For those who run any form of Hyper-V, you know the frustration in not being able to pass through USB ports like you can in ESXi. To work around this issue, there are many devices that offer the promise of doing just that. The StarTech USB400IP is one of those devices that on paper, seem to provide you with this missing capability.
The StarTech is a simple device with a power connector and Lan connector in the back, and 4 USB 2.0 ports in the front of the device.
For the most part the software was not bad and seemed functional. Setting devices to auto connect did require that you configure it that way otherwise you had to connect each time you boot up. I would have thought that auto-connect should have been the default not just an option. Overall it worked well in terms of setup.
Results and Summary
At the end of the day it is really whether or not it works and does what it is supposed to do that matters. This is where the StarTech falls short, extremely short. Devices connect OK but the overall experience is a hit and miss. For example I can connect a USB Stick, but I cannot format it. When I try to format it gives me an error and renders the flash drive unusable till you bring it to another system to repair it. Once it is formatted on a different computer, I can copy data but only sporadically and the performance is extremely slow when it does work. When I tried to sync my iPhone, it found it, but it would hang every time I tried to do sync. So if you ask me if I would recommend this product I would have to say without hesitation NO, stay away from this thing and look for a different device. At best is was a frustrating experience and even though the concept of USB to IP is awesome to bridge into VM’s, the StarTech just does not deliver a usable experience.