What is a Firewire&Reg; to USB Adapter?

A USB cable to the left of two Firewire® cables.
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  • Written By: Dan Blacharski
  • Edited By: L. S. Wynn
  • Last Modified Date: 04 September 2015
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Firewire® (IEEE 1394) and USB (Universal Serial Bus) are two separate high-speed bus technologies that allow multiple devices to be connected to a computer. The two technologies are not integrated, andmeaning it is not possible to connect a USB device to a Firewire® port either directly. A Firewire® to USB adapter cable for transferring digital video (DV) is available from at least one manufacturer, but it can be expensive and difficult to find.

Even if you don't have a Firewire® to USB adapter cable, it doesn't mean that your Firewire® devices are useless if you have a USB port, or vice versa. Several companies do provide dual hubs. This type of device has two ports in a single hub, which may be either external or internal; one port is used Firewire® and one for USB, allowing either type of device to function. The combination hub is actually two separate ports combined into a single form factor for convenience; there is no conversion between Firewire® and USB taking place when you use one of these hubs.

Another alternative is simply to add two separate cards, assuming your computer has enough available slots. Firewire® and USB cards are both coming down in price, and adding whichever one is missing should not represent a major expense.


Both Firewire® and USB are efficient, high-speed bus standards. A Firewire® hub can support a data transfer rate of up to either 400Mbps or 800Mbps, depending on the standard, and a single Firewire® port can connect up to 63 devices and deliver a guaranteed rate of speed to each one. Firewire® is often used for devices that require real-time operation such as audio and video systems because of this guarantee, and it is also used frequently in storage area networks.

USB can connect more devices (up to 127), but supports data transfer rates of only up to 12Mbps. It is more often used for standard peripherals, such as mice, modems, and keyboards. The USB 2.0 standard supports speeds of up to 480Mbps, which makes it more competitive with Firewire®. On 17 November 2008, USB 3.0 specifications were released, with a transfer rate 10 times that of USB 2.0; consumer devices that use this standard were expected to be available by 2010.

If you cannot purchase a Firewire® to USB adapter, using a hub allows you to use devices that are compatible with either technology. Both technologies support Plug-and-Play and hot-plugging (hot-swappable).


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Discuss this Article

Post 115

If the operation system on your laptop or desktop computers is not compatible with software of your digital camera, then the PC won't be recognize your camcorder and you cannot transfer video from camcorder to PC.

For example ,if your camcorder software just for Windows XP,2000, 98, then this software will not work with Windows 7 or another OS. Your PC will not recognize old software from your camcorder or will download it with errors (not completely download). That is the main problem, not firewire to USB.

Post 114

A Pinnacle Moviebox is a true firewire to USB converter and provides a solution but it isn't cheap. If your laptop has a PCMCIA slot or a cardbus slot or a 34mm express card slot, you can buy a card with two firewire ports, but make sure you get the correct type of card for your laptop's slot.

This is much cheaper than the Moviebox solution.

Post 112

In order to transfer video from my mini dv camcorder to my laptop with no firewire input, I run my firewire cable from my camcorder to my dvd recorder then record from camcorder onto a blank dvd (realtime only but does the job)Load said dvd into laptop dvd drive and transfer files from disc onto p.c. Takes time but works every time.

Post 111

I've found a way around this problem. My Panasonic Blu-Ray recorder has DV input so all I needed was a Firewire cable 4-pin to 4-pin from my old camcorder to the recorder. All the editing can then be done on the Panasonic machine with the ease of remote control! Can then be burned to either DVD or Blu-Ray.

My old camcorder also has an S-video outlet (and the recorder has an S-video input) so there's yet another option. The lack of Firewire input on the PC becomes entirely irrelevant!

Post 109

I have a Mac book pro -- the last years model. I have a fire wire port but my problem is my camcorder is a new hd one but only came with a USB port so I need help as to know what wire I need.

I think I need a FireWire to USB brig/ cable but don't know where to look as there are so many different cables to buy. Can anyone help?

Post 108

If a tape is recorded on a firewire camcorder could it then be transferred to a usb only pc by playing it through a usb camcorder?

the reason im asking is because cheap usb camcorders seem cheap on Ebay, considerably cheaper than usb/firewire "converters" anyway!

Post 107

i was told that by using a firewire connection between my video camera(mini-dv tape) and computer that i can transfer the video from the DV tape by pressing "play" and then "fast forward" on the camera allowing me to download a 60 minute dv tape in about 10 minutes.

is this just a myth or is the high-speed data transfer technique a viable process?

Post 106

Solution #83 is the winner - you can get an ezcap for very cheap on ebay now, I bought a more expensive model (vcap 305 from climax digital) that works with windows 7. Forget firewire, just transfer through AV cables. Not recommended for movie producers but will do fine for DVD quality projects. Thanks for the solution!

Post 104

Is there any possibility to add any expansion cards to laptops?

Post 103

This is rupak. I want to connect 14 webcams to my computer which has only 2 usb 2.0 internal root USB hubs. When i simply connect 2 webcams directly to the usb ports only one gets detected (since 60 percent of bandwidth is allocated to the first webcam). I see here many people discussing about firewires. Can it help me for this purpose? Or is there any way i can connect 14 webcams to my comp? By the way, I use linux OS.

Post 102

Try the Pinnacle Studio MovieBox HD/ HD Ultimate.

Post 101

I have a Sony Laptop. It has 2 USB and one Firewire port. I have a USB cable /firewire cable. I want to use as another USB port. I plug cable into firewire port and nothing happens. Same if I plug into USB port. Reversing cable.

I want to use as connection for Bluetooth (USB) and to firewire port on laptop, for data and music high-speed transfers. Any help?

Post 100

help please! I have a new Imac which does not have a outlet for firewire. I have a old firewire cord, and i need to upload footage to this computer. is there a way i can get my footage onto this computer? Thanks.

Post 98

If your laptop has a wireless card bus, it's possible to install an appropriate firewire adapter there.

Post 97


I have a Canon DV600i Camcorder and a Panasonic DMR-EX79 hard-drive DVD recorder. I wanted to transfer my captured video onto my DVD recorder and bought a 4pin-4pin male plug from Maplin electronics (as both pieces of kit will support this).

Here's the rub. The Panasonic acknowledged the Canon and asked if I wanted to record to the hard-drive and when I selected it, the Rec button was greyed out and would not allow me to select. A few seconds later it came up with a message about not receiving the proper DV signal properly and took the camcorder from Paused/Play status (into which it had placed it) to Stop status.

I have a USB port on the hard

-drive, should I get a 4-pin to USB cable or 4-pin to S-video cable? (Both these options are available to me)

Also why didn't the 4-pin to 4-pin male cable work? What is the difference between the two cables I have listed above? --from an interested and frustrated lady!

Post 96

I, too, have a sony dv camcorder and a usb only laptop. I tried the analog method to get digital video to laptop. The picture quality was bad. I found a conversion box that works. The Pinnacle 510-usb does both analog and dv(firewire) conversion to usb2. No quality loss. It even comes with some nice software or you can use moviemaker.

Post 95

@anon1242: I'm wondering the same thing? any loss of quality there?

Post 93

I found a true firewire to USB converter (complete with proprietary conversion chip) but, sadly, it's sold out and the manufacturer has discontinued it. It was designed to allow all of us with camcorders equipped with firewire (or Sony i.LINK) to download to laptops without firewire inputs.

Since USB 2.0 is so much slower then firewire maybe someone should work on a firewire to eSATA converter since laptops seem all have an SATA input now.

I've got four Sony camcorders with i.LINK out and a new Sony laptop with no way to connect.

Post 92

I have a Nikon Scanner LS-4000 which uses a firewire IEEE 1394 to transfer data to my PC. Recently my PC became unserviceable. How can I connect my scanner to a USB on a laptop now (except macbook)?

Post 91

Microsoft recently added a v1394 set of instructions, somehow embedded in the new sp3 update. this has virtually nullified the firewire usage parameters, changed the speed, etc. Now dv cameras are not recognized on the fire wire bus. there are various hot fixes released by Microsoft, but they don't work. Personally, I'm seeking a fire wire capture device, with its own integral hard drive solution. there must be something out there. as a fall back option, I have a old imac which captures film OK, albeit the problem of getting the captured film from mac to pc, presents other issues.

Post 90

True that there will be loss of quality from an AV out of camcorder capture but some even newer laptop has no ExpressCard slot. For some, the loss of quality can be acceptable if no other option is available. For those converting VHS, D8, and other analog video to MP4 or other digital format, AV out might be the best option. Use of firewire can sometimes be impossible at all.

Post 89

I have observed that transferring video files using a video capturing device through the AV out of a video camcorder results in a tremendous video quality loss. The best way to transfer these files to your PC with no firewire slot would be through an ExpressCard (next-gen PCMCIA) with a firewire slot, that is inserted to a USB ExpressCard slot adapter.

It would be costly but would definitely deliver quality video clips from your camcorder to your laptop.

Post 88

I have the same problem. Solution no. 83 seems the most logical so I bought a USB capture device. Try to search for MYGICA EZgrabber2. Very good product. I use it and works well. Small enough to carry along.

Post 87

I just made a big mistake. I bought a laptop Emachines E 525. Fast processor 250G HD.

It is sealed. It has two USB 2 ports. I have a Canon HD cam that transfers from DV to firewire only.

It works fine with the "floor" computer and a firewire hub.

I do travel with videography my aim, but no way on road to download. I see USB to fire wire but it looks like they have BUS connects, not four wire USB 2.

What if anything, short of just giving up and editing tapes when I get home, can be done?

Post 86

I have a Gateway nv78 laptop. I want to add a firewire port for an audio interface. Possible?

Post 85

I just bought a hub put out by IOGEAR from Microcenter. They said it will work with my Canon Optura pi DV video camera. The camera has a 4 pin firewire and goes to a 6 pin FireWire male plug. The hub is a USB 2.0/FireWire mini hub that is suppose to let you run cameras, etc., and has 4 USB and 3 6 pin FireWire jacks and one up link to the computer. it works with my Canon still camera which uses a mini/regular USB. But nothing happens when I plug in my Canon video camera. Any help would be great.

Post 83

The best solution I can think of is this:

Almost all camcorder has an analog AV out (NTSC). Buy a USA video capture device such as Easycap 4 Channel USB DVR Video Capture Adapter #9908 (less than 15 bucks online). Connect your camcorder or VHS player video and audio out through you computer USB and capture them in different format such as MPEG4 for editing or to DVD recorder. They sometimes include video editing software too. Very simple. Problem solved. Please let me know.


Post 81

I to have the problem of hooking my DCR-TRV33 Digital Sony Cam. I have an XP tower equipped with express card firewire. It will work up to about a minute of capture and then starts to studder. This either with Windows Movie Maker or Video Studio X3.

Sony won't give me an answer, nor will MIcrosoft. I have an old Imac and it is running rock solid. Apparently the newer driver for XP had to be updated to accommodate the newer Sony cams. So the silly protocols start at 800 and jump down to 400 and then it dies.

Anybody have a solution other then buying a new imac or some way to stream my data for the mac to pc or firewire to sata or firewire to ethernet? All of which I can't seem to locate. I have tons of tapes to dub and convert to DVDs. Anybody else suffering? How about solutions! -Steve

Post 80

i have a video camera which i cannot transfer videos to my computer because i do not have the correct cable. my computer has usb ports but no fire wire. i have the correct firewire cable but not the adaptor to connect both together. can anyone help with info on which cable to search for?

Post 78

I too experienced the problem of reduced quality transferring Mini DV footage over via USB. What I did manage to find out is when transferred via USB, the camera or software slightly compresses it with the result of quality reduction.

I did a big wedding for a friend and couldn't work out what was happening, when streamed directly from cam to TV the picture was perfect, but after transferring via USB it was poor.

The answer was to use the Firewire port, no compression and the same quality from source was transferred.

Post 77

#69 by anon74003:

"Why the hell would USB lose out? What difference does connector make USB 2.0 440Mb/s and FW 400Mb/s. If there is every any loss in quality is due to some compression or file conversion going on before it gets to the cable connectors or in whatever is being used (software) to capture...not the transfer method."

Most miniDV camcorders equipped with both Firewire and USB connectors use USB connection only to transfer reduced quality video (or captured photo on their memory card), suitable only for a webcam. Don't know the exact reason, don't even understand.

Post 76

#68 by anon74002: "its all 1s and 0s. I had a xbox controller which I clipped off the end, clipped a usb end off a usb cable and soldered the wires together, and guess what? I have a working xbox to usb controller for my PC. Its all just wires. You're just getting data from point A to B. Just cause the 'end is different' doesn't mean it can't work. Take it apart and make it work!"

I doubt you know anything about computers. Yes, it's all 1s and 0s, but they form commands. Firewire devices do not speak USB commands. USB and Firewire are totally different protocols.

Post 75

POST 72 - would you be so kind to provide more details on this £20 VCR analog converter? Name or link..I fancy tracking one down. Thanks.

Post 73

I have a question that I can't find the answer for. I am planning on recording my PS3's gaming footage with a camcorder via hookups, but to upload it to the pc after recording it calls for connecting the camcorder to my PC via Firewire. One end is suppose to go into the camcorder and the other is suppose to hook up to the firewire slot on the pc.

Well, I don't have a Firewire slot on my pc, is there anything I can do? And if anyone knows of a camcorder that I can do this with that integrates USB to the PC instead of firmware please let me know also. Thank you.

Post 72

Don't get too worried if a mini DV camcorder has analog or digital transfer to the laptop. If no firewire port then use a VCR analog converter from camcorder into the USB on the PC. Cheap - £20 including editing software. Quality of home videos hardly an issue. Everyone enjoys them.

Post 70

Post 52 is right. There is a company in the US which sells firewire to USB cables and there is a device which converts the signal in-between. I tried and it works! 150USD well spent!

Post 69

"anon64088: Try connecting your Mini Dv camcorder via USB transfer it over footage via whatever software you wish to use, then compare the same action via a firewire transfer.

There will be a clear difference in quality, with USB losing out. "

Why the hell would USB lose out? What difference does connector make USB 2.0 440Mb/s and FW 400Mb/s. If there is every any loss in quality is due to some compression or file conversion going on before it gets to the cable connectors or in whatever is being used (software) to capture...not the transfer method.

Capture with the same standard using both firewire and usb and you'll see they are the same.

Post 68

"I've worked with computers for the past five years in both a computer shop and currently in an electronics store. It is impossible to connect USB to firewire. They are two totally different connections. Usb is for data only; you cannot carry video along usb unless you get a bulky conversion box in between the two ends.

- anon65527"

You work with computers yet know nothing about electronics then. What do you think you're working with? Its all the flow of electronics over a conductor. "It is impossible to connect USB to firewire. They are two totally different connections" It's all 1s and 0s. I had an xbox controller which I clipped off the end, clipped a usb

end off a usb cable and soldered the wires together, and guess what? I have a working xbox to usb controller for my PC. Its all just wires. You're just getting data from point A to B. Just cause the 'end is different' doesn't mean it can't work. Take it apart and make it work!
Post 66

you can get a Belkin firewire/USB 2.0 PCI CARD * 3-USB/2-FIREWIRE PCI card for £11 delivered on Amazon. There are plenty of You Tube videos to show you how to fit them too.

Post 65

Is it possible to use an external hard drive to 'convert' from Firewire to USB i.e. download from my camera to my external HD using Firewire and then upload to my computer using USB?

I severely doubt that this is possible, however I'm trying to know that exact answer. I can only assume that its not possible because you would need to communicate with the camera directly. Someone please tell me otherwise.

Post 64

There are two adapters available, depending on the cable used. You can check online. I've seen two adapters: IEEE 1394 6F/4M Adaptor and the IEEE 1394 6M/4F Adaptor. There are probably other sources. I am sorry to see anger and arrogance in the postings.

Post 63

can i use power from firewire to charge a usb device?

Post 62

Re: "Sorry, but there cannot be a reduction in quality in the digital world. You either got it or you ain't." anon60488

This is why I hate the internet. That's about the dumbest statement I've come across yet on the Internet which is seemingly filled with an infinite number of "expert" opinions. I don't know what planet you're from, anon60488, but here on earth, in the world of audio recording, the quality and design of things like the conversion circuitry absolutely have an obvious effect on the quality of the recordings produced. If "there cannot be a reduction in quality in the digital world" were true we'd all be using cheap Dell laptops instead of top-of-the-line Macs.

Post 61

I've worked with computers for the past five years in both a computer shop and currently in an electronics store. It is impossible to connect USB to firewire. They are two totally different connections. Usb is for data only; you cannot carry video along usb unless you get a bulky conversion box in between the two ends.

Post 60

anon64088: Try connecting your Mini Dv camcorder via USB transfer it over footage via whatever software you wish to use, then compare the same action via a firewire transfer.

There will be a clear difference in quality, with USB losing out.

Post 59

if i had the money for it, i would sue these camcorder and cable/adapter manufacturers for restrictive trade practices and giving out misleading info. i would also arrange to have them flogged in public.

Post 58

Sorry, but there cannot be a reduction in quality in the digital world. You either got it or you ain't.

Post 57

Well, like most people on here i have a MiniDV camcorder and my brand new laptop doesn't have a firewire port! My fault really, as I forgot about using my camcorder.

Anyway, the long and short of it is merely connecting your firewire head to a USB port via some sort of adaptor does work, however you will still experience the quality reduction with the movie footage.

The only solution is if you have a laptop with an expansion slot (PC Card / ExpressCard) to allow you to add a firewire connector. If, like me, your laptop doesn't even have an expansion slot, you have few options available to you. Live with the poor quality footage via USB, or buy a new camcorder. Bummer, I know.

Post 56

There is no USB to Firewire cable. You can buy an external drive that has both usb and firewire connections.

You can buy old Apple G4's very cheaply to get a firewire setup for your DV conversions. Sounds like a lot but its not. From there you can transfer it over using the G4's usb connection.

The new firewire 800 as opposed to the original firewire 400 is included with the new mac books. You can buy a firewire 400 to 800 adapter.

Post 55

yeah that should be possible, all depends on how compatible the format of your camera is.

Post 54

It's a nightmare of mismatched standards that these jerks selling products play. DV camcorders have firewire outputs only, but most PCs and even the new Apple Macbook (13" Aluminum) doesn't have Firewire port as input. So there's no freaking way you can download video files from camcorder to a computer unless your computer has that firewire port.

All the cables sold in market as Firewire - USB doesn't do a squat. I wasted my money, and am resolved with fact that my videos will only stay on cassettes.

Post 53

I’m an amateur musician and want to purchase an audio/midi interface for my guitar, keyboard and/or mic into a PC (Vista 32). I don’t want to purchase a toy, yet money is keeping me from spending twice the price for a firewire device vs usb.

If I purchased a USB device, is there an adapter or cable that someone could recommend to convert that USB to firewire? Assuming there is, might I be saving money doing it that way? And, if so, what am I gaining anyway? :-)

I’d appreciate any thoughts you have. Thanks, Richard --Los Angeles

Post 52

this article did not answer the question at all. There is one company that did offer a firewire to usb adapter for offloading dv video from a camcorder to a notebook with only usb ports. the adapter was about $150.

Post 49

There are express card adaptors (34 mm) which can provide usb as well as firewire ports. You can plug in these cards in the express card slot of your laptops and can connect to firewire devices.

Post 48

Lots of posts on this but no real answer or agreement. Some say no way to use firewire to usb adapter, or media card. Looks like it's impossible to get to Vista and it only would work with Windows XP? How do I get my Sony Handycam (mine is DCR-HC28) videos to a computer or DVD burner that does not have firewire ports and only has USB ports.

Post 47

As I understand it one cannot go from Firewire to USB, but can one go from a USB device to Firewire on a PC? I saw a Firewire cable with what look like the mini-connector found on USB devices, i.e.: my JVC HDD camcorder has this mini-connector as does my VHS to DVD VIDBOX. Would this in fact speed up the data transfer or it simply not communicate because of the different protocols?

Post 46

i have jvc camcorder and need cable to download and edit my movie. i have a dell laptop but has no firewire just usb. is it possible there is a different dv cable for this purpose? what can i do?

Post 45

Please, can somone help me out?

Surely in this new millennium there is technology available to transfer the happy holiday/school play videos onto my laptop somehow?

I have a Sony Digicam with digital tapes.

Has anybody got any advice? I'd be truly grateful :¬)

Post 44

Since Firewire and USB are two totally different interfaces (not only hardware wise but also the protocol) I cannot see how connecting USB to firewire on a electrical level would solve the protocol issue. Firewire uses a kind of handshaking mechanism where USB is master-slave. So how do these hubs handle this? They problably don't I suppose

Post 43

Hello folks old dino here. Kindergarten level of computer knowledge lol! My question: I have a Canon Camcorder that uses a DV cable to transfer video to a PC, but my PC only has USB ports. It also has an Av cable to view videos on TV. I have Windows Movie Maker, and ROXIO Creator (not sure how updated). I would like to transfer my videos from the camcorder which uses mini DVs and I would also like to transfer standard VHS tapes. I'm a complete idiot so please bear with me. My CPU has Windows XP. My computer is a Dell Vostro 200 it has an Intel Pentium Dual CPU E2160 @ 1.80 GHz processor, and 1.79 Ghz with o.99 GB of RAM. Can you tell me if my CPU has enough capability and if so what accessories would I need to get there? Thanks so much!

Post 42

I am in the same dilemma with most of the posts above. I want to import videos from a camcorder with firewire port but only have a laptop with usb ports. Bought a fireware>usb cable and nothing happens when I connect the camcorder to the laptop. Would expect that the cable has a chip that does the conversion since it doesn’t come with an installation disk. Spent the past couple of hours searching for a driver online without luck. I am yet to read of anybody that has success with the cable and am also asking the same question as anon6218, why are sites selling the cable when it does not work? Anybody knows where I can get a driver or something to make it work?

Post 40

doubtful as dual access hard drives (usb/firewire) still have to be written/read to from the connecting device so unless your camcorder has the option to record or transfer data to an external hard drive, there's no way for you to get the data from the camera to the hard drive.

as for you folks trying to use a cable to connect firewire into a usb port, unless the cable comes with the required software drivers (windows doesn't have one built in) you can't do it, simply because firewire and USB are not just about the cable, they're actually compression algorithms, so by plugging a firewire device into a usb slot would be like having a Chinese person trying to speak to a Russian, without an interpreter(which would be the driver) they wouldn't understand each other and you'd get gibberish.

Post 39

okay, so i bought a cord ("Simo" is the brand) that connects from multiple othe cords on one end (including fire-wire 4-pin, most importantly) and then USB and normal firewire on the otherside.

now, the laptop i use does not have a firewire slot on it for some reason, and when we bought a firewire CARD*card* it did not work.

so i bought the multible-cables one, and it still is not registering that there is a camera.

it's making the sounds recognizing a usb being plugged in, but that's it.

does this mean i got ripped off and it really *doesn't* connect firewire to usb?

its got this little box between the bundle of other cords and the two, is this almost like a hub?

Post 38

anon2502 posted that all macbooks come with firewire connections.......unfortunately the newest macbook does not. I found this out when I bought my daughter a macbook for Christmas for the purpose of making movies. Does anyone have a solution for transferring video from a Sony DCR-HC21 to a new macbook?

Post 37

I've got a problem with my mac book: My USB ports don't now, I can transfer files only by the firewire 400 port and my external drive has only a USB 2.0 entry.

I would like to plug into the firewire port an adapter to USB 2.0, and then connect my external drive to the adapter.

I've read some posts here at seems to be impossible, do you think there is an other solution?? Thanks a lot in advance!

Post 36

All MacBooks come with a firewire port.

Post 35

I just bought a MacBook alu. Sadly, there is no Firewire port on it. Is there anyway to use Firewire with it? I have a firebox (by presonus), and I fear that it may be useless now! Any ideas?

Post 34

Firewire to USB is not possible!!!

if you try to change a 400/800Mbps to 12/480Mbps what do you think will happen??? the data will become corrupt and the devices will be damaged

Also DV (the standard set by sony for digicamera etc) is different to Firefire but has similar standards.

Post 33

I just received a 4-pin firewire to usb adapter (about 2 inches long) from Hong Kong. I am in the central US. It cost me $2.69, which included shipping, on eBay.

Post 32

why would you need to? the usb would severely bottleneck the speed, what benefit is gained?

Post 31

I'd like to connect USB 2.0 devices - through whatever miraculous blackbox - to a Firewire port. More and more devices are USB 2.0, but I've got an early G3 Dual USB iBook (yes, this Mac still works fine ... perhaps the last one on the planet) and there's obviously no possibility to upgrade to USB 2.0 (and I'm not planning to spend my coming vacations waiting for 40+GB to be transferred at 1.1 USB's "breathtaking" 12Mbps).

Post 30

Firewire to USB for $119, boy oh boy, just buy firewire card only $19 included cable.

what a rip off.

Post 29

The statement " is not possible to connect a USB device to a Firewire port either directly or through the use of a Firewire to USB adapter" is false if we assume the term "adapter" to mean more than a simple cross-wired cable. Several previous posts have correctly outlined how such a conversion could be done. This is also already being done to convert several legacy protocols: Serial->USB (not as simple as one would think and requires chips-on-cable); PATA/SATA->USB; PATA/SATA->Firewire; SCSI->FireWire; etc. Pretty much any USB or Firewire device is already doing similar types of bridging -- Ethernet->USB; WiFi->USB. Unfortunately, as far as i know, no one sells a generic USB->Firewire or Firewire->USB converter -- yet! I'm hoping that at the very least the USB->Firewire video cable mentioned by several above gets Mac OS X and Windows Vista driver support.

Post 28

I have a standard USB on my Toshiba Tecra and I want to connect my Sony PCR9E Camcorder and download from the tape so i can edit and copy to CD/DVD. the Camcorder has a USB connector on it but when I attach it to the Laptop it is not recognized. Anyone have any ideas how I can transfer from the digital tape to the laptop? (I have read somewhere about possibly 'Firewire' but not sure how to go about it/hardware to buy etc?

Moderator's reply: good question! check out our article, how can i turn my home movies into dvds? for more info!

Post 27

"Although there is no such thing as a Firewire to USB adapter ..."


I found two -- visit the "usbfirewire" website or google for "USB to FireWire adaptor" and it should be the first hit. It is a small pod with a normal USB-A male connector on one end, and a 4-pin FireWire connector on the other. If you want to hook a FireWire-only DV camcorder up to a computer that only has USB ports, then this is the adaptor you need. Not cheap, and it is limited to Windows XP, but it does work.

Post 26

I have a laptop that only has two usb ports and i want to download video from my camcorder but it can only be done with a firewire port which my computer doesn't have I also don't have a slot for a card bus is there any hub that actually works that anyone knows of???

Post 25

I am using Vista on a new laptop with only usb ports, I would like to connect a firewire from my canon 1d to operate tethered. Please does anyone know if this can be done and if so how, Thank you

Post 24

About that post above this one: you can add firewire to your laptop by adding a Laptop FireWire Card, connected in the expansion slot. I found one for my levovo laptop, at the ibm site...quite expensive but worth every penny.

Post 23

I also found a usb to firewire cable

Runs about 120, but says it's guaranteed to work. Guess it must...

Post 22

Where can i find a dual/usb hub? my laptop doesn't have an express port or a firewire port and thus has no way of getting firewire, however according to this article there are usb/firewire hubs but so far i haven't found any online that does this. ADS DLX-182 Tech Dual Link Hub and the weird LaCie hub were ones i was looking at, however on the bottom of the ADS one it says note: this unit does not convert USB to FireWire or vice versa and i have no clue how the LaCie hubby connects to the computer or if it will connect a firewire device through usb. If anyone knows a device that works can connect a firewire device to my usb port or if anyone knows more about these two devices please respond thanks.

Post 21

I have a cable that has the DV connector on one end and a USB plug on the other. My computer calls this "an unrecognized device". My computer does not have a Firewire port. Am I wasting my time and four dollars trying to use this cable? Is there any way to use a Firewire to USB cable without any additional hardware?

Post 20

A USB 2.0 to Firewire adapter does exist. However it only works with Windows XP (does not support Vista of Mac)

Post 19

I'm a film student who does a lot of editing and I'm even looking into concentrating solely on editing. I have a Lacie external hard drive, but is unfortunately a USB connection. I'd really like to know if there's any way a duel USB/Firewire would allow my hard drive to connect to a computer via firewire. thanks!

Post 18

There is a firewire to USB (2) connector. You can get one made specifically for cameras and camcorders. It's quite steep but it's better than logging around my dock with my Sony UX ultra mini computer. I'm going to try it tonight if I can capture in real time from the camera to the computer with DVSPLIT. Hope me luck.

Post 17


have you tried using a card reader? you can pick one up fairly easily and inexpensively, and some are adaptable to read several different types of memory. i had to buy one when my built in computer card reader stopped working, and my usb cable on my camera gave out. it works great!

Post 16

i have a pc with only usb 2.o ports and camera with only firewire 400. is there a solution?

Post 15

I got an external hard drive on usb, with movies on it, and i got a tv with a firewire input, how would somebody connect the hard drive to the tv?

Post 14

Hello, why are sites selling USB to 6 Pin FireWire converters if they are completely different technology, and it couldn't possibly work?

Post 12

You say firewire and usb are two different technologies!? How come some sites are selling adapters from firewire(4&6 pin) to usb?

Post 11

We're trying to import video from the Sony DCR-TRV19 Handycam onto a Mac. Unfortunately, it's not being recognized as a drive. It supposedly works on the camera owner's Mac at home, and did not need any separate software or drivers. I didn't find any Mac drivers for this device anyway when I searched. The owner seems to think the problem is due to the camera needing a firewire cable to import, but the socket is clearly for a USB cable and is marked as such. The owner believes he used a firewire cable to import before and that we need a "USB to firewire" cable. This article claims that no such thing exists, so...can anybody else offer any ideas on what the problem might be?

Post 10

I have an imac flat screen, the usb ports have been damaged so only the firewire port works, the machine is unusable, can't connect the keyboard or mouse, any suggestions?

Post 9

I have an old iMac, a similar problem to the one above. I have a TV device which requires a USB 2.0 port and I only have Firewire 400 ports and USB 1.1 ports. I need a cable or a hub that will allow me to plug the TV device into it and I need the hub/adapter to plug into my Firewire 400 port. Is there anything out there??

Post 8

The best way i can think to bridge a firewire to a usb device would be to get the chipset for both a firewire and a usb port and put a piece of flash memory in the middle so that one device can store to the flash memory and the other can read from it, the flash memory will just have to have multiple inputs and outputs on it.

Post 7

I would like to connect my 16GB flash memory drive to my iMac. The drive is USB 2.0 of course, and my iMac's USB ports are SLOW (USB 1.1). My iMac has a nice juicy Firewire connection (fast) that I would love to plug my 16GB drive into.

Obviously just converting the connection form factors is not sufficient as Firewire and USB protocols are completely different, plus the data rates are different. However, there is no question that such a conversion can be done by means of a "bridge" acting as a broker between the Firewire and USB connections. The broker basically "translates" between the 2 different protocols and does some buffering. This is what the "movibox" mentioned above

is doing.

I have searched for an external device that can act as such a bridge/broker but with no success. Adding a fast USB port to my iMac is not an option; all of it's slots are full. If anyone runs across such a device please post the info here! I'm tempted to build one and sell it as it appears no one is serving this need.

Post 6

I have a PCMCIA firewire card that allows me to add firewire capabilities to my laptop via the PCMCIA slot.

I also have a PC that does not have a firewire port. The PC has USB 2.0 running WinXP. My question here is can I buy a USB PCMCIA card adapter which I can fix on my PC and use my PCMCIA firewire card with it?

Post 5

I have recently bought a laptop which has 3 usb port but no firewire port. What should I do to be able to connect my Digital Video Camera to my laptop?

Post 3

In the light of the above, does a pinnacle moviebox work.....the output is usb2.0 and the input either analog video or ilink / firewire / mini-dv using a six pin firewire connection directly to 4 pin dv out from a camcorder. dv in and out are supported and the computer 'sees' the camera which can be controlled from the pc console.... that must be converting something ??????

Post 2

I don't really know anything about lingo or computers.... but how do I install a "firewire" if I want to take pictures with my camera phone and then download them onto my computer (I don't have a Mac)???

Post 1

Is it possible to use an external hard drive to 'convert' from Firewire to USB i.e. download from my camera to my external HD using Firewire and then upload to my computer using USB?

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