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Types of Docking Stations and their Uses

Friday, June 25, 2021 11:31:13 AM Africa/Johannesburg

Types of Docking Stations and their Uses

You know the struggle, contorting your body underneath your desk trying to gain access to the rear panel of your desktop computer to insert a flash drive. You could feel around and hope that what you’re touching is the correct USB port, or you could remove the guess work and utilise a docking station! So, what are docking stations and where are they most effectively used? You’re about to find out…

What is a Docking Station?

Essentially, a docking station is an extension device used to effortlessly ‘plug in’ computer peripherals. Docking stations are also extensively used in vehicles nowadays thanks to the huge surge in mobile computing popularity.

A USB docking station, for example, is a small rectangular device that is plugged permanently into one of your computer’s USB ports and sits atop your desk. So, when you need to plug a USB device into your PC, forget struggling on your hands and knees – simply plug the device directly into the USB docking station!

Modern docking stations now include smartphone charging stations, as well as platforms to charge laptop computers without the need for long tangle-prone charging cables. Here are a few popular types of docking stations:

Types of Docking Stations

Breakout Docks

Considered the most popular docking station, the breakout dock essentially replicates and, in the case of USB porting, multiplies a computer’s available ports. For example, a breakout dock could feature a female VGA display port, a female HDMI port, and multiple USB ports.

Regarding the USB ports, one USB connector is inserted into a single USB port on the computer itself, multiplying the number of USB devices and peripherals you can plug into your PC at once.

Computer Stands

Simply put, computer stand docking stations make operating your computer or laptop much easier. Laptop computer stands are extremely popular, and often feature multiple USB-powered fans that blow cool air into the underside of a laptop.

These computer stand docking stations are also ergonomically designed, which means they position your laptop in such a way so as not to put strain on your body while you work.

Mobile Docking Stations

Mobile docking stations, also referred to as vehicle mounts, are vehicle-based laptop and tablet housing units that charge and house portable computing solutions in an ergonomic way.

These docking stations are extensively used by travelling representatives in the law-enforcement, traffic control, logistics and telecommunications industries.

These mobile docking stations are often subjected to heavy vibratory forces, especially when travelling along more rural roadways, and for this reason many are designed specifically to withstand the many severities of travel.

Where Docking Stations are Used

Breakout Docks

  • Home Offices
  • Corporate Offices
  • Gaming Rigs
  • Boardrooms

Computer Stands

  • Corporate Offices
  • Call Centres
  • Home Offices

Mobile Docking Stations

  • Telecommunications Vehicles
  • Police Vehicles
  • Ambulances
  • Travelling Sales Representatives
  • Fire Departments

Why Use a Docking Station?

Docking stations are also great for protecting your laptop or computer’s various ports! Often, USB devices fail not because they are faulty, but because the computer’s USB ports are damaged from constantly plugging and unplugging peripherals (such as a mouse, external hard drive, 3G dongle, etc).

Imagine this:

It’s twenty past eight on a Wednesday night, when your phone rings. It’s Tannie Mercia phoning with the same problem again. She can’t connect to the internet because her 3G dongle is not working. The problem? Her laptop’s USB port has picked up some damage from plugging in and pulling out her dongle repeatedly.

Notebooks and laptops have limited ports, especially the thinner variety. Docking Stations, or more accurately Port Replicators, save your existing ports much wear and tear by taking the brunt of your daily plugging in and out. For long-term longevity of your notebook and its various ports - invest in a docking station!

Docking Stations in a Nutshell

A docking station is just a way to connect your laptop to devices and a monitor more easily than continuously disconnecting and reconnecting each device. Connections – such as a mouse, keyboard, monitor, network cable, and a power cord – are plugged into the docking station that is located on your desk. Then when you want to use a monitor and keyboard/mouse, you simply plug your laptop into the docking station.

We hope we’ve shed some light on docking stations, the types you find, and where they are most effectively used. If you think a docking station is something you or your company could use – see our Weable docking stations. Want to discuss your options with a human? Connect with Weable today!

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