Friday, July 10th 2020

Cable Matters Launches Portable 4-Port USB-C and USB 3.1 Ethernet Switches

Cable Matters, an industry-leading supplier of connectivity solutions, today launched two USB-based Ethernet switches designed to connect up to four devices to a wired Ethernet network through USB and RJ45 Ethernet. The Cable Matters USB 3.1 to 4-port Gigabit Ethernet Adapter and the Cable Matters USB-C to 4-port Gigabit Ethernet Adapter are full-featured USB to Ethernet adapters. Both products provide Ethernet networking to a host laptop, computer, or game console that lacks a built-in Ethernet port.

What separates these adapters from typical USB to Ethernet adapters is the addition of three extra Ethernet ports. Three additional devices can connect to the adapter via Ethernet, allowing up to four devices to share a single wired Ethernet connection to a router or wall jack. The adapter doubles as a 4-port switch by connecting up to four unique devices to a wired network.
The Ethernet switch is an ideal solution for sharing wired Internet access when wireless is unavailable, or in environments where multiple devices demand high-speed, low-latency network access. Connect game consoles, televisions, and streaming devices at an entertainment center. Bring the Gigabit Ethernet switch to the conference room and share wired Internet access with up to four devices.

The Ethernet splitter is bus-powered and draws power from the USB host, which eliminates the need for a bulky power plug. Both adapters take advantage of full USB 3.1 speeds, providing full 1Gbps Ethernet speeds on the USB host and Ethernet devices. A 20-inch USB cable length provides flexibility, and the adapter includes an adhesive mounting strip for permanent installation and a drawstring carrying pouch for on-the-go mobile transport.

The USB-C adapter and the USB 3.1 adapter is now available for purchase at
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3 Comments on Cable Matters Launches Portable 4-Port USB-C and USB 3.1 Ethernet Switches

This will be great for modern laptops that have... no RJ45 jacks. So they'll need USB Ethernet adaptors. :D
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Hum interesting, maybe this will be nice to use on the home entertainment system, connecting TV, console, android box, etc to ethernet if you only have one spare cable to the router.
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I can't tell if this is a dumb idea or not. First off, if the hub relies on the host operating system to do any of the networking, this could be a reliability issue. Who wants to lose a connection on their hub because one of the clients dropped? Two, I'm curious if it is just a dumb hub or if there's some router abilities, like DHCP. Three, is there enough backhaul in the device to provide concurrent gigabit connections, or is it sharing 1 Gbps across devices?

Overall, this is pretty silly, but I guess having something so small and USB powered could make for an interesting extension to a proper WiFi router if you run out of ports. You could just plug this thing into the router's USB port itself as long as the host device doesn't have to provide anything but power for the other four ports.

Found the product page. Looks like it can be just powered through the USB without being connected to a computer. No reference to the power input so I'm not sure if my router expansion idea would work as those are usually pretty low power.
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