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Author Topic: Is it possible to connect computers with USB cable(s)?  (Read 396 times)

Offline Cosmos

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Is it possible to connect computers with USB cable(s)?
« on: 11 January, 2018, 09:28:52 PM »
I've connected desktop computers previously using ethernet cables but I knew that each computer had hardware specifically for communication between computers .

Now that I have a computer with USB 3 (faster than ethernet) I'm wondering if I can use it to connect to other USB computers . Is there special software needed that's not normally found in a Windows OS?

I want to connect my Windows 7 Pro USB 3 desktop to a Windows 8.1 USB 2 desktop .

If it is possible, can computers be daisy-chained via USB?
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Offline siasl

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Re: Is it possible to connect computers with USB cable(s)?
« Reply #1 on: 12 January, 2018, 10:05:36 AM »
It is possible, but you need a special cable such as this:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/StarTech-com-Data-Transfer-Cable-Windows/dp/B00ZR1AD4A

USB works as Device connected to Host, and a PC is *always* a host, and the Device is the attachment (e.g. printer, mouse). The cable above has a chip in it that acts as a bridging device to allow this connection. The above listing says that any s/w needed is contained in the cable (probably on a small flash chip inside it) - I've never used one of these cables.

It should be noted that while USB3 supports data transfer at around 5Gbps, you will probably be limited by the write-speed of the target computer. The fastest SSD drives would seem to be able to write at around 500/600 MB/s (~4Gbps) but there are probably other bottlenecks in the system and you will get less (see https://www.everythingusb.com/speed.html) Also, if you're using HDDs then your write speed will drop to around 120 MB/s (<1Gbps), possibly lower if there are bottlenecks elsewhere.

If the machines have a GigEthernet port on, it may be easier to directly connect them with a Cat5e/Cat6 cable.