Sometimes a product comes along
that fills a need you might not have even known you needed; the new
Ultra 7 Port USB Buddy Hub is such a product. The Buddy Hub is
a powered USB 2.0 switch box that allows up to 7 devices to be
shared between two different PC's at the push of a button.
Sort of a USB version of a KVM switch. Lets take a closer
The Buddy Hub comes packaged in a simple blister
pack that shows nearly every inch of the product. In fact, I
was sure the nearly 3 inch deep package contained a much larger
The back of the packaging shows the basics of
connecting the Buddy hub and the contents of the package.
Out of the box the Buddy hub looks much like any
powered USB hub. The hub measures in at a trim ~5.25" x 2.5' x
1" and weighs almost nothing at all. The front of the hub is
dominated by the 7 powered USB 2.0 ports. The top surface
shows the 7 device switches.
The back simply holds the two USB to PC
connections and the power adaptor port. Everything is clearly
labeled and makes misusing the Buddy Hub nearly impossible.
Included with the Buddy Hub we find: a simple
color Installation Guide, a warranty registration card, two 4 foot
USB cables and a 4 foot power cord. The included accessories
are all high quality even to the woven cabling for each USB cable.
The Buddy Hub is also backed by Ultra's Limited 3 year warranty.
Installing the Buddy Hub is as simple as plugging
the hub into each PC using the included cables and plugging in the
Next simply plug in your USB devices, select the
system using the selector button and allow them to plug and play as
normal. I tested the compatibility with my Logitech G15
Keyboard, a Logitech G7 Mouse,
a Vantec USB enclosure, a pair of
Turtle Beach AK-R8 Headphones and my Sony Cyber-Shot digital
camera. For what its worth, I used both an ABIT Fatal1ty
motherboard running Windows XP and an ASUS P5W DH Deluxe motherboard
running Vista 64 bit.
I do wish the Buddy hub had all of the ports on
one side or even the USB/Power on a small side so a clean front edge
could be presented on your desk, but that's a pretty minor quibble.
The hub looks nice and the small size makes it easy to tuck out of
During testing I found everything worked
fantastic through the Buddy Hub except the Turtle Beach headphones.
For some reason they had to reinstall the drivers to detect and even
then would not always work correctly the first time, but a simple
unplug and re-plug did fix them every time. I am convinced
this is simply a product of the Turtle Beach drivers and not a hub
So simple I wish I had though of it! And
even better this is a device I am finding I can't live without.
No more deciding which devices I install on which PC, now I can use
my favorite mouse and keyboard on both PCs without even having to
touch a plug. I am sure there are countless ways sharing up to
7 USB devices could come in handy around the office or anywhere you
have more than one PC. its simple and easy to use for not much
more than a typical powered 7 port USB hub. You may not know
you need the Buddy Hub but trust me; if you have two PCs in close
proximity, you need a Buddy Hub.
|9.0 out of 10|
10 out of 10|
9.5 out of 10|
8.5 out of 10|
Project Skill Level
(10 being most difficult)
|4 out of 10|