Belkin Gigabit Ethernet USB 2.0 Adapter

This image was lost some time after publication.
This image was lost some time after publication.

Belkin must be using some sort of voodoo to be able to crank out 1000Mbps from a USB 2.0 bus that taps out at 480Mbps, but that's what they claim the Gigabit USB 2.0 Network Adapter can do. The adapter is designed for people who don't have a gigabit ethernet port in their computer (which is a whole lot of people) but who do have a USB 2.0 port (which is nearly everyone by now, I'd assume). The adapter is compatible with both PCs and Macs. Once installed, users should be able to benefit from the faster transfer speeds offered by gigabit ethernet. I'll believe it when I see it.

The adapter is available now for $45.

Product Page [Belkin via Everything USB]

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To begin, I contacted Belkin on the phone and spoke with a tier 2 Tech about the possibilities of getting a Gig connection from a USB2 interface. He wasn't sure, so I purchased one this evening to find out for myself. I tested the unit with a Turian 64 laptop, running an internal 100 connection connected to a Gigabit Switch and a Gigabit Router with Cat 6e cable. I transferred from a PC with a Gig port, to my laptop with the 100 Internal Ethernet Adapter. The transfer speed of a 4.5 gig file from the PC to the SATA2 drive on my laptop was as follows: 7 minutes with the Internal Ethernet connected, 19 minutes with the Belkin USB perfectly configured as the ONLY USB device hooked into the laptop. As I feared, in the end it took over 22 minutes to actually transfer the file, as my new 2.5 gig dual core processor running 2 gigs of Double DDR ram to a SATA2 drive running at 300 started slowing down, as the USB port sucked more and more processing processor power. It also heated up the processor considerably, adding 11 degrees during the transfer. Doing the same transfer with the Internal Ethernet 100 actually took 6 min 30 seconds as it didn't slow anything down, in fact it speeded up towards the end [probably because I made that transfer immediately after disconnecting the USB connection, and the processor was cooling down, and the system smoothing out towards the end. The processor also ran 9 degrees cooler than when using the Belkin to transfer. I'm guessing I'll stick with the Internal Ethernet for now, and return this device tomorrow. Decide for yourself... USB2 is USB2 is USB2. It just isn't a speed/peer technology, and the USB footprint is only so big, trying to get a giant to walk through that doorway will create problems, the giant being a promised transfer 50 times faster than native USB2.