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Are You Being Served?

To find out how well the USB Servers actually worked, I attached 4 USB products to each device and conducted the testing shown in Table 1 below, using a computer configured with an AMD Mobile 2600 with 500MB DDR 2100 RAM running Windows XP.

Device Model Test Used
Multi-Function Printer EPSON CX6400
  • Printed from Windows Notepad and Microsoft Office 2000
  • Scanned photo into JASC Paint Shop Pro 8.0
  • Copied files from Compact Flash card to temp folder in Windows Explorer (20 JPEG Images, 11.8 MegaBytes)
MP3 Player iRiver IFP-340
  • Formated OnBoard Flash
  • Copied over Josh Todd's Demo Album (14 tracks, 23.6MB)
Digital Camera Nikon Coolpix 3100
  • Copied files from Compact Flash to temp folder in Windows Explorer (20 JPEG Images, 11.8 MegaBytes)
  • Erased All Data on Compact Flash
  • Copied files back to Compact Flash (20 JPEG Images, 11.8 MegaBytes)
USB Pen Drive Kingston Data Traveler (64 megaBytes)
  • Copied Files from Pen Drive to Temp Folder (4 Documents, 28k)
  • Erased All Data on Pen Drive
  • Copied Files from Temp Folder to Pen Drive (4 Documents, 28k)
Table 1: USB Server Tests

Two types of devices are notable in their absence from this table. I didn't include a webcam, since neither device can yet support Isochronous (audio / video) USB devices, i.e. products that require guaranteed bandwidth to be available, and didn't test a USB hard drive because I didn't have one (and couldn't get one in time for deadline). The test results are in Table 2 below.

Device Silex SX-1000U KeySpan USB Server
Multi-Function Printer
The printer and the scanner both worked
but the built in card reader did not.
MP3 Player
Completely locked up computer.
Had to do a cold reboot.
Digital Camera
USB Flash Drive
= Worked great
= Worked but some problems
= Didn't work


Software Version: 1.0
Firmware Version: 1.0


Software Version: 1.1.1
Firmware Version: 1.1f1 04-07-07

Table 2: Test results

15 February 2005 update
Due to conflicting information in various Keyspan documents, I originally thought that Keyspan suppored fewer device types than Silex. But Keyspan pointed out my error and has since corrected the compatibility statement (scroll down to Compatibility section) on the USB Server's web page to reflect their support for essentially the same range of USB device types supported by the SX-1000U.

The bottom line is that the list of USB device types supported by both products is essentially the same. But this doesn't mean that every device in the supported type list is going to work without a hitch.

This on-line Keyspan manual page isn't current, but gives you an idea for some of the devices that Keyspan has tested.
- Silex' supported device list (PDF), includes digital cameras, flash memory, card readers, audio players, hard drives, floppy drives and more.

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