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Expansion Upgrades: USB 2.0 and Firewire

Consider adding ports onto an older PC. Although adding or upgrading ports won't speed up your computer, you'll be able to connect a wider range of external devices ? and those devices are likely to run faster, transferring data to and from your PC at many times the rate of your pokey old serial and parallel ports.
Adding Universal Serial Bus (USB) or FireWire ports to your PC is a relatively easy upgrade. All this involves is removing the cover from your PC and adding an adapter card to one of the open slots on your motherboard. Remember, this is how that original cadre of IBM engineers ? the ones who designed the architecture of the first PCs ? intended for you to add functionality to your computer, so it's practically a walk in the park.

The major differences between USB 2.0 and FireWire ports are as follows:
USB 2.0: This is the faster version of the USB port, with blazing speed and the ability to connect to older USB 1.x hardware. Unless you're using an external FireWire drive, digital camera, or digital video (DV) camcorder, USB 2.0 is the best choice for adding state-of-the-art, modern portage (ports for scanners, external hard drives, CD/DVD recorders, fax machines, printers, and the like) to your PC.
FireWire: If you'd like to upgrade your PC for use with your DV camcorder -- or if you're interested in adding a fast external hard drive or DVD recorder -- FireWire is your port of choice. Also, FireWire peripherals are usually easy to share with Mac owners because every modern Mac made within the last two or three years has at least one FireWire port.

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