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Setup

Setup with this unit closely mirrors the setup procedure for the 10 Mbps and 10/100 Mbps units from Linksys. Simply plug it into your USB port, and when asked, insert the floppy with the drivers. After a reboot you'll be up and running. The unit draws its power from the USB port so there are no batteries or external power connector. Unlike Linksys, the provided documentation has no tips on how to setup your network settings. My personal opinion is that you should use as few protocols as possible. I would recommend only TCP/IP and NetBEUI for the average user. A couple of checks on my network settings and I was up and running.

Testing

I tested the performance of this unit directly against two 10/100 NICs using the BEFSR41 router. First, I moved a 150-MB file between the two computers with the 10/100 ethernet cards. Next, I moved the same file between the two computers. One computer used a 10/100 card and the other the DUK100 adapter. I noticed that it took approximately six times longer even though the DUK100 is supposed to be a 10/100 unit. Again, this is due to the 12 Mbps limit of USB. I would hope that the newer USB standard begins to pop up on motherboards soon so we can get some more performance out of USB ethernet units. Of course, that may mean an upgrade to USB2 compatible components in the future.

Because this unit does feature 10/100 hardware it will keep those of you on an unswitched network running at 100 Mbps. The performance drop down to 10 Mbps is crippling for someone who requires fast ethernet's speed for day to day work.

Pros
Cons
  • Portable size
  • Easy installation
  • Works well with notebook and desktop computers
  • No RJ45 cable provided
  • Not true 10/100 speed

Conclusions

Once again we are confronted by USB's limiting bandwidth. Mobile users will like the convenience and price of this USB networking component. Although its 12 Mbps speed may seem slow to people who are used to 100 Mbps networking, I'll gladly take that over the 8 Mbps limit of the USB10T adapter I reviewed earlier. If you can learn to get over the speed problem, I think you would be very happy with the DUK100. It offers great installation, better speed than the 10 Mbps adapter I tested from Linksys, which only delivered 8 Mbps, and had no stability problems. At $55.99 USD MSRP it is $15 cheaper than the Linksys 10/100 USB ethernet adapter. That alone may make the final decision for a lot of you. Since I had a hard time finding vendors who stocked this unit, Archtek provided me with two sources for the unit:

I.E.T in Portland, Oregon. Tel: 503-603-9888

Computer Option in San Bernardino, CA. Tel: 909-890-3505 Ask for Brian

Victor Oshiro
00/07/10


 





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