0 port.

Things You'll Need

  • USB drive
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About the Author

Sam Foner began writing, teaching and performing in 1997. He has presented and lectured for many global associations, including the Young Presidents Organization and Rotary International, and his writing appears on raritan.com and opencheekinserttongue.com. Foner is a member of Mensa International and holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from Hong Kong University.