FAQs/Troubleshooting/Devices/Securing USB Hubs

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Copyright © 2005-2010 Userful Corporation. All rights reserved.
(Updated 2010.01.04)



Q: How can I secure my USB hubs?

Also answered by this FAQ:
  • How can I prevent theft of USB hubs?
  • How can I remove USB hubs once attached?


A: Permanently attach it to a surface somewhere.



Here we provide instructions for securing a station's powered USB hub against theft and tampering.

This method should prevent users from casually taking a powered USB hub without using tools, and that attempts to take it should take sufficiently long, or be sufficiently conspicuous to deter people. Considering the limited utility and low commercial value of a powered USB hub, the method described provides a good balance of cost, labor, and security.


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Materials Required

Tools and materials.
  • Zip ties
  • Double-sided foam tape
  • Utility knife or scissors
  • Damp cloth for cleaning
  • Powered USB hub, with all related cabling
  • Monitor (if this will be your attachment surface)


Instructions

Attach the hub:

  1. Locate a suitable attachment surface for the powered USB hub. We suggest:
    • The base or back of the station's monitor. This approach ensures that the powered USB hub moves with the monitor if the station is relocated and does not damage furniture surfaces. (But be careful not to cover the monitor's cooling vents in the back, and make sure that you give enough room to connect and disconnect cables and USB devices.)
    • The surface of the table or desk on which the station is located. (This could also be the underside of the table.)
  2. Stick the foam tape onto the bottom of the USB hub.
    Temporarily disconnect any cables attached to the powered USB hub.
  3. Wipe the surface of the hub and attachment surface using a damp cloth without detergent to ensure the surfaces are clean and free of of dust.
  4. Ensure that both surfaces are dry before proceeding.
  5. Cut the double-sided foam tape to size and adhere the foam tape to the bottom of the USB hub.
  6. Press the foam tape down firmly.
    Press firmly on the foam tape to ensure it is fully adhered to the powered USB hub.
  7. Peel off tape backing.
    Peel off the plastic backing from the foam tape.
  8. Mount the hub to the monitor's base.
    Turn the USB hub right-side-up and press it down firmly against the attachment surface. Again, make sure you provide sufficient space for the hub's cables and for typical USB devices to connect.

Secure the cables:

  1. Tighten the zip tie.
    Firmly reconnect any cables that should be connected to the powered USB hub.
  2. Using the zip ties, bunch and cinch closed the cables in to one or more tightly bound bundles.
  3. The zip tie should be pulled tight enough that no cable can be pulled from the group without either cutting the zip tie or cutting the cable itself.
  4. Ensure that any cables that should be connected to the powered USB hub are still connected.
  5. Clip off excess zip tie.
    Clip off the excess tail of the zip tie to give the setup a nice, clean look.

Moving the USB Hub

Attaching the USB hub to the monitor base reduces the need to move or remove the USB hub at a later date, as the hub will move with the monitor and is always conveniently placed, well secured, and still portable.

Use a knife to cut foam tape.

Once adhered, removing the USB hub is difficult. If the hub needs to be removed from an adhered surface, slide the blade of a long utility knife between the hub and the surface, and move it back and forth to slowly cut through the foam tape being careful to not scratch the attachment surface or the USB hub itself.