It's now physically possible to extend a USB Device using a 3rd Party USB Extension Hardware System. These extend USB via an Ethernet Cable, CAT 5/6/7 Cable, or Fiber.
GW Instruments performed the following tests:
- using the "WeMe USB 2.0 Extender" with an i600 and found it worked fine with no degradation in i600 performance
- using both a 30m and 60m Ethernet cable (it claims to support 100m)
This product has an external power supply at the far end which provides power to the USB device. Additionally, the WeMe Extender does not transfer ground across the Ethernet cable such that a jumper wire between the i60x ground and the device under test ground was needed to establish a ground connection.
GW Instruments states that whilst there are other products on the market that extend USB using fiber to support greater distances; they come at a higher cost.
Furthermore, extender products do not necessarily use the Ethernet protocol and are almost always not compatible with Ethernet routers, even though they might use Ethernet wire/cable/connector hardware (i.e. they are not true Ethernet). As such, avoid extenders that do not include an external power supply or do not support USB 2.0 High Speed (480MBPs).