General Networking/Lan/Wan/USB Switches and Hubs.


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QUESTION: Dear Sudhanshu‎‎

Can there be advantages in manufacturing Ethernet based USB Switches and Hubs similar to Ethernet 10/100 MBPS, Gigabit Ethernet switches for sharing computers and peripherals ?.

For example :

24 port Ethernet Switch / Hub having USB Ports on the Device, the Data transfer will be through USB Cables connected from USB Ports
to computers (servers,laptops,workstations,peripherals etc) having USB LAN controllers.

i.e. Comparing data transfer speeds offered by 10/100 MBPS Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet v/s USB technology.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

ANSWER: Hi Prashant...
I don;t see any advantages if you want to use USB ports to connect other devices rather than use it just as a port to transfer some files locally to the device or if to connect a limited number of devices like a mouse, keyboard or a pen drive.

Basic objective of a switch is to transfer data at longer distances - 100mt without degrading speed, reliably and securely.
Ethernet is technically more reliable and secure than USB.
Ethernet can go up to 100meter whereas USB to 5 mt. Beyond that you need to have another switch...with USB this will become unmanageable and financially unrealistic.
Ethernet do not expect you to have a driver software whereas with USB you should have.
Ethernet understand power over Ethernet and TCP, whereas USB has difficulties.
So i really don;t see an advantage except cost which will be negated when you get into distance limitation of USB.
Hope this helps.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Sudhanshu

Thank you.

Do you feel USB 3.0 technology can overcome this limitations in terms of data transfer speed and distance over Ethernet ?.

i.e. USB 3.0 LAN/MAN/WAN Networks over Ethernet 10/100 MBPS, Gigabit Ethernet Networks.

i.e. USB Cards, USB adapters, USB Cables, USB Hubs, USB Switches, USB Devices etc.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Basic point to understand, Prashant, is that the objective of USB and Ethernet are different. If you are only looking at number of 4.8G of USB3 vs 100M/1G/10G Ethernet, its an easy guess that USB3 is ahead of two Ethernet standards but distance limitation still exists.

Ethernet is meant  to transfer data over a distance securely and reliably whereas USB can be an extension of your motherboard or can be a storage.

Hope this helps

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Sudhanshu Gupta


Any question related to IP routing protocols - BGP/OSPF/IGRP/EIGRP/RIP, HSRP. Bridging/DLSW, Cisco routers and Switches, LAN/WAN installation and monitoring.


I have about 14 yeras of experience in networking. I am an MCSE and CCIE (7334).

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