Tech story: how USB Ethernet adapter grounded my network.

Hello TimiGate, I
would like to first of all think you for the great job you are doing. Some
things can only be learned either from personal experience or through the
experience of others. Since this platforms encourages us to share our technical
experiences so that others can learn from it, I have decided to share mine. I
hope it makes a good read. Please pardon my errors in advance. Now, to my
story.

My name is Michael, a
graduate Nigerian who works for an internet service provider in Nigeria. My
growth on the job from a wireless engineer to a project manager is nothing
short of God’s grace and unrivalled determination. My love for the job, sometimes
scares me to the point that I fear if I will be there for my family when they
need me most.
I have acquired
countless industry certifications as well as years of industry-proven
experience. Configuring Cisco network equipment, Mikrotik routers and switchs,
Ubiquiti access points and so on have becoming my passion and each day I do
these things with so much joy.
As an engineer, I
anticipate problems and often times, I simulate such situations just to make sure I
respond positively if they ever arise. While basking in the euphoria of my
readiness, it arose in the form of a USB ethernet adapter and I was completely caught off guard.
The most interesting part of my story is that I created this problem
unknowingly.

There was a lightning
surge that damaged the Ethernet adapter on my laptop. As a remedy, I bought a
USB 2.0 Ethernet to LAN adapter, and officially, I set the motion for what
would become a problem to me months later.
On the 29th of
September, 2016, while working on a link of 60Mbps, I observed some anomalies,
so I decided to test the speed of the link. A speed test displayed 7.8 Mbps
download and 7.4 Mbps upload speed. I repeated the tests several times using
different servers still, I got the same result. Since I was neither doing a
download nor an upload on the link, my only explanation was that my upper
provider was playing a fast one on me.
I put a quick call
through to my upper provider and was told they had no issues. What then could
be the issue, I asked myself. While pondering on this, I decided to do the test
again using a different computer.
So, I used another
computer with a working Ethernet adapter and what I observed amazed me. I got
my subscribed bandwidth of 60Mbps. Could it’s be the USB Ethernet adapter? To be sure, I connected the adapter to another computer, did the test
and got less than 10Mbps. I picked up the pack and saw it has “switch 10Mbps or 100Mbps
network automatically” boldly written on it. My interpretation of this
statement means that the adapter can do 10Mbps when connected to a hub network
and 100Mbps when on a fast Ethernet switch. Unfortunately, this is not true
because mine was connected to a Cisco 2960 enterprise switch.

What I learned from
this experience is that if you require a speed of 8Mbps and above, don’t use
these USB 2.0 Ethernet adapters. I don’t know if there are other USB Ethernet adapter that can give you higher throughput, I am yet to see any. I have
attached the pictures of the device so you can see for yourselves.
Thank you.
Wow! Who would have
thought that a commonly used little piece of device like that could reduce a
whooping 60Mbps link to less than 10Mbps. Another day, another lesson learned.
Thank you Michael for sharing your story.
Guys, let’s keep the
tech stories coming. If you have any, please send to
timigateng @gmail.com. 
Spread the love

Timigate

Ashioma Michael, a BSc (Computer Science)., MTCNA, CCNA, and CCNP holder with many years of industry-proven experience in network design, implementation and optimization. He has tutored and guided many professionals towards obtaining their Cisco certifications. Mike works as a senior network engineer with one of the leading internet service providers in West Africa.

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