If your PC is more than a few months old, it's unlikely that you have USB 3.0. An alternative way to get the benefits of the up to 4.8Gbps speeds on offer is to add a USB 3.0 adapter to your existing machine and TRENDnet has now entered this sector by offering a 2 port Express Card Module (TU3-H2EC) for laptops and a 2 port PCI-Express adaptor (TU3-H2PIE) for desktops.
The TU3-H2EC will plug into any free Express Card slot on your Windows based laptop. It comes with a power adaptor to power your USB 3.0 devices.
The TU3-H2PIE will connect to any free PCI-Express slot you have on your windows based PC. It has a 4-pin power connector that you have to plug into the internal power supply to power your device. It is backwards compatible to USB 2.0 so your older USB devices will still work.
The amazing transfer rates are achieved by a number of technical changes, one of which is adding an extra bus, in parallel to the existing USB 2.0 bus. Another major change in USB 3.0 is the use of bi-directional signals. This means that data can go in both directions at the same time as opposed to the one direction at a time (half-duplex) method of USB 2.0.
Files are getting bigger and more people are sharing files these days than ever before, so the need for faster data transfer is clear. We will undoubtedly see an exponential growth in the amount of USB 3.0 devices out there and an adapter is a very cost effective way of catching up to the latest and greatest in USB technology. Speaking of cost, you can get yourself a TRENDnet TU3-H2EC for US$62.99 or a TU3-H2PIE for US$50.99.