Review: TeleAdapt ConferenceHub

TeleAdapt hubs solve wireless problems with a wired solution. (October 18th, 2006)

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Product Manufacturer: TeleAdapt Group

Price: $169.95 US

The Good

  • Very sturdy and well-designed unit. Cables extend from each corner. Ample ventilation prevents overheating. Easy-to-see status lights inform each person of connection status.

The Bad

  • If the unit needs to be restarted all users will be temporarily affected. Designed for middle of the table access.

For many of us life comes to a standstill when we cannot access the Internet. Single computer network access is outweighed by the need to work on team projects or join with friends in a networked game. When walls and other deterrents impede wireless solutions, a wired hub may be the best solution. TeleAdapt manufactures sturdy networking devices often found in hotels and high end conference rooms. The ConferenceHub - 4 Port Network Switch is an Ethernet multi-connection hub and switch that plugs into an existing network or Internet connection and serves it to four 10/100Mbps ports with speeds of up to 200Mbps per port, as compared to the Apple Airport Extreme, which is limited to 54Mbps.

Sturdy and Durable

The ConferenceHub, made of very sturdy black plastic, is an ingenious clover-shaped design that goes against the horizontal form of most hubs and switches. Ventilation holes are stylishly integrated into the design and ensure that it will not overheat. Each of the four feet under the device has a non-marring pad to protect even the most expensive company boardroom tables. The ConferenceHub houses 4 slim ThinLine flat retractable CAT6 cables with RJ45 connectors. The action on these retractable ports is smooth and the cables extend or retract easily with a slight tug. Each cable extends up to 6 feet and eliminates the bulky clutter of conventional thick Ethernet cables.

Easy Network Creation

Creating a network is easy with the ConferenceHub. I plugged it into an Ethernet wall outlet, plugged in the power and one of the retractable CAT6 cables, and turned on my laptop. I opened up Safari and was online instantly. With the networking ease built into Mac OS X and the ConferenceHub, I was online instantly, even though my last Internet connection used the now out-of-range AirPort network. While frequent plugging and unplugging of the laptop eventually disrupted network access, I just disconnected the ConferenceHub from the network and unplugged the power to allow it to reset, which corrected the problem. Two status lights glow with a steady green to indicate it has found the network and recognized the connected device. Whenever you successfully access the Internet or network, the activity light blinks with an orange light.

When Four Is Not Enough

You can also connect multiple ConferenceHubs to create larger networks as the need arises. While this device is a bit bulky for one's everyday travel bag, it can certainly be packed into a suitcase and used for ad hoc networking. Having a ConferenceHub on hand provides the flexibility to add more people for various projects. It accommodates both full and duplex modes on each of the four ports, so its network auto sensing capabilities and compact size make it a solid product for any company to have on hand.

System Requirements

All you need to use the ConferenceHub is power outlet, network connection, and computers or other network devices. The ConferenceHub ships a thin 6' CAT6 cable to connect the switch to the network and allow for convenient placement of the device.

Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor

by P.A.M. Borys


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