Is USB 3.0 compatible with a USB 2.0 port?

Gina Steinmeier January 3, 2012

I want to get an external hard drive, but I need to know if a USB 3.0 will work with my USB 2.0 port? And will the transfer rate be 2.0 or 3.0?

Because if it’s not gonna speed up the transfer, I might as well buy the USB 2.0.

  1. DARKSOUL666
    September 1, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    well if u have an extenal hdd already & it works with ur pc now look at ur hdd & look for the brand then go & buy the same brand in 3.0 coz u will know it will work & if u know wsome people who use external hdd & u dont have one you can always ask if u could borrow them or they could come around to ur house with them & plug them into your computor & if they work look or ask for brand name & u should be fine

    i currently own 3 segate external hdd a 1tb 500g & a 250g but i now know western digital works on my pc due to my partner came over to my house & brought his externals so i could put some stuff on them so im only sticking to thoes 2 brands unless another brand works but im not buying it then haveing to take it back so im waiting for some one who a diffrent brand to come along so i could try theres out

  2. Lengo
    July 12, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    So let me get this straight.

    Can I connect my mainboard's USB 2.0 header to a front panel USB 3.0 port?

    If I connect my mainboard's USB 3.0 header to a front panel USB 3.0 port, my USB 2.0 devices will work on the front panel, but at USB 2.0 speeds?

  3. Anonymous
    January 5, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    if you have a place in the computer then PCI Express USB 3.0 Expansion Card for Desktops or USB 3.0 ExpressCard 34 for Laptops

    January 3, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    Hello, USB3 is back compatible with USB2.  To answer your question, yes a USB3 external will work in a USB2 port, just keep in mind that it will run with USB2 speed and you might also get a message about connecting to a faster port. 

    You can connect a USB2 external to a USB3 port, but it will still run at USB2 speed.  If you need advice and you can afford it, you could add a USB3 card to your computer and that way you can use the speed advantage that USB3 provides as compared to USB2.  Keep in mind that this comment refers to standard USB3/USB2 connections.   

  5. Jeff Fabish
    January 3, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    Yes, although this could differ from device to device (how about you tell me the hard drives make & model?). When you plug in a USB 3.0 device into a USB 2.0 interface, the speed will be that of USB 2 (because of maximum bandwidth).

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