In the current era of diverse computing technology, the number of connections that can be made between different equipment is impressive. Even a quick look at the ports on your desktop or laptop computer will likely reveal a variety of connection possibilities, each with its own unique look and functionality. While USB connectivity is one of the most often discussed and used tools for connecting computers and peripherals, FireWire is yet another method of transferring data between devices. Depending on your specific needs, you may find that one or both of these connections is useful. However, converting a FireWire to USB connection is somewhat more difficult than simply using an adapter. Understanding your options when it comes to converting FireWire connections can help you make smart decisions about your hardware.
FireWire to USB Adapter Issues
FireWire and USB each rely on a different method of data transfer to achieve their intended functionality. Whereas FireWire relies on an IEEE 1394 Serial bus, USB utilizes a Universal Serial Bus, which corresponds directly to the USB acronym. Although various adapters have been manufactured that claim to provide quick and easy conversion of FireWire to USB, the significant differences between these two forms of data transfer create issues for an adapter. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that a significant number of adapter users report technical problems with these devices.
Other FireWire to USB Options
One of the most reliable methods for converting FireWire to USB is to avoid the conversion process entirely and find a direct method for establishing a connection between the FireWire-enabled device and your other hardware, which in most cases is a computer. One of the most reliable methods for doing this is by installing a FireWire card inside your computer. These can be obtained relatively inexpensively, and they completely negate the troublesome FireWire to USB conversion.
FireWire transfer is slowly being phased out due to the rise in popularity of next-generation USB technology, such as USB 3.0 Now that USB has achieved significantly higher transfer speeds, the need for dedicated FireWire technology has been reduced. With that in mind, you may decide to avoid the issue of FireWire conversion entirely and start fresh with high-performance USB ports.
Whatever your decision, be sure to research and test any equipment before committing to an expensive purchase. If you do manage to find a functional FireWire to USB conversion box, this may be the ideal solution. However, in the likely event that you don't, you should have some form of backup plan to ensure that you don't lose content stored exclusively on a FireWire-enabled device.