Tuesday, August 9, 2011

IOGEAR Sharing Station enables USB devices over WiFi

WiFi and USB have become the ultimate connectivity solutions for services and devices. How about converging the two into one platform. That's what a US based Consumer Electronics and IT solutions company named 'IOGEAR' has come up with, a 4-Port USB Sharing Station.

The device just looks like an ordinary WiFi router, but unlike an ordinary WiFi router you will find 3 USB port on the back and one in the front.  What this means is that you can connect external USB hard drive, USB flash drive, USB multi-function printer (MFP), USB speaker, USB memory card reader, USB webcam, to make them available over a WiFi network. It offers the flexibility to place your USB devices anywhere in the home or office as long as there is WiFi coverage. The most interesting thing about the device is that by connecting it to a Webcam it can be used to setup a easy and cheap WiFi surveillance system.

Please make note that this is not a WiFi router. Its only a sharing station, it only makes USB devices WiFi enabled and accessible over an WiFi network. Here is a diagram as to how it works.

The device comes with a 3-year warranty, its compatible with Windows and Mac OS. The station is compatible with USB 1.1 and 2.0 devices and comes with an Ethernet port too, so you can even connect it to a network via LAN (I don't know why somebody would do that if it already has WiFi). 
It also supports USB Hubs so you can have a lot more USB ports rather than just four.

The device is available at $80.17 on Amazon click here to buy it.

Overall the device is a bit pricey for what is basically a WiFi enabled USB hub but ultimately its a innovative product and you have to pay the premium for it. Its defiantly worth for the office environment or if you have may devices at home.

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