USB network interface

Will a USB to ethernet interface operate at the same speed as a 10-base T internal NIC? If not, how much slower will it be?
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USB has the capability of running at 12 M bits/sec while Ethernet is 10 M bits/sec so theoretically, USB is more than fast enough to handle it.

In reality, however, USB hardware and software doesn't quite run up to full speed in most cases.  Tests have show that most devices only get 5-8 M bits/sec on the bus.  

So the bottom line is that you may not get 100% of the network performance possible with a USB adapter.  Will you notice the difference?  Probably not.  It really depends on what it at the other end of the network you are talking on.  Even degraded USB performance may be more than fast enough to keep up with the data.

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jkainenAuthor Commented:
I use the network mostly to share cable
modem internet access and to print. Is it likely to be worth it to switch NIC's?
In that case, performance is not the issue.  The fastest cable modems are 500K bits/sec or so which is far less than the poorest performing USB network adapter.  Printer performance, unless you are sending HUGE and graphics intensive prints, is not much of an issue either.
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