What is a card reader?
A card reader is a device which allows you to insert the memory cards used by devices such as Digital Cameras, Phones and games consoles into them to transfer data to and from your PC. A cable is almost always supplied with all devices intended to be connected to a computer. The transfer speeds using the supplied cable can often be low and result in it taking a very long time to copy over your data. If you have a good card reader into which you insert your memory card the process is considerably faster. Transferring 2GB (about 400 photos) straight onto a PC will take about 1/6th the time using a card reader.
How do they connect to my PC?
Most memory card readers have adopted the USB interface as the standard for PC connection. With support for USB 1.0, 1.1, 2.0 and now also 3.0 the highest transfer speeds are on offer. The benefit of the USB connections is in most cases there are no extra cables required to power the card reader. Internal card readers most commonly use the internal USB header connections.
What to look for in a card reader?
The first thing to look for in a card reader is does it support the card you wish to use. After this it is recommended to look at transfer speeds .
The number of different memory cards that a multi card reader can accept is usually expressed as x-in-1. With x being the number of memory cards the multi card reader can read E.G. 16-in-1.
It is always advisable to purchase the quickest and most fully featured card reader you can, you never know what standard of memory card your next phone or camera might use!