I bought this to control a PICO 4424 USB Oscilloscope. Although the GUWIP recognizes my plugging in the oscilloscope, it fails to see it as an oscilloscope and thinks its a printer. The PICO software cannot find the oscilloscope through the GUWIP. I also used a Microsoft USB mouse through this device and the mouse installed properly. The mouse would route via wireless or direct-connect via RJ45 ethernet just fine. The PICO oscilloscope would not. Proceed with the reviews and others have noted this with their webcams.
Later edit: I have tried a Saelig "MV200UM" digital USB microscope with the GUWIP. The GUWIP recognized it, but the microscope software driver in the computer fails to find the microscope hardware. It works on direct plug-in, but not through the GUWIP.
The GUWIP did recognize and the computer found a HP3005 laser printer and a SanDisk USB flash memory.
I was able to print to the laser, as well as read/write files on the USB memory same as if they were plugged directly into the computer.
I have successfully used this device with a "Pluggable USB to Video Converter:
Plugable UGA-2K-A USB 2.0 to VGA/DVI/HDMI Adapter for Multiple Monitors up to 2048x1152 / 1920x1200 Each (DisplayLink DL-195 Chipset)
It works. Its a bit choppy on a movie, but doesn't hang up. Static screens show nicely, but if you try, you can see mouse pointer lag.
I realize I am using exotic hardware. So this review is for others thinking of using non-mainstream things. It has been relatively robust seeing the mainstream USB products, with the only issue I noted being connecting to the device during powerup often results in some sort of automatic logon/logoff cycle of about 15 seconds which continues until I disconnect from the GUWIP then reconnect.
If you are using this for mice, keyboards, maybe USB disk drives, you may not experience the frustration I experienced trying to use this with exotic hardware. I am not going to say this is a "bad" device, but there still seems to be some issues with it recognizing fringe hardware.
If you are looking for a way to share a printer, this is a neat way to do it. The GUWIP software has an "auto-connect" feature that shares a printer nicely, allowing one person to print until his print job is done, then switching to the next user. This would be a 5 star for that application.
I have USB long-lines and isolators which slow down the USB link. The oscilloscope works fine with these, albeit a bit slower screen updates. Pico tells me the oscilloscopes are tolerant of slow USB. So this does not seem to be a latency issue.
Considering all the setup options of this thing, ( such as setting up WPA security keys ), this thing is like setting up a wireless access point. Way too sophisticated in my opinion for what should be as easy as logging onto a hotspot in a restaurant. With this much setup, this thing should function as a wireless access point. But it doesn't. (edit: actually, it does! read on... ). Nevertheless, albeit its probably my ignorance, the GUWIP seems to require a lot of configuration if its no more than another client on an existing wireless network. To me, its "setup" shouldn't be much more than logging it onto the wireless network while you are connected to it via its RJ45 port. From that, it could see which network you selected, get the info from it, and the logon password from you as you log in, and bingo. done. All the complexity of a Starbucks logon.
Read the instructions carefully. For this to function, you must already have a wireless router. This will log onto it and offer the USB ports to those running the IOGear software. It appears to be some tunneling TCP protocol. Only one user can "own" a USB port at a time, so keep that in mind if you are thinking of "sharing" a big USB drive.
Later edit: I have discovered the GUWIP has a seemingly undocumented and unsupported "ad-hoc" peer-to-peer networking mode. Under this mode, the GUWIP looks like another wireless hotspot to my computer. When I log onto the GUWIP, its USB ports become active and function, through the GUWIP driver installed as part of the setup process, as ports on my machine. Of course, if I log onto the GUWIP in this mode, there is no longer any wireless internet connectivity to my machine. I have not experimented with the RJ45 on the GUWIP to see if it would support ethernet connection to a router. The mouse routed via wireless just fine by this method. My oscilloscope did not.
The security in the ad-hoc mode is either completely open, or WEP "bathroom lock" security, but admittedly "breaking into" control of some tech's portable oscilloscope just to frustrate his job isn't a fait accompli for most hackers. The WPA security mode lets you set a password to log on, and generally that's good enough to keep others from logging onto your ad-hoc network by mistake.
It turns out the ad-hoc network is exactly what I want when I go to a customer site and want to completely isolate my instruments from anything around me. It is also exactly what I want to give my church so my pastor can use keyboard and mouse from the lectern to control the computer which drives the big displays for the congregation. Ideally, I wish they would do like an ASUS WL-330 pocket router and offer the flexibility of this device functioning as a USB server ( as its originally marketed to be ) or an access point like the WL-330 does.
The GUWIP needs 12 volts at 1.5 amps. It has DC/DC converters in it to provide 5V/500mA ( according to IOGear customer service ) to each USB port. It makes sense. firstname.lastname@example.orgA is 18 Watts in, 4 x 5V @ 500mA = 10 watts out to USB loads, leaving the 8 watts to power the device and converter losses. This would make powering the GUWIP from a gel-cell in the lectern practical, as my experience has shown leaving loose lines snaking across the floor around the lecturn is a really bad idea. The GUWIP, in turn, powers the mouse and keyboard, and maybe camera, via the USB ports. Makes for a really clean remote system.
I hope IOGear further develops the "ad-hoc" networking feature. That was the main feature that kept my unit from becoming a customer return, as I can not get mine to see my USB oscilloscope.
There is a reset button on the GUWIP which resets it to factory settings. I have already "bricked" my unit trying to set it up, and the reset button indeed "unbricked" it. I realize this is a typical "PEBKAC" ( Problem exists between keyboard and chair ) situation, and I am doing my best to resolve it. Unfortunately, I do not get to talk to the guy who designed it, and have to rely on what I infer, which is often wrong. I cycled power to my device, while holding the "init" button in the whole time, and held for ten seconds before power down, during power down, and after power up. The GUWIP recognized that and reinitialized itself to factory default. The manual didn't give me much hint on this. I have reset routers that way, and it worked for this too.
I will continue pinging both IOGear and Pico and update this log with what I find out. This should work - its gotta be some little timing bug or similar that is fouling up the device identifications.
I know I am being a bit wordy here, but I am trying to be informative, as I have found so little info on this device, and some of it is undocumented or unsupported menu items. I am using this Amazon review as my blog on this device.
Later edit: I changed from 3 to 4 stars after I was successful in using it with my PicoScope 4424 USB oscilloscope. It is a bit tricky to get the link started, but once established, the link is quite robust. I have left complete reports of how to do this with Pico Technology. I still can not get my USB microscope to work through it.