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Does anyone know if there are any USB network adapters out there that have both wired and wireless networking capability? Far-fetched, I know, but thought I'd ask.

Background: Some of our users have locked down laptops that we also include unlocked virtual machines running on VMware Player. Sometimes the users have a need for network connectivity with their VMs where NAT and bridged networking from the host won't work. To supplement this, we want to supply them with adapters that they can use VMware USB pass through capabilities to provide appropriate connectivity. They will need both wired and wireless capability. Rather than carrying around 2 adapters, was hoping we could get a combination unit so that we can reduce it to 1.

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Am I correct in my understanding that you're trying to block network connectivity for the laptops but provide network connectivity for the VMs? –  Mark Jan 28 '10 at 20:44
    
Not quite. I'm not fully briefed on the details, but the short story is that the clients occasionally need to connect to custom hardware devices that use a network connection (either wired or wireless depending on the device) and custom software distributed within the VMs. Because the devices have no DHCP support and the clients don't have Admin privileges on the host machines, they can't edit their IP settings to create a connection (either from the host, or one that passes through to the VM). The USB network adapters are a compromise that meets our security requirements. –  Evan M. Jan 28 '10 at 21:36
    
Wow. Are your sys-admins totally inaccessible? It seems like there is something strange going on with overzealous security policies. –  Fake Name Apr 9 '10 at 5:45

2 Answers 2

I don't know of dual wireless/wired cards, but you could always give them one PCMCIA adapter and one USB adapter. That would use fewer USB slots and the PCMCIA adapter could stay in semi-permanently.

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Will the VM detect and use a PCCARD/CARDBUS device? –  Dave M Jan 28 '10 at 21:57

You can compose cheap usb hub and two adapters in epoxy. http://lifehacker.com/5353004/diy-indestructible-thumb-drive

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