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USB Ethernet Adapter with good driver support ?

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#1
I need to add another Ethernet port to my main rig since, unfortunately, my X58 does not have two. As I have zero expansion slots available, I need a USB device. There are tons of those adapters around, but most of them are utter crap in the driver department. The device will be used to connect the system to the ISP's provided router (100Mbps, and they do not have a 1Gbps version available, hence why I need a second link for 1Gbps) for internet access (so a 100Mbps device is more than sufficient - Not at a USB2.0 port can run a 1Gbps device at full speed anyway), with the native 1Gbps port on my X58 will be used for a fast network in my home.

I need something with good driver support for both vista and win7 64-bit and that will work without a hitch in Linux as well (Latest Ubuntu LTS, for example).

Anyone has any experience with any of those ?
 

Wile E

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#2
I need to add another Ethernet port to my main rig since, unfortunately, my X58 does not have two. As I have zero expansion slots available, I need a USB device. There are tons of those adapters around, but most of them are utter crap in the driver department. The device will be used to connect the system to the ISP's provided router (100Mbps, and they do not have a 1Gbps version available, hence why I need a second link for 1Gbps) for internet access (so a 100Mbps device is more than sufficient - Not at a USB2.0 port can run a 1Gbps device at full speed anyway), with the native 1Gbps port on my X58 will be used for a fast network in my home.

I need something with good driver support for both vista and win7 64-bit and that will work without a hitch in Linux as well (Latest Ubuntu LTS, for example).

Anyone has any experience with any of those ?
Wait, why can't you just get a router with Gb lans ports?
 
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#3
Wait, why can't you just get a router with Gb lans ports?
My router is an Ethernet/Wifi/Cable modem combo device, provided by the ISP. They do not have a 1Gbps Ethernet version.

Getting an equivalent device on my own will cost me much, much, much more (around 5x) than another Ethernet adapter for a point-to-point connection with my other rig (And still much more than getting a 1Gbps switch for the second network if I'll add more computers to it later on). Additionally, if I use my own device, I lose all ISP support on connection issues, since they'll be very quick to blame any connection troubles on my own device (customer service in Israel is pretty much "the customer is always wrong").

Edit: I could get a USB Wifi stick, too, come to think of it. But the computer is right next to the router so I don't need the wireless option.
 

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#4
so just get a gigabit switch?
 
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#5
Buy a gigabit switch




EDIT:
dam u mussels, beat me to it.
 
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#6

Helper

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#7
Are your mobo slots blocked by your GPUs? How about using a PCI / PCI-E slot riser cable to an Intel Pro 100 / 1000 or a Broadcom Mbit or Gbit NIC? :cool:
 
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#8
better idea, just buy a switch and be done with it.

best and simplist idea.


simple due to still only having one nic, dont need to change any settings.

best for the future. buy a nother pc? just plug it straight into the switch.
 
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#9
Are your mobo slots blocked by your GPUs? How about using a PCI / PCI-E slot riser cable to an Intel Pro 100 / 1000 or a Broadcom Mbit or Gbit NIC? :cool:
A riser won't fit under them even if I wanted it to. I have thought about it in the past. The cooling shrouds are just too low to the board. Plus, even if it did fit, there's no way to route it out from under there - the top GPU is adjacent to the 8400GS which I use for my TV output and the bottom GPU is right next to the support strut of the removable motherboard tray.

Come to think of it: I have another question. If a 1Gbps switch has the following connections to it:
1) 100 Mbps
2) 1Gbps
3) 1Gbps

Would it not have to lower the link speeds of all its ports to 100Mbps ? Otherwise the 1Gbps links will be able to easily overwhelm the 100Mbps link if they send the data too fast (ie. at anything over the 100Mbps limit) as the 1Gbps NICs are not aware there is something slowing down the connection in the middle (granted, TCP will lower the sending window on loss events, lowering the effecting transmission speed, but UDP will not).

EDIT: Cheapest 1Gbps switch is around 55$ around here. I just said the heck with it and ordered a Linksys 100Mbit USB-to-Ethernet adapter after verifying it is supported in the OS I need off ebay. Total damage: 9$. For the price it is a piece of hardware that is probably worth having around. I have no plans to add any more computers any time soon, and if I do, then I'll get a switch then. Worst case, I lost 9$.
 

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#10
I see, I thought that idea is cool. :)

You were writing firmware for NICs, right? You should know how USB ethernet dongles suck... they're only good for saving you when you need Internet. Those are very weak and they may not work as you said. But for 10$... yeah.

Professional gigabit NICs will negotiate their speeds automatically most of the time.
 

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#11
Wait, I'm confused. You want the internal network to be gigabit, but don't gave a gigabit switch? How is the internal network working then? You'd need a gigabit switch to have those speeds between the computers anyway...
 
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#12
Wait, I'm confused. You want the internal network to be gigabit, but don't gave a gigabit switch? How is the internal network working then? You'd need a gigabit switch to have those speeds between the computers anyway...
The internal network will be ad-hoc point-to-point between both systems.
 
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#13
I see, I thought that idea is cool. :)

You were writing firmware for NICs, right? You should know how USB ethernet dongles suck... they're only good for saving you when you need Internet. Those are very weak and they may not work as you said. But for 10$... yeah.

Professional gigabit NICs will negotiate their speeds automatically most of the time.
Yeah. I know. That's why I wanted to find one with decent driver support. The devices themselves sucking isn't really an issue, since my internet connection is pretty crappy by modern standards anyway (2.5Mbit down link, 128Kbit up link). I just needed a link for it, nothing fancier.
 

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#14
The internal network will be ad-hoc point-to-point between both systems.
which causes all sorts of problems if you want internet on the other machines (no port forwards through windows ICS, first machine has to be on for the other to get net, etc)


just get the switch and all shall be happy.
 
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#15
which causes all sorts of problems if you want internet on the other machines (no port forwards through windows ICS, first machine has to be on for the other to get net, etc)


just get the switch and all shall be happy.
Both machines will be connected to the router anyway via their second link. I just need the ad-hoc link to move large files over between both machines.

I might eventually get the switch, but if the 9$ "investment" works, then why not, right ?
 

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#16
Both machines will be connected to the router anyway via their second link. I just need the ad-hoc link to move large files over between both machines.

I might eventually get the switch, but if the 9$ "investment" works, then why not, right ?
Adds unnecessary complexity and another driver?

I see the money saving point, but I got my 5 port Gb switch for $20 used, and it auto negotiates 100Mb and 1 Gb from what my transfer speeds tell me. My Vonage adapter is 100Mb afaik, and I still get Gb transfer speeds between my systems.

I bought it well before I ever thought I would need it, but then I got a PS3, 360 and Vonage, and all of a sudden, it had a use.

Even if the usb thingy works, I'd start saving for a switch.
 
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#17
did you check it was a usb 2 adapter? otherwise you will max out about 5mbit