I was wondering if anybody has successfully used a USB hub in order to expand the USB port at the back of the Alien2. Basically, I'd like to share the back USB port with the wifi dongle and the hard drive (and perhaps a wireless keyboard dongle in the near future) as I don't like to have USB cables connected to the front port.
I have tried using 2 USB hubs but neither has worked satisfactorily:
USB Hub 1 is really, really old and I got it for free in a job fair or some similar event. It was a freebie that a company was giving away, so I don't think it's of the best quality. When I connect the hard disk through this hub, I'm able to play recorded videos but not smoothly (there's a bit of a "jitter" in the playback). I did a USB Speed Test (via Spark) and it says that it is too slow. Didn't even try to record using this hub. The hub doesn't say whether it's USB 1.1 or 2.0. I suspect it might be 1.1.
USB Hub 2 is also old (about 6-7 years old) but it does say it is USB 2.0 "certified". You can optionally connect it to a 6V power supply/adaptor, but I don't have that power supply. When I connect the hard drive through this hub, the Alien2 doesn't even recognise the drive. I.e. I cannot see any files and I don't think the Alien2 even attempts to mount it. Maybe it's due to the lack of the external power supply? Note: there are a few lights on the hub, and when the Alien2 and the hard drive are connected to the hub, the lights come on. Also, the light on the hard drive is also on, but as I said before, the Spark software doesn't detect the hard drive.
By the way, if I connect the hard drive directly to the back port, the hard drive plays back and records smoothly and the USB Speed Test says I can record two HD channels at the same time (haven't actually tried it) or "one HD record and one HD Timeshift". So, it is fast. The actual hard drive is USB 3.0 but I think the Alien2 USB port is 2.0. Also, the hard drive comes with its own external power supply, which is connected to the mains.
I was wondering, if I buy a USB hub with external power supply, such as this one:
will I be able to expand the back USB port and use the hard drive without a penalty (or a very small penalty) in speed?