Belkin to offer new 6-port FireWire hub/repeater

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Peripheral maker Belkin Corp. plans to offer a new six port FireWire hub later this month. The new hub also acts as a FireWire repeater, enabling you to put your peripherals farther away from your Mac than before.

The Belkin F5U526 is a FireWire 400 device -- with a data throughput of 400Mbps. It works with any FireWire peripherals including Webcams, storage devices, scanners, pritners, camcorders and more, enabling one FireWire port on your Mac to support up to six separate peripherals. The Belkin hub sports 6-pin ports and supports bus power. Belkin is also pitching the new hub to Sony PlayStation 2 owners, who can use iLink -- Sony's term for FireWire -- to do head-to-head gaming on separate consoles.

If you're familiar with Belkin products, you may have noticed this new device shares the same part number as a Belkin FireWire hub that's been available since 2001. It's true, said a company spokesperson, although the two devices are very different. The older hub, which retails for about $30 more than this unit, sports a radial design -- this newer unit is square with three FireWire ports on each side.

As a repeater, the Belkin F5U526 also lets you place devices up to 15 feet farther away from your computer than you can by hooking them up directly to the Mac.

Belkin Corp. expects to ship the F5U526 on June 27, 2003 for an estimated street price of US$49.95.

This story, "Belkin to offer new 6-port FireWire hub/repeater" was originally published by PCWorld.

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