Why Do Keyboards Have Two USB Ports?

Many of us rely on keyboards to communicate, making them one of the most essential pieces of technology. However, many people take the design for granted. If you’re shopping for a new one, you may have wondered why some come with two USB ports.

From increased productivity to the convenience provided, professionals and hardcore gamers alike will benefit from insights into the design and engineering of them.

So, why two USB Ports?

The second USB port on some keyboards establishes multiple connections to different devices. It makes it possible to connect gaming peripherals, a mouse, a flash drive, or other devices to your computer through it.

While the primary port on a keyboard is often used to connect it to the computer, the second port may seem like a bonus with little purpose. However, some keyboards’ second USB ports can serve various functions. 

Here is a closer look at some of the most common uses for the second USB port on a keyboard and how USB passthrough can make your computing experience more convenient and efficient:

1. USB Hub

A keyboard’s second USB port can be a USB hub, allowing users to connect multiple devices. A USB hub built into the keyboard eliminates the need for a separate hub and allows users to keep all their devices in one convenient location.

Additionally, this feature can be especially useful for users who frequently need to transfer files and data between devices, as it eliminates the need to unplug and replug devices constantly.

2. Gaming Devices

Many gamers connect their gaming peripherals, such as controllers or headsets, to the second USB port. This allows players to connect more gaming devices to their computers in one convenient location. This feature can be particularly useful for gamers who play on multiple devices and must switch between them quickly or frequently.

3. Charging Mobile Devices

The second USB port on a keyboard can also be used to charge mobile devices, smartphones, tablets, or portable battery packs.

This makes it ideal for gaming setups or office use, as the second USB port allows you to keep your device close at hand while still being able to work or play comfortably. With this convenient feature, you’ll always have enough power while remaining productive and entertained.

A keyboard’s second USB port is a highly efficient feature for users who work in environments where outlets are limited and need a way to keep their devices charged.

4. Second Keyboard or Mouse

Users commonly use the second USB port on their keyboard to plug in a mouse. Additionally, some gamers may want a second one set up and ready to go, which the second port makes simple.

This connection type is ideal for those who use a separate keyboard or mouse for work and gaming purposes and require a more comfortable or ergonomic setup for one or the other. Additionally, this makes it convenient for users who work with a lot of multimedia or gaming and need a specialized keyboard or mouse.

The second USB port is included on some keyboards for all users, and its USB passthrough functionality can serve various useful functions. Whether you need to port to connect a USB hub, gaming devices, charging mobile devices, or connecting an external keyboard or mouse, it provides added convenience and efficiency.

How Does USB Passthrough Work?

USB passthrough is the feature that allows users to connect devices directly to a computer or other electronic device without needing a separate hub. This is accomplished by including an additional USB port on a peripheral device, such as a keyboard or monitor, specifically designated as a passthrough port.

Many gamers and advanced users cite USB passthrough as an essential feature when reviewing and determining the best keyboards on the market.

When a USB device is connected to the passthrough port, it is connected directly to the computer’s USB controller. This allows the computer to communicate directly with the device and eliminates the need for a separate hub to act as an intermediary. This can result in faster data transfer speeds and improved device performance.

However, not all USB devices are compatible with passthrough ports, and some devices may require additional software or drivers to be installed before they can be used. Additionally, some devices may not support passthrough functionality at all. These compatibility issues can be especially true for cell phones which may require more power than can be provided.

Another point of consideration is that not all USB passthrough ports are created equal. Some devices may have passthrough ports only for charging purposes and not for data transfer. Therefore, the product’s specifications should be checked to confirm that the passthrough port is intended for data transfer and not just for charging.

So, USB passthrough can be a crucially helpful and convenient feature, but before you buy a keyboard or other device with two USB ports, investigate if it works for your needs.

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