Why does this exist now (and why did it not then): the 4 port Ethernet USB

Why does this exist now (and why did it not then): the 4 port Ethernet USB

Years I spent doing complicated network demos. The first gen demo box was an asus media PC, a bit bigger than an Intel NUC. It had a WiFi chip and an Ethernet, 2GB memory, and 2 core Intel processor. By squeezing our code and demos into a couple of VM’s on it, and by using multiple AP on the single WiFi, we were able to demo our product.

It was fairly simple (when it worked): plug the Ethernet into the Internet somewhere, it would act as a WiFi AP, route the traffic through our product, and away we would go.

But periodically there was a need for “one more Ethernet”. Maybe to debug it (you would get to a hotel room and, no monitor, have to guess what was going on inside it). Maybe to divert some traffic. But nothing fit the bill of being portal and multi-ethernet.

The other day when I was working on the Starlink router setup, I was challenged to mock up 3 Internet connections. I have a 4-port PCIe card, but to install it in my desktop would mean removing something. I have a switch with VLAN’s available, but that is a pain to configure. Well I suffered through it. But then I had a minor epiphany. I have 1-port USB devices, I wonder if there are 2-port ones? And lo and behold there are. But even better, behold this 4-port Gigabit Ethernet, USB-3 widget. Where where you 10 years ago? And why do I have you now!

Plugged it in, it works. But, the need is no longer there.

1 Comment on “Why does this exist now (and why did it not then): the 4 port Ethernet USB

  1. Gross… would probably still be better with a good NIC and small managed switch. With USB 1.1, this would have been hot garbage.
    With USB2, this might be adequate for something, maybe… if you had the CPU cycles.
    This is the kind of thing to send in a tinyurl link to make a geek puke on their desk.

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