Oct 15, 2007

IOGear Tops Gefen in Wireless USB

Mice, keyboards, printers, Webcams, thumb drives--the list of devices demanding a free USB port never ends. But the cable spaghetti surrounding my two wired USB hubs (which add the ports I need) looks really ugly, so I was delighted to test a couple of new wireless alternatives: IOGear's Wireless USB Hub & Adapter and Gefen's 4-port Wireless USB 2.0 Extender.

Both let you attach USB devices to a hub that communicates wirelessly with a receiver plugged into a USB port connected to your PC, but there the similarities end. IOGear's kit uses the freshly minted Certified Wireless USB standard, based on ultra-wideband wireless technology that offers excellent throughput (up to 250 megabits per second) but limited range (IOGear says up to 30 feet, but based on my experience, I'd recommend no more than 10 or 15 feet for best results). The hub is slightly larger than a deck of playing cards; the receiver is a dongle that looks like an oversize thumb drive.

Installing the IOGear product was tricky. I couldn't use my Vista PC at all (IOGear says it expects to make Vista drivers available by the end of October), and after installing the software on a Windows XP system, I had to wait through driver setup for the receiver and two rounds of driver setup for the hub (first hooked up with a USB cable, then without it). Even then nothing worked until I completely disconnected both receiver and hub and reattached them. Once the wireless connection came alive, however, the PC immediately recognized a Sony Reader and a thumb drive I'd plugged into the hub.


Gefen Wireless USB 2.0 Extender (4-Port)

A high price and slow transfers overshadow this device's ease of use.
Approx Price: $399

IOGear Wireless USB Hub and Adapter

Makes use of new--and potentially very useful--technology.
Approx Price: $160

1 comment:

  1. i have added your link to my blogroll. plz do the same


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