FireWire Port Guide

By soumitra, Gaea News Network
Thursday, September 17, 2009

portFireWire is some type of Serial Port which uses the serial bus interface standard for high speed data transfer. The term FireWire was actually coined by Apple as they began to include this port in their camcorders since 1995. And now-a-days the FireWire Port is used on a number of other devices than only the camcorder. IEEE 1394 replaced the parallel SCSI cables because of their lower cost and simplified cabling system. Continue Reading to know more about the FireWire Ports.

Key Features

  • Fire Wire can connect up to 63 peripheral devices using tree chain topology.
  • It can sustain a data throughput of almost 100MBps for FireWire 800 and almost 50MBps for FireWire 400 which is significantly higher than the maximum sustained data throughput of about 40MBps in case of USB external HDDs.
  • It supports multiple hosts per bus.
  • Supports plug and play.
  • Hot swapping supported i.e. no need to switch off the system to connect/disconnect devices.firewire
  • Peer to peer device communication possible i.e. communication between a scanner and a printer can take place without system memory or CPU overhead.
  • Cables can be 4.5 metres long and flexible than other parallel cables.
  • It can supply a maximum of 45 watts per port at up to 30 Volts which is more than enough for most devices.


How do I know if I already have a firewire port?


How should I locate FireWire Port in my computer?

Take a look at all of your computer’s external ports. If you have an Apple Computer that was built after 2000 or a new Sony Computer, then probably there is a FireWire port already installed. Generally it is installed near the USB Ports and looks like a small rectangle with angled corners on one side and 4 small teeth inside. There might be a firewire logo like then above which looks like a radioactive warning symbol sitting next to the port or there might be only a IEEE 1394 written beside it.

What should I do if I don’t have a firewire port in my computer?

You can add firewire port to your PC by adding a PCI FireWire adapter card. If you have a laptop you can do so by using a FireWire notebook adapter as shown in the picture. If you have a old motherboard then you may need to replace it if the card is not compatible with it.

What Operating Systems Support FireWire?

FireWire is supported by all major OS including Microsoft Windows XP, Free BSD, Linux, MacOS 8.6 through Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X as well as NetBSD and Haiku.

Filed under: Apple, Company, Featured Article, Gadget, Sony


Peter Kirslake
September 17, 2009: 10:58 am

“The term FireWire was actually coined by Apple as they began to include this port in their camcorders since 1995.”

Since when did Apple ever make camcorders? Did you mean Sony (who call it i-link) perhaps?

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