The Crunch: Most technology peripherals have connected to computers and mobile devices through USB ports since the mid-1990s. Today the market for USB products is huge with thousands of products competing to be plugged into these computer ports or wall-charging adapters. In response to the popularity of the port, a blog dedicated to educating readers through comprehensive reviews was launched in 2002. While it’s not the only site reviewing technology, Everything USB has fashioned itself into a well-respected resource with side-by-side product comparisons and honest assessments of the best USB products on the market. With the start of the USB-C revolution in recent years, Everything USB has set its sights on reviewing a new set of technology powered by the emerging port.
From external hard drives and keyboards to webcams and gaming headsets, all of these electronic products have one thing in common. They’re all connected by a ubiquitous port that’s found on nearly every computer, tablet, and peripheral electronic device.
Once upon a time, consumers had to deal with PS/2 connectors, parallel ports, and serial ports. Then some of the biggest names in technology — companies like Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and Apple Inc. — came together to settle on an industry standard in the mid-1990s. The technology that came out of these meetings of the minds was the now well-known USB (Universal Serial Bus), which has since undergone several evolutions and iterations (USB 2.0, USB 3.0, Micro-USB, Wireless USB, and USB-C).
USB became such an omnipresent port, that one blog began specializing in reviewing the technology that uses it. Everything USB began in 2002 and has evolved along with the products that connect through the port. In the years since, the site has been chosen as one of PC Magazine’s top 100 undiscovered websites and top 100 favorite blogs, while also being referenced by leading publications, like the New York Times and BBC.
“Everything USB began in the early days of USB 2.0 when PCs were predominantly used for everything from productivity to recreational purposes,” said Ian Chiu, Managing Editor for Everything USB. “Even though the site was more a labor of love than anything else during its launch, I foresaw the increase in bandwidth and power for the plug-n-play interface would bring endless business opportunities.”
Today, thousands of products connect through USB, creating a consumer demand for honest assessments of the pros and cons and overall value of technology items that — without the benefits of comparative testing — might seem equal. These consumers, many of whom are expert-level PC enthusiasts looking for deeper insights, have come to rely upon Everything USB for news, reviews, and information about all things USB.
Digging Deeper into USB-Connected Products with Regular Reviews
While other sites certainly exist that cover new technology product releases, Ian and the editorial team at Everything USB have found their niche by providing comprehensive reviews that appeal to an audience of technology superfans.
“My readers are mostly well-informed PC enthusiasts, so they generally have a fairly good idea of what I cover in my reviews. So it’s going to take extra effort to get their attention,” Ian said. “Having said that, conducting usability tests on new presentation styles helps as my expert readers can compare competing products with a new perspective.”
For example, this Everything USB review on the best mini USB 3.0 drives took five leading brands and tested them against each other to find out the strengths and weakness of each model. The blog entry put all of them side by side to compare features, breaking down storage sizes, dimensions, color options, warranties, and several other categories. Ian then went deeper by conducting large- and small-file transfers to see which one handled the task fastest and to compare cost per gigabyte.
The valuable information Everything USB includes in its articles helps consumers in the market for these products know exactly what they’re getting. With certain products, choosing between so many models can be intimidating without proper information. And even though his readers are typically extremely interested in technology, they might not buy these items more than once, so it’s important to get it right the first time.
This commitment to comprehensive reviews has been a smart business decision for Ian, and his reviews get a lot of attention from his loyal reader base. Another way Everything USB demonstrates its depth is through an extensive benchmark post that compares the theoretical and ideal real-world speeds of USB 3.0, USB 3.1 Gen 1, and USB 2.0. Ian also compares the read and write speeds of a variety of popular flash drives, giving his readers an easily understandable look at what they’re getting out of products like the Corsair Flash Voyager GTX and Samsung T3 SSD.
“Everything USB digs deeper into the topic of the connectivity standard than other general tech sites do,” Ian said. “As they likely cannot afford the time and resource on a single topic, my site steps in to fill the void. I try to keep in mind that going deeper is the key to growing the site.”
From Novelty to Security, Everything USB’s Tech Experts Cover It All
While the site’s post about mini USB 3.0 drives dealt with a practical product, the abundance of USB-related products allows Everything USB to cover more fun topics.
The site has covered topics like novelty mice, entertaining USB toys, and USB gadgets for fans of popular film series like Star Wars and Transformers. For example, the article on Star Wars includes products like a mobile device charger that looks like Darth Vader’s helmet, a USB humidifier that looks like R2-D2, and a Star Wars gaming keyboard and headset.
Meanwhile, Ian wrote another blog post comparing USB security solutions for computers and personal data that covered products like a fingerprint-reading USB dongle, a padlock flash drive, and an iris authenticator.
The range of topics addressed on the site shows that the gadget blog is truly living up to its name, covering literally everything related to USB.
“The market ultimately decides what I should cover,” Ian said. “Continued interest in gaming peripherals as well as offbeat USB gadgets fuels site growth. The recent USB-C revolution is another great opportunity to expand topics since the new interface is so much more versatile.”
Market Evolution and Reader Feedback Drive Content Decisions
USB-C is a smaller, more powerful version of the USB with a reversible plug orientation, and it appears to be on its way to replacing its ancestor. This shift creates a new opportunity for Everything USB as the technology is poised to be part of some exciting new products. USB-C allows for a one-wire transfer of power, data, and video, and has already replaced the USB port in Apple’s Macbook Pro.
Apple’s use of new technology has historically led to widespread market adoption, which likely means USB-C will have plenty of new products coming down the pipeline for Everything USB to write about. In addition to market changes, Ian and his editorial team moderate user comments on blog posts so they can better deliver the kind of content that readers want.
“I hear from my readers asking how I get certain results if their product experience is different than mine,” Ian said. “I also try to encourage readers to have conversations with each other as the moderated user-contributed content is a treasure not to be missed.”
Through in-depth reviews and information, Everything USB has become a valuable resource that differentiates itself for an audience of tech experts.