Cool Gadget – USB to Ethernet Network Adapter

I was traveling last week and found myself without Internet connectivity in my hotel room.  If there is one thing a field engineer needs why traveling is Internet connectivity.  This is the second time I have stayed at a Courtyard Marriott and had no internet.  Both hotels use iBahn boxes that plug into a telephone jack and have an ethernet port on the front.  Try as  I might I was unable to get an IP address issued to my wired adapter.  After jumping through all the hoops (restart computer, check adapter config etc.) the technical support representative put me through I finally asked for my case to be escalated.  When a senior person got on the phone he asked if if I had a Broadcom network adapter in my laptop.  When I answered yes he explained that Broadcom adapters are not compatible with the iBahn adapter and that was the reason I could not be issued an IP address. Great!  One of the most widespread network adapters in the industry would not work at one of the largest hotel chains in the world.  A frustration "perfect storm".   I now had two choices;  switch hotels (did that last time) or find another solution.

 I tethered the cell phone, connected to the Internet and searched for information on USB Ethernet adapters.  I ran down to the local Office Depot and picked up a Cisco(aka Linksys) USB Ethernet adapter.  I plugged the device in, loaded drivers and I was back in business.  If you travel you might want to pick up one of these just in case...


Comments (1)

  1. James says:

    That has happened to me a many of times. What I have done in the past in total desperation is plug my laptop into my cell phone, and then dial up a local ISP remember the AOL trial disk? they came in real handy when I was out of town on the road. The best thing about it was it was free except for the phone call because AOL kept hunting for a better local number the whole time I would start IE in the background and do what I needed to do then just shut down without completing the AOL subscription exchange. What can you do when your boss wants your report and you have little or no connection? Imprivse…

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