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IOGEAR Sharing Station provides access to USB devices over WiFi

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August 9, 2011

IOGEAR has introduced its Wireless 4-Port USB Sharing Station, which allows up to four USB...

IOGEAR has introduced its Wireless 4-Port USB Sharing Station, which allows up to four USB peripherals to be shared over WiFi

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WiFi and USB have both become inexpensive and ubiquitous connectivity solutions, so the idea of exploiting them both at the same time a single device makes sense. IOGEAR's latest take on the theme is its Wireless 4-Port USB Sharing Station, which allows up to four USB peripherals (external storage, camera, printer, etc.) to be shared over a WiFi network and in the process provides a recipe for an uncluttered desktop environment.

While some devices come WiFi-enabled out of the box (printers especially), most of them rely on cords. Resembling an ordinary WiFi router, the IOGEAR Wireless Sharing Station in fact requires a WiFi router to establish a WLAN within the station's range. After plugging USB gadgets into its four ports, they become accessible to PCs, smartphones, tablets and other devices.

An office environment with shareable multi-function printers, or external hard drives, seems to be the most obvious application of IOGEAR's device. Another likely application is a simple surveillance system, made up of a USB-powered video recording device accessible via WiFi when plugged into the station. Other USB devices that could be shared include speakers, flash memories, memory card readers, MP3 players, or even USB toys.

Working with MAC OS and Windows, the station is compatible with USB 1.1 and 2.0, and comes with an Ethernet port. The device also supports a USB hub extension to increase the overall number of available ports. The IOGEAR Wireless 4-Port USB Sharing Station is priced at US$99.95 at IOGEAR's website, while it's already been made available via Amazon at around US$75.

Wireless 4-Port USB Sharing Station connection explained
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7 Comments

I wonder if this would work with a external USB dial up modem?

Fred Talmadge
9th August, 2011 @ 07:06 pm PDT

Pretty cool idea, but is it just another gadget?

Ross William Mcewen-Page
9th August, 2011 @ 11:25 pm PDT

Some wireless routers now come with a USB port, so you could plug a usb hub into that and get several devices on the network.

dwood
10th August, 2011 @ 11:39 am PDT

A reviewer on Amazon reported that each connected device is only able to be used by one computer at a time. He also (mistakenly) gave the product only one star out of five because of that.

That limitation makes complete sense to me however. You wouldn't want two computers reading/saving/making changes/giving commands to any USB accessory at the same time. That is a limitation of USB technology, not a limitation of this product.

Gene Jordan
10th August, 2011 @ 11:55 am PDT

Am I missing something here? New computers usually have card readers already, One would only want to plug in a camera to upload a batch of 'photos once in a while, and to just one computer. A printer or external HDD would still need cables, and anyway would be accessible on the original wireless network.

I can't see a logical reason for this unit.

I MUST be wrong mustn't I? Can someone explain?

Ian Colley.

TexByrnes
11th August, 2011 @ 04:59 pm PDT

@texByrnes

This converts USB devices to wireless. Say you want a secure backup drive that cannot be easily stolen. Attach this to a USB hard drive, hide it, lock it up, whatever. Problem solved. And yes, there are already devices out there that do this - like Apple's Base Station. But this isn't limited to Hard drives. Say you want to group three cameras under the eave of your house. Instead of buying three wireless cameras, you could buy three cheaper USB cameras and hook them up to this instead. One signal instead of three. How about computer operated remote controlled devices? Not all computer controlled devices have a wireless option, but most have USB. Not everyone has a need for this kind of adapter, but then, not everybody needs to in order for this to be successful in the marketplace.

Shishkabugs
12th August, 2011 @ 10:12 am PDT

@ Shishkabugs,

Sorry, only just read your explanation, but thanks. Ian Colley

TexByrnes
28th August, 2011 @ 02:53 pm PDT
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