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Will a USB 1.0 or 1.1 device work with my computer that only has USB 2.0 ports?

Answer: The device (digital camera, card reader, scanner, hard drive, cable modem, etc.) will work with the USB 2.0 ports even if the device only has a USB 1.0 or 1.1 connection. The physical connectors are exactly the same for USB 1.1 and USB 2.0. However, the device will only work at USB 1.1 speeds (12 Mbps) and not USB 2.0 speeds (480 Mbps).

Conversely, if your computer only has USB 1.0 or 1.1 ports and you would like to use a USB 2.0 device with it, the device will probably work. Again, you will only be able to transfer data at the slower USB 1.1 transfer rate. Most USB 2.0 devices are backwards compatible with USB 1.1, but for data-intensive devices (like a hard drive or iPod), the data transfer is so slow with USB 1.1, it may not even be worth using it.

Published: September 7, 2004 — by Per Christensson

Answer from the PC Help Center