Wireless routers are increasingly coming to market with USB 3.0 ports. I'm seeing this feature included quite often with many of the latest premium, dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi routers
. A USB port on a router lets you connect a printer or external hard drive for sharing on the network. USB ports are handy because they make it very simple to set up a network printer on a home network or quickly expand sharable storage. However, there are some concerns that USB 3.0 on routers may be a source of signal interference for wireless devices.
Let's look at the reality behind this fear, and also at what the industry and you as a home user can do to combat interference issues with USB 3.0 and Wi-Fi.
Why USB 3.0?
Of course, the advantage of USB 3.0 over USB 2.0 is speed. Throughput rates can vary depending on hardware, software, and other factors, but generally USB 2.0 has a speed of about 40MBps while USB 3.0 can reach 400MBps—as shown in tests done mostly with data transfers to external drives. So there is a definite performance gain with USB 3.0. That means faster data transfers to and from attached external drives and faster network printing with USB 3.0-supported devices when connected to a router's USB 3.0 port.