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USB and FireWire

USB (Universal Serial Bus) port

Appears on desktop systems and laptops

Can connect up to 127 devices via a USB hub, which provides multiple USB ports (e.g. mouse, keyboard, scanner, printer, digital camera, and hard disk drive)

Supports "hot connectivity," which allows peripherals to be connected to the system, configured, and used without restarting the machine

Replacing serial and parallel ports

FireWire

Faster data transfer rate and  more expensive compared to USB (50MBps versus 1.5 MBps)

Supports up to 63 devices

Intended for data-intensive devices such as DVD players and digital camcorders

Peripheral devices can be connected via chaining.

Supports hot connectivity

Note: In response to FireWire's fast data transfer rate, USB-2 is developed with a data transfer rate of 60 MBps. To compete with USB, FireWire 2 is developed with a data transfer rate of 100 MBps.

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