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Being a newbie, please excuse if the technical jargon used is not a universally accepted one :)

I have a particular device (say device A) whose USB2.0 driver is available from Linux community. Ubuntu 12.04 based PC is able to detect that device via the available driver.

My requirement is to ensure that PC can exchange the command as well as data with device A over TCP/IP packets (in other words, instead of just a USB based driver, there should be a TCP/IP wrapper over the device USB driver and still does the same job as the USB driver was doing before).

Bought an USB (Female) to RJ-45 adapter, connected Device A (male) USB to the USB Female end of the adapter and the Ethernet end connected to the router. PC also is connected to the same router so that both Device A and the PC have the IP address in the same subnet range. So the packets produced by the device A can be routed to the PC via some binding( not sure how I can achieve this, but conceptual idea).

Here are the issues I can see as of now

  1. USB to RJ-45 is just a hardware signal conversion and not a NIC in itself and hence no MAC/IP ADDRESS assigned. Can we bind a virtual NIC created in PC with this connector?

  2. Any available USB TO IP command as well as data translation wrappers available? e.g. command for the device A on Ethernet converted to command for the device A on USB which is then acted upon the device as a command from the USB driver

There is some missing link in my understanding and hence it would be of great help if you can bounce off some ideas on how I can take this forward so that Device A and PC exchange data over IP.

Device A is just a webcam type of device which will just stream out the video data.

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AFAIK: This all depends on what is device A and what are its capabilities. – Javier Rivera Sep 25 '12 at 14:46
Device A is just a webcam type of device which will just stream out the video data. – Sriram Sep 26 '12 at 5:21
The question is: Is device A just a dumb webcam or does it run some kind of OS. In other words, can device A run drivers for the USB-ethernet adapter?, Have device A any kind of network stack?. – Javier Rivera Sep 26 '12 at 7:16
AFAIK, Device A is just a dumb webcam and its only interface is USB. It has neither USB host capabilities nor a network stack. It simply pumps out the video data. It can not runs drivers but can only respond to USB based command requests for device probe and streaming. – Sriram Sep 28 '12 at 4:12

Short answer

If the webcam is just a "plain webcam"(logitec or other common brand or no brand) for skype or computer live chat, the short answer is NO.

Long Answer

  1. USB and Ethernet are two different things

    When something is plug into ethernet port, the ethernet card expect ethernet protocol handshaking. A plain USB device is not capable/program to do that. For a device able to do that, it is likely that it come with a usb-ethernet connector.

  2. Power

    USB device draw power from the usb connection. Some ethernet devices are able to use power from a specific type of network switch that support Power Over Ethernet(PoE). There are no(I never heard or come across) network card supporting that.

  3. Theoretical Possibility

    With all the above said, there are away the possibility that someone come up with a special driver that REPLACE the network card driver and make it talk USB protocol with the specific device. But a special cable(slice out power line pair and connect to a power adapter) will be needed to supply power.


  1. Just use a very long usb cable. If the webcam support USB 2.0, you can use a 5m cable.

  2. There are existing webcam support IP networking in the market. Search for "ip webcam". Following is one example:

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From your description, I understand you want to connect your usb webcam to other computer via an IP network. As John Siu wrote, they are two different protocols, both in physical part (electrical) and in the software part.

You will always need something who 'speak' both protocols and translate one in the other. Well, translate is not the better word, because what is normally done is grab the packet as is from one medium and transport it over the other medium as a payload.

I've found this project googling a bit:

USB/IP Project aims to develop a general USB device sharing system over IP network. To share USB devices between computers with their full functionality, USB/IP encapsulates "USB I/O messages" into TCP/IP payloads and transmits them between computers.

This is only the software part, you also need some hardware, and for this you have the pocket size computers like BeagleBoard or Raspberry PI

But there are already assembled tools available in the market like this one:

note: I never use neither the usbip neither the CamsecureUSBtoIP. I just wrote this two links to help you in the investigation.

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