Differences between USB Extenders and USB to Ethernet Adapters

USB Extender vs. USB to Ethernet Adapter

USB extenders and USB to Ethernet adapters are both devices that we may need to use in our daily work. But what is the difference between them? And when do we need them?

Briefly, if you don’t have a free Ethernet port on your computer to connect to a wired network, a USB Ethernet adapter will provide the required connection.

If you want to use your USB peripherals far away from the host computer, you may need a USB extender to run the cable to where you need it, while still using your machine’s USB capabilities.

What is USB Technology?

The computer’s Universal Serial Bus (USB) port enables fast data transfer between a peripheral and your computer, such as a printer, keyboard, external hard drive, or sound card.

Since its debut in 1995, USB has evolved into a standard component in systems of all sizes. The USB port, combined with a plug-and-play operating system, enables you to easily connect the peripheral to your system while the OS automatically sets up the system for the use of the attached device.

What do USB Extenders Do?

The transmission length of the USB cable limits the distance of the USB connection. The signal starts to deteriorate when wires get longer than what is advised. This length is just under 5 meters/16 feet for a USB cable connection (the most recent at the time of publication). This means that for your business systems, any USB-enabled device must be placed within 5 meters/16 feet of your computer system.

However, a USB extender can be used to extend this distance. An extender is a two-part gadget that uses a CatX cable connection to increase the distance between your PC and USB peripherals. The device has two parts: a transmitter (TX) and a receiver (RX). The TX side is connected to the PC and the RX is connected to your USB peripherals. Then connect the TX and RX via a CatX cable, and your USB connection will break the 16 feet limit.

Although data rates via an extension are slower than those via a direct USB connection, most USB devices do not make use of the entire USB 2.0 connection’s 480 Mbps data rate capacity.

What do USB to Ethernet Adapters Do?

Computers can be connected to a wired local area network or a modem that offers a broadband Internet connection using Ethernet connections. Even though the majority of computers used in businesses have one or more Ethernet ports, some smaller, lighter notebook and tablet computers lack an Ethernet connection in favor of wireless connectivity to conserve system space.

A USB to Ethernet adapter can be inserted into the USB port to give Ethernet connectivity when you need one but there are no available connections. When connected, these plug-and-play adapters enable full-speed Ethernet data transfers. Simply connect an Ethernet cable to the adapter and then to a network hub, router, or modem to complete the network connection.

Differences between USB Extenders and USB to Ethernet Adapters

USB extenders and USB to Ethernet adapters serve distinctly different purposes.

A USB extender offers the additional cable length required for a USB connection when it is necessary to go further. A USB to Ethernet adapter is the recommended item when you need to add wired networking capabilities to a computer without an available Ethernet port. Both can boost your system’s utility and add to its value for any small firm.

If you’re looking for a USB extender to extend the length of your USB device connection, the AV Access U2EX50 is the best choice you can’t miss. It supports high-speed USB 2.0 (Up to 480Mbps) storage devices over Cat5e/Cat6 cable up to 60m (197 ft) and USB-HID devices up to 80m (263ft).

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