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USB Server Adds Devices to Your LAN

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 3 comments
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Two USB servers can add ports to your LAN without the need for a PC connection.

Want to share a USB device but don't necessarily want to plug it into one PC? Perhaps you have an external USB hard drive that needs to be accessed by several computers at once. Sharkoon may have the device you need, offering the new USB LANPort device that adds USB support to a LAN.

Sharkoon offers the USB server two flavors: the USB LANPort 100 providing one additional USB connection, and the USB LANPort 400 offering four ports of USB fun. Despite all the USB 3.0 talk circulating the news, both units only provide USB 2.0 connections, so no SuperSpeed data transfers until Sharkoon churns out advanced models.

"With the USB LANPorts we introduce a simple yet effective way to integrate USB devices into local area networks," the company said. "Therefore the respective USB LANPort is connected to the LAN using a patch cable and the included software is installed. Afterwards any USB devices such as printers, external HDDs, USB sticks etc. can be connected to the USB LANPort and may be accessed from the local network."

Sharkoon's two USB servers are expected to hit Germany and the rest of Europe soon for 23 Euro ($35) and 37 Euro ($56). The company has not yet released details of a North American distribution, although they may become available via Tech Data soon.

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  • 1 Hide
    mi1ez , 2 December 2009 14:36
    Is this the first time this has been done? I can see my printer moving pretty sharpish!
  • 0 Hide
    gregor , 2 December 2009 16:26
    There are devices from Digi (AnywhereUSB) and some belkin ones too, but this seems to be the cheapest I've seen. We use the AnywhereUSB to connect USB dongles to virtual server.
    Does this device allow you to connect to each port individually? eg the AnywhereUSB has 5 ports but once a computer connects it takes all 5 ports. Would be nice to be able to connect a different PC to each port. No mention of 2003/2008 on their site :( 
  • 0 Hide
    devilxc , 2 December 2009 18:39
    It does seem a cheap way to turn a printer into a network printer.

    If it was eSATA I would be very interested...
    NAS box without the PSU / CPU / RAM / etc.