How Long Can You Run a USB Cable?

By Jesse Sears

Single-Cable Connections

USB's design architecture limits effective cable length to five meters when using high-speed USB devices. For low-speed devices, the maximum cable length is three meters. Any longer than this and your computer will not register your USB device.

Daisy Chaining Hubs

By using powered USB hubs, or stations normally used to connect multiple USB devices to your computer through a single USB port, you can reach a length of up to 30 meters for high-speed devices and 27 meters for low-speed devices. This is achieved by daisy chaining five USB hubs together from your computer and running USB cables up to five meters in length from hub to hub, and finally to your USB device.

Bottom Line

If you need to use a USB device at farther than 30 meters from your computer, consider using another PC closer to the device. For best results, limit a device to one USB cable. Daisy chaining USB cables creates a big mess of wires and increases the risk of failure if one of the hubs or cables is not functioning properly.