Before we dive into the test results, we would like to point out some interesting features on a couple of our adapters. The first one in the lime-light is the Ewent EW1140 which is quite affordable at around 24 pounds / 27 euros. At that price, you also get not one, not two, but three USB 3.0 plugs available alongside your network port. This is certainly a good mini docking solution, this way you can plug in all your USB peripherals in one port. This may just be the ultimate gift for someone working on the go and we certainly think it is one of the top competitors in this test, at least on features. However, if you decide to move your entire movie collection onto an external hard drive via one of the USB ports, keep in mind that this will come at the price of reduced network speeds as they compete for the throughput.
Startech.com have sent us a couple of interesting models. The USB31000SPTB has USB connections on the side as well, which replace the one used for the network plug. The US1GC30W is interesting because it is a USB C plug, but as we previously mentioned it was not readily-compatible with MacOS, and the performance was a bit below expectations.
For the real IT people, one of the more expensive models – the US1GC301AU2R (at 64 pounds / 72 euros) might be the gadget they are looking for. It is also a USB C adapter, but it comes with double gigabit ports and an extra USB 3.0 port. This is ideal if you want to run tests in a virtual environment on your laptop using one port for regular and one port for virtual connection. For this, of course, you probably have a sleek thin laptop with a good amount of RAM and a large SSD. Even if a laptop would have an Ethernet port, one with a double Ethernet port is much harder to find. That’s why we can recommend this model as part of the system administrator’s standard tools. If you also count the WiFi, suddenly you have three network connections to pick from.
Even the cheapest adapter in this test deserves a spot in the light. The TP-Link UE300 is small and handy as it has a cable that can be folded into the adapter. This is good for when you do not want to twist or break the cable in a bag for example.