With Wi-Fi 6 and 5G cellular now being the reality, the once-mightly Gigabit connection has become the bottleneck. That’s because the two new wireless standards can efficiently deliver network speeds up to a few gigabits per second.
But if you have a computer with a USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 port, you don’t have to be stuck with Gigabit, thanks to TRENDnet. Today, the networking vendor unveiled the market’s first Multi-Gigabit network add-on hardware, the USB-C 3.1 to 5GBASE-T LAN Adapter (TUC-ET5G) and the USB-C 3.1 to 2.5GBASE-T LAN Adapter (TUC-ET2G).
As the name suggests, both adapters support USB 3.1, which caps at 5Gbps. The TUC-E2G, however, delivers the network speed of 2.5Gbps — that’s 2.5 times the speed of a Gigabit connection — while the TUC-ET5G will provide the full 5Gbps.
Like any other USB network adapter, you can plug the new TRENDnet card into your computer’s USB-C port to upgrade the system to the new and much faster network speed. Out of the box, the adapters work with versions of Windows and Mac operating systems.
Both adapters have integrated USC-C cable and are bus-powered — they don’t need a separate power adapter. According to TRENDnet, both are compatible with existing Cat5e (or better) cabling.
They also support class of service (CoS) and virtual local area network (VLAN) protocols. The former allows for prioritizing specific types of data over others, and the latter is for virtual device groupings — an extra layer of protection.
Keep in mind that these adapters are just one end of a connection. To have an actual multi-Gigabit speed, you’ll also need to have a multi-Gigabit-capable switch or router, such as some of the new Netgear Wi-Fi 6 routers.
The TUC-ET2G is available now with the suggested retail price of $50. You’ll have to wait till June 7th for the TUC-ET5G, which will go for $125.