Firewire is a hot topic of discussion these days, but many people don’t understand what it is or what it does.
This post will address that question and the answer to the question: What is Firewire? It will also tell you some facts about firewire; such as what makes it different from USB and why you should avoid firewire altogether.
FireWire (IEEE 1394) is a standard developed by Apple and Texas Instruments in the early 1990s.
The interface has been used on computers, cameras, printers, scanners etc. It was originally designed for high-speed data transfer over short distances (between 3-6 feet).
Here is the answer for, which statement regarding the firewire standard is accurate?
The Purpose of FireWire
FireWire was designed to replace SCSI. It was designed for high speed data transfer, audio/video streaming and power delivery over a single cable to external devices. It can handle up to 400MBps.
The Advantage of FireWire
One advantage of the FireWire standard is that devices are hot swappable, meaning you can plug or unplug them while the computer is on or off without damaging the device or the computer.
Another advantage is that you can daisy chain multiple devices together for one simple connection to your computer’s I/O board. The last advantage is that it uses less power than USB.
The Disadvantages of FireWire
FireWire has a very small market share for a few reasons, one being that it is compatible with neither USB nor PS/2. In order to connect a device to your computer, you have to have the correct cable.
Another reason why it has a poor market share is because devices using the standard are very expensive. Lastly, it’s not widely available on laptops.
The only laptops that use FireWire are Apple’s MacBook Pro and iMac computers, and even then they started phasing out Firewire support in favor of USB 2.0 starting in 2006.
What Is USB 2.0?
USB 2.0 is the later version of USB that was released in 2000. It has faster bandwidth than FireWire 800, but the speed still isn’t very high.
The speed of USB 2.0 is up to 480MBps, which is still pretty fast, but not as fast as FireWire 800.
The Purpose of USB 2.0
USB was introduced to replace all other types of serial bus technologies for computers and devices by introducing a completely new serial bus standard called Universal Serial Bus (USB).
The Advantage of USB 2.0
The main advantages of using a universal serial bus over a FireWire connection is less power consumption, broader industry support and it works on virtually all PCs or Macs.
The last advantage is that it’s easier to troubleshoot problems with a USB port because the components are standardized and most USB ports are hot swappable.
The Disadvantages of USB 2.0
One disadvantage of USB 2.0 is that it can’t be used to power devices like printers and scanners, only low power items like keyboards and mice.
Another disadvantage is that it can’t be daisy-chained together like FireWire; in order to add another device to the chain, you have to connect it directly to your computer’s I/O board.
The last disadvantage is that the market share for USB technology is much larger than FireWire and there are many more USB devices available in many different shapes and sizes than there are Firewire devices.
The Verdict: What Should You Use?
Firewire vs USB 2.0
Although USB has the clear advantage in the market because of the market share it has, it’s not that much better than FireWire in terms of speed or future potential.
That being said, USB 2.0 is the best protocol for today’s computer users because it works with both USB 1.0 and USB 2.0 devices and allows for daisy-chaining connections.
Although there are some disadvantages to using a serial bus connection, Firewire is best used when transporting high volume data over short distances because its maximum transfer rate is only 400MBps, which makes it less ideal for transporting large amounts of data quickly across long distances.
What Is PS/2?
PS/2 is an industry standard for expressing the input and output of a computer’s mouse and keyboard.
The Purpose of PS/2
PS/2 is an industry standard for expressing the input and output of a computer’s mouse and keyboard, but it doesn’t support USB devices.
It was developed almost at the same time as USB. There are two types of PS/2 ports, full-sized port (for keyboards) or mini-port (for mice).
The Advantage of PS/2
It’s an industry standard and it works on most PCs and Macs; although it does not work on certain types of motherboards.
It is also easier to troubleshoot than USB because both mice and keyboards can be connected at the same time, but only one computer can be powered by each port. It also uses less power than USB so it uses less electricity when in use.