Back-to-School Tech: Wireless USB Sharing

September 6th, 2011

With skyrocketing tuition costs and a seemingly endless number of tablets, computer accessories and smartphones, not to mention the astronomical costs of college text books, students are looking to save anywhere they can. And while giving up breakfast and lunch in favor of a nightly pizza buffet may seem like a good choice, there are better things for a student's wallet (and health). Computers are a mainstay in any dorm room or college apartment, often running non-stop for 4-5 months at a time as students work through and endless stream of term papers, critiques and other projects. Students are practically required to have their own computers, but the peripherals that go with them can easily be shared. USB is hands-down the most popular connection for computer peripherals, so much in fact, that we've seen great success with products such as the IOGEAR 7-Port High Speed USB 2.0 Hub which adds seven additional ports to a computer. Considering the number of USB peripherals available, it's no surprise. Some of the most popular USB devices include external hard drives, flash drives, webcams, memory card readers, speakers, multi-function printers (MFP) and for the young-at-heart, USB Circus Cannons. Many of these devices are easy to install but would be made all the better if they could be shared.  Fortunately, the IOGEAR product development team recognized this and has come forward with a 4-Port USB Sharing Station (GUWIP204), a computer accessory that allows wireless sharing of up to four USB peripherals in a home or office. By simply connecting devices to the sharing station and configuring it to a Wi-Fi network, devices can be shared by multiple roommates without the 16-foot USB distance limitation. Beyond just saving roommates the necessity of buying their own printers and removing some clutter from dorm rooms or apartments, the wireless USB sharing station can also be a low-cost security system. Just connect a webcam to the share station in an area where monitoring is needed, and watch like a hawk for any pizza pilfering activity or other shenanigans. Top Ten Ways to Enhance a Home's Wireless Network Recently, one of our IOGEAR team members had a guest editorial (Getting the Most out of a Home's Wireless Connection) featured in a trade magazine called Residential Systems. We encourage you to read the full explanation of each suggestion, but without further ado:
  1. Position is key
  2. Avoid devices with the same frequency
  3. Stay away from metal objects and floors
  4. Be brand consistent
  5. Upgrade the router antenna
  6. Take advantage of updates
  7. Change wireless channels
  8. Stick to one access point
  9. Add a wireless repeater
  10. Upgrade networks
We would love to know what scenarios you think a shared USB system would create. Please take a moment to share with us here on the blog, on Facebook or on Twitter.

About the Author



IOGEAR enjoys long walks on the beach and romantic getaways. While not traveling, IOGEAR enjoys a great game of shuffle board whilst playing the banjo.