Plugable this week has become the latest peripheral manufacturer to start producing 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet dongles, with the release of their own adapter. Designed to add support for faster networking speeds to PCs with USB 3.0 Type-A and Type-C ports, Plugable is pushing the "inexpensive" aspect of the network adapter hard, launching it at just $30.

Like most other 2.5GbE adapters we've seen to date, the Plugable 2.5G USB Ethernet Adapter (USBC-E2500) is based on Realtek's RTL8156 controller, which supports 2.5GBASE-T and on down, all over standard Cat5e cabling. The Realtek chip supports such features as  9k Jumbo frame support, auto MDI-X (crossover detection and correction), and IEEE 802.1Q VLAN. Since some of these capabilities require OS support, the dongle comes with drivers for Apple MacOS (10.12 and newer), Microsoft Windows 7/8/10, and Linux (kernel 3.2).

Meanwhile, recognizing that the industry as a whole is in the middle of a transition from USB Type-A to USB Type-C, the USB-C native Plugable 2.5G USB Ethernet Adapter comes with a USB-C to USB-A adapter that's conveniently tethered to the dongle's cable. For USB dongles that even bother to account for both port types, we normally see loosely packed adapters, so this is an interesting choice that should make the adapter a lot harder to lose. Otherwise, the device is made of plastic and looks fairly small, so it should be lightweight and plenty easy to carry around.

The Plugable 2.5G USB Ethernet Adapter is now available directly from the company as well as from leading retailers. The official MSRP of the device is $39.99, but for a limited time the product will be available for $29.99 from Amazon, either via an instant $10 coupon. The adapter is being released in the US, UK, EU, Australia, Canada, and Japan.

With the COVID-19 outbreak and work from home initiatives being enforced around the globe, this might not be the best time to introduce 2.5G Ethernet dongles that are primarily meant for offices. None the less, we're happy to see the continued proliferation of faster Ethernet controllers and dongles – and hope that cheaper network switches will catch up soon.

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Source: Plugable

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  • shabby - Friday, March 27, 2020 - link

    Show me a router with 4 10gbe ports and wireless built in... Reply
  • cyrand - Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - link

    Somehow I doubt you want 4 10gbe routing ports. what you really want is 4 switching ports at 10Gbe. I have my lan setup for 10Gbe now and my recommendation is anyone that want 10Gbe switching and make it quickly up-gradable to 10Gbe routing in future go the route I went and separate it into 3 devices.

    Also it makes it easier to upgrade just the component you need in future. on top of that the price really was not much more given how expensive the so call "3 in 1(routing,switching,wifi) gaming routers have become"

    My setup is got a central 10/1Gbe managed switch in basement that connects to every room in my house through CAT6A. 2 rooms in my house got a 1/2.5/5/10gbe dumb switch in it. I got a ubiquiti wireless access point to handle my wifi. Then I got a ubiquiti Edge router 4 in same location as managed 10gbe switch to handle routing. At the moment don't have a need for greater then 1Gbe on the wan but if I did all I would need to do is replace the Edge router with a router with a single 10Gbe port and am good to go.

    Also when I ready to go to wifi 6 all I need to upgrade is the access point and am done. I much prefer this over combing everything into a single device. I don't want to replace router every time I want to upgrade my wifi and vice versa. Also make debugging issues easier.

    For $30 I grabbed one of these for my laptop. A little faster connecting to my Nas when got it connected in one of the 2 rooms I got the mutigig switches in never hurt and it cheap enough.

    10gbe routers out there but a bit on expensive side and not many residential area offer over 1gbe speeds and if they do it a huge jump in price over 1Gbe. Also most the time they implemented through port teaming multiple 1gbe ports on the modem. Maybe there some places that offer direct fiber modem with greater then 1gbe port on it but other then commercial I not seen it.
    Reply
  • TheUnhandledException - Friday, March 27, 2020 - link

    I know this is a nitpick especially at $30 but I wish companies would just have a usb-c port (note port not plug) and a seperate cable. If this devices fails it is very likely going to be in the cable from being bent. Can someone just make a little box with ethernet one one end and usb-c port on the other end? I will even pay extra. Reply
  • zorxd - Friday, March 27, 2020 - link

    I disagree, that would make one more connection, and makes it two pieces (more likely to lose one) Reply
  • zorxd - Friday, March 27, 2020 - link

    I always thought 2.5 Gbps Ethernet is useless (not significant enough speed increase over GigE)

    But at this price it's not too bad.
    Reply
  • zeroidea - Friday, March 27, 2020 - link

    Anyone with networked storage, or even two PC's that could benefit from a 2.5GbE link (no switch required) could benefit from these. Can't exactly pop a 10G card into a laptop, NUC, or many SFF systems (if their one PCIe is occupied). MS510TX 10-port multi-gig switch goes on sale for $200.

    Beyond-gigabit home networking is reasonably affordable now, even without resorting to old enterprise equipment. It's a huge improvement if one's use case frequently involves transferring a few tens or hundreds of GB between machines with fast storage.

    These realtek adapters though.. I haven't been able to use the $30 CableCreations version of this adapter because it it's not supported by any of the Linux releases I'm using.
    Reply
  • Dug - Friday, March 27, 2020 - link

    The MS510TX only has one 10Gb ethernet port and 1 10Gb sfp port.
    That's why it's cheap. But it may be enough for home if you are only using 1 to a storage server.
    Reply
  • zeroidea - Friday, March 27, 2020 - link

    It's been about the same price as the GS110EMX which only has two 10G ports and 8 1G. If one has 2.5G gear, or even systems than can handle 10G adapters but can't really reach full speed, I think it (the switch) is worth it.

    I've got 100TB of drives in multiple compact servers, so.. I'm not the "most people" that commenters are saying this is useless for :P It's useless because of the poor Linux support.
    Reply
  • zorxd - Friday, March 27, 2020 - link

    If you already have a GigE port in your laptop it's not worth it for most people to carry a dongle just to get up to 2.5x the speed. Even if it was free. Reply
  • zorxd - Friday, March 27, 2020 - link

    and if you have two PCs, well they will also need to be connected to the Internet somehow

    So you are suggesting they be connected using a GigE link to the main router/switch, while also being connected together directly with this 2.5 Gbps link? Again, I don't think it's worth the hassle for a lot of people.
    Reply

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