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A very easy way to connect two PCs is to use a USB-USB cable. By connecting two PCs with a cable like this, you can transfer files from one PC to another, and even build a small network and share your Internet connection with a second PC. In this tutorial, we will explain you how to connect two PCs using this type of cable.
The first thing you should be aware of is that there are several different kinds of USB-USB cables on the market. The one used to connect two PCs is called “bridged” (or “USB networking cable”), because it has a small electronic circuit in the middle allowing the two PCs to talk to each other. There are called A/A USB cables that, in spite of having two standard USB connectors at each end, don’t have a bridge chip and cannot be used to connect two PCs. In fact, if you use an A/A USB cable, you can burn the USB ports of your computers or even their power supplies. So, these A/A USB cables are completely useless. A/B USB cables are used to connect your computer to peripherals such as printers and scanners, so they also won’t meet your needs.
Figure 1: USB-USB bridged cable.
Figure 2: A close-up of the bridge located in the middle of the cable.
As for speed, the bridge chip can be USB 1.1 (12 Mbps) or USB 2.0 (480 Mbps). Of course, we suggest that you buy a USB 2.0 bridged cable because of its very high speed. Just remember, the standard Ethernet network works at 100 Mps, so the USB 2.0 cable will provide a transfer rate almost five times higher than a standard network connection.
We decided to open the bridge located on the middle of our cable to show you that this kind of cable really has a bridge chip, and that’s why it is more expensive than a simple A/A USB cable that doesn’t have any circuit at all.