Customer Review

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Definitely NOT plug-and-play, August 2, 2011
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This review is from: Plugable® USB 2.0 to 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN Wired Network Adapter for Windows, Mac, Chromebook, Linux, and Specific Android Tablets (ASIX AX88178 Chipset) (Personal Computers)
I bought this because it said it was plug-and-play. I needed a network device that I could plug into a vanilla install of Windows XP in order to get a network connection with which I could download all the other drivers. In that regard, this purchase did not fill my needs, thus the three star review.

When you plug this device into a vanilla XP SP3 machine, it shows up in the "Other Devices" section of Device Manager just like all the other non-supported devices.

The driver archive can be downloaded from plugable.com ... in RAR format. This means you can't just go download it and unzip it on a vanilla XP install, you have to also download 7zip or WinRAR.

So, if you want a plug-and-play (as in plug this in and play online) USB device on XP SP3, don't buy this. I don't know which one you can buy, but this is certainly not it.

Note: This device works fine out of the box on OS X 10.7 and Ubuntu Linux 11.04. The 3 star review here is only related to XP.
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Tracked by 1 customer

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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 3, 2011 11:43:01 PM PDT
Ryan M says:
You know that's really not what plug-and-play means. It means you don't have to have the system off or restart to install it.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 4, 2011 7:57:11 AM PDT
That's a pretty 1990's definition of plug-and-play. Even PCI-Express cards are hot-pluggable. At any rate, I wish somebody had pointed out that the drivers were not included with the default windows install, and expect somebody else will find my observation useful.

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2012 11:00:03 AM PDT
S. Allen says:
I agree that the manufacturer could gave gone the extra mile (or foot, really) to provide a ready-to-use executable (or at least zip file) for the driver download. As a matter of convenience for non-technical users, that's a valid point to make.

Your other point requires a little more understanding. Windows XP SP3's mainstream support was discontinued a while ago--the only thing Microsoft is doing with XP from now on is security updates. No new features, no new in-house driver support, etc. How do you expect a manufacturer to get its drivers listed for an otherwise unsupported platform? According to other reviews, this the drivers are readily available through Windows Update on Vista / 7. You're essentially giving this item 3-stars because of a systemic problem with XP.

"That's a pretty 1990's definition of plug-and-play."
--Actually, it's not, unless you deliberately ignore the distinction between device *discovery* and device driver support. PnP is about device discovery. Your Windows XP system immediately saw the device--it just didn't know what it was. PnP, as a technology, has always been frequently misassociated with the idea that it is solely responsible for making devices "just work." You obviously understand that there's more to it (i.e, drivers). To say that this device isn't PnP is patently false. To say that PnP is useless without easy access to the drivers (as in your case) seems pretty fair.

Did you ever get this device working? It seems that your review is based on a series of issues connected to one aspect of this device, with no mention of its performance or reliability. For anyone else with an XP3 SP3 setup like you, it might be more helpful to include instructions on how you overcame these obstacles.

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2012 11:12:10 AM PDT
You're right, device discovery and device support are two different things and I probably assumed one when I meant the other. I suppose over all the years I never really did get a clear definition of PnP. To me, it always seemed like it should mean "plug this in and play games online." And I don't consider installing drivers a game. :P

Incidentally I don't use XP for anything anymore so the original point of my post is moot. My suggestion for anybody else using XP is "don't use XP." If that's not an option, my OP mentions 7zip and Winrar, which is plenty enough for anybody who doesn't need to be hand held through the entire process and then instructed on how to open IE.

This device has served me well in OS X connected to VMware Fusion running Linux as a PXE boot server so I can have a VM with a dedicated wired NIC serving DHCP while still having one dedicated wired NIC for my VMware Host offering internet access, which is how I mainly use it now.

I think my original 3 star review for XP is still valid. I'll amend it to say it's specifically about XP though.
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