Join 3,411 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

Male on Female on Female on Male.
February 17, 2009 7:52 AM   Subscribe

Is it possible to pair two ports of my 4-port USB hub, to form a USB female-female gender changer? Can I then connect typeA male end of USB cable modem to this and put a USB-LAN adapter to the other end of this pair, effectively getting a male USB modem to female LAN converter? This through a LAN cable is then supposed to go as i/p to my WRT54GL router.

Short version:
typeA USB male o/p from ADSL modem to ----> {female port on USB hub -- paired with another female port on same hub} ----> male USB2LAN adapter --> giving out female LAN connection.

Possible? Forget it?

The details:
- My (bastard*) ISP provides a ADSL USB modem, with typeA male connector.

- I'd like to convert USB o/p from this modem to a ethernet LAN type (so that I can connect it to my wrt54gl router). So I bought a USB-LAN adapter.

But since this is also type A male, I reckon I will need a female-female gender changer(FFGC)

My first question: this kind of setup should work, right?

If so, my second question:
I've tried finding this FFGC but I can't find it in local stores here. However I do have a usual 4-port USB hub (from local store, china make).

This hub has four typeA female connector. Is there a way to pair two of those ports(effectively making them a FFGC), so that I can plug in modem's USB on one end, and put my USB-LAN adapter on the other end. End result being as if I am getting a LAN connection out of my modem. I could then connect it using LAN cable to my router i/p. Is it possible? How?

based on my prevs question's responses, thank you everyone, I decided to go for ISP modem+WRT54GL setup
*-those bastards they told me they give LAN modems and then when I was not home, the bastard technician plugged in a USB modem and now they won't exchange because idiots don't supply LAN wired modems, and won't refund because well "goods once purchased will not be taken back" - it's there on the back of their fucking receipt, even if they lied to me several times on phone and in person, and their official brochures prints outright lies. The ISP is Etisalat (Dubai) btw where level of customer abuse is based on your nationality. Fucking Monopoly
posted by forwebsites to Technology (5 answers total)
No, it won't work. The USB to Ethernet device only works in one direction. That converter almost for sure needs to be plugged into a computer and needs that computer to have drivers on it to make the device work. And pretty much for sure your cable modem doesn't have the drivers running on it to work that way.

There ARE USB --> cat5 --> USB again devices. And there are USB --> ethernet --> Computer devices, but for those to work, there needs to be a driver on the computer to reassemble the USB signal.

You'd probably be better off buying a router that has a USB input.

USB genders are there for a reason.
posted by gjc at 8:03 AM on February 17, 2009

It doesn't work like that. USB works on a host/client model.

Your LAN-USB adapter is basically a USB network card, which passes data on to a driver on your computer (the host).
Your cable modem can't work as a USB host, and wouldn't know what to do with your USB network adapter. USB-Ethernet conversion isn't that simple.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:05 AM on February 17, 2009

The male-female dichotomy in USB is not just in the physical plug. It's also in the software handshake protocol used for the communications.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:19 AM on February 17, 2009

Sorry, you should return the USB ethernet adapter ASAP if you can. I suggest you look online and see if any users have installed other ADSL modems on their own. Most ISPs will accept a new modem if you put in the right settings, and most of those ISPs will tell you what settings to put in the new modem when you call. If there's a rental fee on your bill (unlikely, based on how you said it's a "purchased good"), try returning the modem and tell them you have your own.

And you have a good router, so don't be tempted to get a combination modem router.

If that does not work, you could set up a computer to receive the USB connection, and then share that via ethernet, and hook that into the router. The computer wouldn't have to be too modern, or even run Windows, but it would have to be on all the time, or at least when you want to use the internet. You might be able to find an old Pentium 1 or Pentium 2 machine for under $20, and if you set that up with a USB card and Ethernet card and a basic Linux distro designed for routing, you essentially have a USB router. It uses a lot of electricity, and its not the most elegant solution, but it works.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:11 AM on February 17, 2009

Yep: USB is inherently host/device, and the USB A/B connectors are carefully designed to reinforce this and make it hard to physically plug a host into a host or a device into a device. Your USB modem and USB LAN adapter are both devices and so can't be plugged into each other.

(USB gender changers do exist -- here for example is the A-A adapter you have a picture of -- but they adapt only the mechanical connection; the protocol's still going to be all wrong. Usually the oddball adapters are used either for specific testing purposes, or to work around screwy out-of-spec devices. One hard drive I've seen wrongly had an A-receptacle and needed an illegal A-to-A cable to connect it to a PC.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:17 AM on February 17, 2009

« Older Does anyone remember the Famil...   |  Is there a fear of flying clas... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.