USB to Firewire Solutions - Do they really exist?
One of the most common requests we get is "is there a cable or an adapter that I can buy" that will plug into my USB ports and give me Firewire on the other end" The short answer is no. Well sort of "no" as some companies claim they have an adapter that will convert USB to Firewire for XP only but we've yet to see it work and the prices are very expensive.
The problem is that Firewire (IEEE 1394) and USB are two completely different standards and engineering a solution to route Firewire via a USB port is neither easy nor cheap. The lack of any reasonably priced (sub £100) adapters being generally available illustrates the problem.
Whilst USB to RS-232 (Serial), USB to Parallel, USB to Ethernet are all commonly available and typically for around £10-£15 USB to Firewire is not and USB to Firewire Adapters at a reasonable price don't look like they will be available any time soon.
So, if you need to connect something to your PC firewire (typically a camcorder so you can transfer video footage) then the simplest option is to upgrage either your Desktop or Laptop PC to support Firewire. This is really easy to do, particulalry if your have got a laptop with either an Express Card slot or PCMCIA card slot - in this case you simply buy the appropriate Firewire Express card or Firewire PCMCIA Card and plug it into your laptop, reboot the laptop and you have Firewire ports - these solutions are typically under £20 and they are a much better soluition than an external cable adapter kit anyway.
For Desktop PC's its a little tricker but still relatively easy. For Desktop PC's you will need to open the case and install a Firewire PCI card - no real technical skills are needed other than an ability to use a screwdriver. The Firewire PCI cards only slot in one way and once installed just pop the side panel back on and restart the PC. Firewire cards are less expensive than Laptop Firewire cards coming in at around £10.
Once you've added firewire to your PC remember you're going to need a Firewire 6Pin to 4Pin cable to connect the Camcorder to the PC. Again these are freely availalbe for just a couple of pounds.
USBNow have a range of solutions to upgrade your Laptop or Desktop PC to support Firewire. See here:
2 Port Firewire (i.Link) Express Card
Apiotek COMBO Firewire + USB 2.0 Express Card Adapter
4 Port Firewire (i.Link) PCI Card (NEC Chipset)
2 Port Firewire (i.Link) PCMCIA Card
Firewire (i.Link) (IEEE1394) 2M Cables