From my desktop, that is. Every device I have tried to connect through the cable so far has lit up, as though they got a signal. But the PC cannot recognize the device behind the cable.(Sometimes the message 'The usb device could not be recognized' explicitly shows up on the PC.)

If 5 meter really was the maximum length that would work with the PC, why would TP-Link manufacture the 10 meter one in the first place? The retailer convinced me that 10 meters was a good idea if I want to keep my wifi adapter dongle close to my tablet, then connectify hotspot would let me share my ethernet internet with the tablet.

Should I return the 10 meter cable for two of those 5 meter longs? I suppose putting those two end-to-end would add up to a working 10 meters, right? The retailer warned me it would slow down data transfer "at the joint of those twos", while that slowdown effect would be much less painful if I use a singular 10 meter cable. Is this even true?

closed as too broad by Xavierjazz, Ramhound, DavidPostill, mdpc, Gaff Nov 5 '16 at 4:55

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • if the USB standard states 5M as the maximum length, for sure return that cable! You shouldn't be sold cables that don't work! – user648246 Nov 2 '16 at 20:51
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    The only USB cables that should be sold that are over 5m are "active booster/repeater" cables. These have a 5m section of cable with a small repeater, and then another 5m cable plugged into it. – CConard96 Nov 2 '16 at 20:58
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    Longer cables mean more delay in signals and a voltage drop. For this reason many standards come with a maximum range. As Mark mentioned, for USB this is 5 meter. Using twice 5m will not work either unless you could add a hub in the middle. I got a feeling that you are solving an X-Y problem though. Why does the dongle have poor reception in the first place. Isn;t that the problem you want to solve? – Hennes Nov 2 '16 at 20:58
  • You need to drop that retailer and find a more qualified place. What kind of "joint" did your "retailer" mean? – Ale..chenski Nov 2 '16 at 21:01
  • The issue isn't so much with the power as the data, that's why things light up but aren't recognized. You can make a functioning cable longer than the "limit". The limit is based on allowable losses using the recommended wire sizes. A longer cable would be much thicker, less flexible, and much more expensive. You also can't string shorter cables together because their wire sizes are based on their length. – fixer1234 Nov 2 '16 at 21:03

USB is only rated for 5 meter. And this is with high quality cables.

Sure some devices will work "sort of" with longer cables, but it depends on a lot of things:

  • The signal-strength and voltage stability of the USB controller.
  • The signal-sensitivy of both the device and the controller.
  • Whether or not the device needs power from the USB controller or has its own power-supply.
  • Quality of the cables.
  • Quality of the connectors and plugs.
  • Interference of other devices around the house.
  • USB 1 or 2. (USB 1 is somewhat more forgiving to long cables.)
  • Plain luck.

If you really need to bridge that distance get 2 cables of 5 meters and a USB hub with a separate power-supply to put in the middle. The hub will act as a signal amplifier and provides power to the device (if needed).
Don't buy the cheapest cables you can find. They are usually of awful quality.
Thicker stiff cables are usually better quality than thin, supple cables.
Even with decent cables and a hub in the middle it still will be borderline.

  • 2 5 m cables and a powered usb hub in the middle is probably a solution, but the OP may be better off with a 10m ethernet cable and an ethernet switch: the express purpose here is to bring the wifi closer to where the tablet is being used – Yorik Nov 2 '16 at 21:20
  • @Yorik I'm not entirely sure how exactly that network setup of the poster is supposed to work. The description in the question is pretty vague in that regard. Looks indeed like an X-Y problem, which Hennis also commented upon already. Anyway the question is asking about USB and cable-lenghts specifically so I answered to that. And hopefully in a general way so my answer is also useful for people that stumble upon this question and my answer, when they search for related USB issues. – Tonny Nov 3 '16 at 10:34

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