How can I tell if my computer has USB 2.0 or 1.1?

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Barry writes, I just purchased your guide regarding Converting VHS and Hi8 tapes to DVD and have a couple of questions. I can't figure out if I have a USB 1.1 or USB 2.0 installed--the info in the My Computer section under Universal Serial Bus doesn't specify. It looks like the USB hardware was installed in 2001. Is there an easy way to determine which I have?

The reason I recommend USB 2.0 over USB 1.1 is because of the significantly faster data transfer speed achieved in using USB 2.0. USB 1.1 transfers data around at 12mbps, with each new device added to your system taking up progressively more of the available transfer pipe until you hit a point where your USB gets overloaded. USB 2.0 is a massive speed increase to 480mbps, which leaves plenty of room for most device operations. Knowing which one you have on your system is a little more complicated because some motherboards don't accurately identify your device as USB 2.0.

To find out which version you have, open the Device Manager by right-clicking My Computer and choosing Properties (or with Windows key + Pause/Break on the keyboard). Click the Hardware tab and then click the Device Manager. Scroll down until you locate the Universal Serial Bus controllers and expand the list of controllers. If you have a USB 2.0 controller in your computer, the word Enhanced will be listed somewhere in one of those names.

In the case of the Intel motherboard I have installed on one of my machines, it says both USB2 and Enhanced as you can see in the graphic below.

In other cases, the word Enhanced will appear without any reference to USB2 or USB 2.0. If it says Enhanced, it doesn't matter what additional details are included along with it.

It's also important to make sure you know which USB ports on your computer are connected to the USB 2.0 transfer bus. I have a computer with USB ports on the front which interface with USB 1.1 and transfer data slowly compared to the USB ports on the back of the computer, which are USB 2.0.