I have a Motorola Surfboard SB5101U. It has a USB output and a Ethernet output. I currently run the Ethernet into a Netgear router that my primary computer is wired to (all other devices run on the Wifi).

Would there be any benefit if I used the USB to connect my computer instead? My gut says the Ethernet is faster than USB but the router could cause slowdowns or latency that would be eliminated if I connect directly to the modem.

  • Ethernet > USB. everytime – Sickest Apr 27 '14 at 22:18
  • Have you considered just trying it, and decide based on your experiment? – Nevin Williams Apr 28 '14 at 4:54
  • @NevinWilliams I think I will have too. My main concern was not raw speed as both USB and the Ethernet have more than the modem, but rather latency from the network over USB protocol which I have never used before. No on seems to have mentioned it so I'm guessing there is no loss there or someone would have brought it up. – Fr33dan Apr 28 '14 at 13:08
  • @Fr33dan can you determine USB version (such as USB 1.0, 2.0, 3.0,...)? – Jet Apr 29 '14 at 13:31
  • @Jet There is no way to determine that as it is not listed in the manual but I believe it is safe to assume it is 2.0. Raw transfer speed was not really my concern as I am sure both the USB and the Ethernet are faster than the connection by the modem itself unless something about network over USB significantly reduces speed. 90% of my concern is about how the network over USB works and if that causes any slowdowns or latency. As I have said both USB and Ethernet have more speed than the modem provides. – Fr33dan Apr 29 '14 at 18:08
up vote 0 down vote accepted

It's depended on USB version.
USB maximum speeds are:

USB 1.0    12 Mbit/s
USB 2.0    280 Mbit/s (<-yours is probably this)
USB 3.0    4 Gbit/s
USB 3.1    10 Gbit/s

and your device has 100Mbit/s Ethernet port.
So if your device USB is not USB 1.0 (most probably it's USB 2.0) then you will see higher speed via USB cable.

  • 2
    Except that the modem he listed is hard limited to 38mbps which makes the question a bit of a moot point. – Mokubai Apr 27 '14 at 22:11

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