USB networking??

By Spike
Dec 12, 2004
  1. I've just done a quick search with google, and I've not been able to find any information, so I guess it's not possible.

    My question is this...

    USB 2.0 has a theoretical maximum data transfer of 480 Mbps
    I'm sitting here with an Ethernet connection to another machine at 100 Mbps

    In light of this fact, clearly it would be both faster and easier (no need for a LAN card for a start!) to use USB for networking, and I can't think of a reason it's not done other than the likelyhood that it's not possible.

    If this is the case, does anybody know why it's not possible?
  2. MYOB

    MYOB TS Rookie Posts: 492

    Well, other than being limited to peer-to-peer operation, with a maximum range of around 10 metres, USB networking requires a very high level of software load on the PC, doing the work that the hardware does normally. This is if you want to use TCP/IP, obviously - if you developed a new protocol it might be easier.

    However, they DO exist - "USB Crossover Cables", which are just usual USB-A to USB-A cables with software that makes them pretend to be two network cards connected by a crossover. They cost around €30 for 5 metres here.
  3. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,168

    Thanks MYOB.

    It would take a far more clever person than myself to write a nw protocol thogh! lol :D

    I just thought it strange that You can network over a printer port but not USB. Obviously you can network over USB though, which means that I'm not going mad after all.

    It would be interesting to know why nobody has been able to, or thought to write a working protocol for it yet though.
  4. MYOB

    MYOB TS Rookie Posts: 492

    Well, the protocol in use on the kits you buy here is TCP/IP. Thinking about it, writing a new protocol would probably take as much CPU time as the current TCP/IP stacks for it.

    The ones Argos have here are USB *1.1* at that. Painful.
  5. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,202   +422

    Never tried USB2.0 networking but done Firewire networking before (400 mbit) and it's pretty fast. With that said I can't think of any reason why you wouldn't be able to do USB2.0 networking - unfortunately I can't really offer a hand on how to accomplish it.
  6. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Erm.. I just googled USB networking and the first page pretty much says it all.
  7. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,168

    I have absolutely NO idea what terms I was searching for last night!! :blush: :blackeye:
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