What Is FireWire to USB and How to Convert FireWire to USB [MiniTool Wiki]

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FireWire and USB (Universal Serial Bus) are two independent high-speed bus technologies that allow multiple devices to be connected to the computer. The two technologies are not integrated, which means that USB devices cannot be connected directly to the FireWire port.

However, sometimes, Depending on your specific needs, you may find one or both of these two connections useful. Now, you can continue to read this post from MiniTool to learn more information about FireWire to USB.

FireWire to USB

You can try to use FireWire to USB adapter to convert FireWire to USB. If you cannot buy a FireWire to USB adapter, you can use a hub to use devices compatible with these two technologies.

This type of device has two ports in a single hub, which can be external or internal. One port is for FireWire and the other port is for USB, allowing both types of devices to work properly. Combination hubs are two separate ports, combined into one form factor for convenience; when using one of these hubs, there is no conversion between FireWire and USB.

FireWire to USB C

Not all Firewire to USB adapters are compatible with the new iMac. Thus, this part is about FireWire to USB C.

Connect FireWire to USB C on iMac and other Apple computers

If you want to connect FireWire to USB C on iMac or other Apple computers, you prepare the following 3 items.

  1. A FireWire 400 to 800 adapter supports Apple computers. (Only if you have a Firewire 400 device because there is no adapter for Firewire 400 to USB C)
  2. Firewire 800 to Thunderbolt adapter, which should also support Apple computers.
  3. Apple Thunderbolt 2 to Thunderbolt 3 USB-C adapter.

Connect FireWire to USB C on a Windows computer

If you want to connect FireWire to USB C, you also need to prepare the following 3 items.

  1. A FireWire 400 to 800 adapter (only if you have a FireWire 400 device).
  2. A FireWire 800 to Thunder 2 adapter
  3. Thunderbolt 2 to Thunderbolt 3 USB C adapter.

Other FireWire to USB Options

One of the most reliable ways to convert FireWire to USB is to avoid the conversion process altogether, and instead, find a direct way to establish a connection between a FireWire-enabled device and your other hardware (a computer in most cases).

One of the most reliable ways to do this is to install a FireWire card inside the computer. These are relatively inexpensive to obtain, and they eliminate the troublesome FireWire to USB conversion.

Due to the popularity of next-generation USB technologies such as USB 3.0, FireWire transmission is being phased out. Since the USB transmission speed is greatly improved, the need for dedicated FireWire technology is reduced. You can decide to completely avoid the FireWire conversion problem and start over with a high-performance USB port.

FireWire VS USB

As for FireWire vs USB, they have different design goals. USB is designed to simplify operations and reduce costs, while FireWire is designed to achieve high performance, especially in time-sensitive applications (such as audio and video).

USB was originally seen as a supplement to FireWire (IEEE 1394), which was designed as a high-speed serial bus that can effectively interconnect peripheral devices such as hard drives, audio interfaces, and video devices. USB originally ran at a much lower data rate, used much simpler hardware, and was suitable for small peripherals such as keyboards and mice.

Although nominally high-speed USB 2.0 (theoretical speed is 400 Mbit/s) runs at a higher signal rate than FireWire 400 (theoretical speed is also 400 Mbit/s), data transmission through the S400 FireWire interface is usually better than through USB A similar transmission through the 2.0 interface.

A typical USB PC host rarely exceeds 280 Mbit/s continuous transmissions, and 240 Mbit/s is more typical. This is because USB relies on the host processor to manage low-level USB protocols, while FireWire delegates the same tasks to the interface hardware (requiring less or no CPU usage).

Final Words

To sum up, here is all information about FireWire to USB. You can also know the differences between FireWire and USB. I hope that this post can be helpful to you.

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