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Linksys USB100TX Ethernet Adapter

The unit
  • Size: 2.5" x 2.2" x .8"
  • Weight: 3.7 oz
  • Ports: USB Type-B Port, 10BaseT RJ-45 Ethernet Port
  • LED activity lights for Link and TX/RX
  • OS: Windows 98
  • Plug and Play compatible
  • 32 K memory buffer


(+,-) $71 USD

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When Linksys provided the BFSR41 switched router for review they were kind enough to send along their 10/100 USB ethernet adapter. When I reviewed the 10 Mbps USB ethernet adapter from Linksys one of my complaints with it was that its true speed was 8 Mbps. Obviously more speed is necessary, and the new USB100TX adapter fixes a couple of problems that cropped up with the 10 Mbps adapter. One fundamental problem springs up when using an ordinary hub network. The slowest ethernet adapter connected to it determines your hub speed. In other words, if you have several 10/100 cards networked to a 10/100 hub, then attaching a 10 Mbps ethernet adapter such as the USB adapter I reviewed earlier will knock the whole network down to 10 Mbps. Obviously anyone with a 10/100 network will want to run a 10/100-ethernet adapter, and that was the critical area where the previous adapter fell short.

First Impressions:

Let me outline a couple of things about my network before I move on. I am hooked up to a cable modem. Most cable modems work somewhere between 4 and 6 Mbps, so a 10 Mbps adapter is good for basic work. I needed more speed because I was looking for the ability to move large files between my computers quickly. While both of my desktops have 10/100 cards, when I hooked up the old 10 Mbps USB ethernet adapter it knocked my whole network down to 10 Mbps. This was definitely not good for speed. When Linksys sent the USB100TX adapter that solved my major problem. Coincidentally, the BEFSR41 router they sent at the same time solved the problem too since it allowed me to have a mix of ethernet adaters running at diferent speeds.

One of my biggest gripes about Linksys has been the tiny manuals that they ship with their products. The router was the first unit from them that I reviewed that did not come this way. Imagine my surprise when under the warranty card and other documents in the box I found a full size 20-page manual! To people who have experience with networking components it may seem like a manual is little to quibble about, but let me assure you that I get a ton of networking related e-mail every time I post a review on a networking product. That tells me that manufacturers have not been doing a good job with the documentation that they provide. The directions with this unit are easy to follow and cover all the steps necessary to get you up and running. Included in this manual is a concise trouble shooting area.

The unit comes with its setup floppy, the adapter, the manual, and a USB cable. The USB cable is about four feet long so you should have no problems with it. Again, the ethernet cable is missing. I'm sure most of you will agree that any networking component should come with a length of ethernet cable.


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