USB over IP / Network USB Hub products - Introduction:Do you need to access a hard disk, printer or memory drive located in another room or even in another building? Or do you want to extend your USB cable to the living room while having your computer in your office? Or how about accessing your camera or hard disk at home over the Internet while on vacation in Bahamas? If you have a LAN network or Internet connection available its a piece of cake!
A USB over IP server, also called a network USB hub or extender, is an easy and effective way to remotely access your USB device anywhere over a LAN network. We will here refer to these devices as a network USB hub.
A USB over IP network hub device is often underestimated as a way to extend a USB port or connect USB ports remotely, but actually it is a very effective, easy and fast way to connect a printer, hard disk, scanner or similar to a computer.
Typically there are two different versions of USB network devices: a network USB hub and a USB CAT5 extender. The difference between a USB CAT5 extender and a network USB hub is that the extender can be seen as a simple USB extension cord, where the LAN cable (CAT5) is the actual cord. A small 1-port network USB hub is placed at both ends of the (LAN) cord and converts the network USB hub signal to LAN and back again to the network USB hub at the other end of the cord. The typical range for a USB CAT5 extender is 100 to 150 feet, and offers only one additional network USB hub port per extension cord.
The network USB hub / USB over IP server is a more complex device than the USB CAT5 extender. It is placed anywhere in your LAN network and acts like a small network USB hub / USB over IP server with its own IP address. The network USB hub can be used with almost any type of devices including printers, scanners, fax machines, cameras, mass storage drives, hard disks and similar. The network USB hub needs software drivers installed in order to work; this is however usually a simple automated process.
The network USB hub / USB over IP server typically comes in 2 port, 4 port or 8 port versions.
When using a network USB hub an additional network USB hub port will appear in Windows Device Manager which can be used almost like any standard network USB hub port. Most network USB hubs works well with most printers, scanners, fax machines and other complex devices.