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Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Jumbospot ethernet adapter

A cheap Chinese ethernet adapter

If you're thinking of getting an ethernet adapter for your jumbospot hotspot, watch out. The cheap Chinese ones on ebay (usually marked with the number 9700) have issues. See this link for full details. The short version is that they're only USB1 so are very slow, and they have a poor design that makes them perform sub-optimally.

They still work but it might not be as good as a properly made and supported ethernet adapter. The slow speed is generally not too much of a problem since hotspots don't need to transfer data at a high speed most of the time anyway. Digital voice is low bitrate, which means it only needs low speeds.

They should work out of the box, assuming you have a relatively up to date version of pi-star installed. I had to restart the hotspot to get it to work. I also noticed the dashboard loading much quicker than on Wi-Fi so even with the slow speed and poor design, it might be better to get one of these than relying on Wi-Fi.

Still, it would be better to buy one which is properly supported, like the 3 Port USB Hub w/ Ethernet - Micro USB (Pi Zero) sold by ModMyPi, Pimoroni and other retailers.

Update (19/04/2019): After about three months of use, I haven't had a single issue with this ethernet adapter. Although in theory they might not be completely optimal, I find that in practice they work perfectly adequately for hotspots. Hotspots generally operate at a low data rate, so the fact that this product only supports USB 1 isn't an issue for this use case. I recommend this product if you want to connect your hotspot by ethernet cable for more reliable connection to the internet.

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