How long can I run a USB cable for an External HDD?

By gexamb
Jun 6, 2008
  1. pretty much self explanatory thread...

    How long of a USB cable can I use to run for a pc to an external harddrive?

    Im thinking i need about 15-20 ft.

  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,525

    In practice, the USB specification limits the length of a cable between full speed devices to 5 meters (a little under 16 feet 5 inches). For a low speed device the limit is 3 meters (9 feet 10 inches).

    From here:
  3. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,383   +105

    I have all my 4x network printers attach via USB connected to two 12FT(24FT) USB2.0 cord using 4-way hub without any issues.
  4. cosmos100

    cosmos100 TS Rookie Posts: 56

    In theory you can run USB connection upto about 15 metres without too much trouble.

    But it's a theory, I have never and can't really see a situation where you would need to do that.
  5. NetCablesPlus

    NetCablesPlus TS Maniac Posts: 228

    Practically speaking, you can use a standard USB 2.0 cable up to 20 feet long without the need for signal amplification for most applications. Beyond those lengths, you should really use a USB repeater cable.
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