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Definition: USB switch


A device that allows one or more USB peripherals to be connected to multiple computers, one computer at a time. For example, a USB switch allows sharing a printer or external storage drive with two or more computers. The selection is made either manually by pressing buttons or via software.

If there are more peripherals than there are ports on the switch, a USB hub can be connected to one of the switch ports. Sometimes, USB "switch" is used to refer to a USB hub, which does act like a switch, except that the switching function is inherently part of the USB interface. See USB and USB hub.




A USB Switch
Pressing the buttons on top of this device switches the Type A cable (plugged into port on right) to one or both of the Type B cables. See USB Type A. (Image courtesy of Amazon.com.)






A USB Hub
A hub connects to the computer via a Type A-B cable and provides multiple Type A outlets. See USB Type A.