Don’t be fooled by the Vantec ezShare’s unassuming looks. This simple six-foot white cable with its Type A USB plugs on either end is actually one of the easiest ways to quickly moves files between two computers. Just plug one end into an available USB port on a box running Windows (XP and up), and plug the other end into the second box.
A Windows Explorer–like app will auto-launch on each machine, letting you drag and drop folders and files between the two PCs. If this sounds an awful lot like Data Drive Thru’s Tornado (reviewed November 2007), that’s because the two products are pretty similar. The file-explorer UI and software functionality of both products are virtually the same. It’s close enough that we have a pretty strong suspicion that the underlying chipsets and software come from the same factory in China. There are a few key differences, though.
The first is the construction. The Tornado has auto-retracting cables, making it a nice portable package. On the other hand, the ezShare works with Macs. That’s right, by plugging one side into a PC and the other side into a Mac (10.4 or greater), you get the same Windows Explorer–like view and ability to drag and drop files between the two machines. That’ll make it even easier to switch from OS X to Windows 7 this fall!
We compared our original Tornado with the ezShare by copying files between a Win XP ThinkPad T60 Core Duo notebook and our midrange Core i7 Dream Machine running Windows 7 64-bit. It was virtually a tie, with both transfer cables taking about 530 seconds to move a 9GB file from the notebook to the desktop. Actually, we’re happy to report that we could even move the large file; after we published our review of the Tornado in 2007, some people reported problems moving files larger than 4GB, and we even subsequently experienced occasional issues when using Windows XP 64-bit. Data Drive Thru was never able to replicate the problem, however. It now seems likely that the culprit was some obscure configuration of the OS, as we didn’t experience any such conflicts with Windows 7.
A simple Windows Explorer-like interface pops up on both machines when copying files.
We also tested the ezShare with smaller transfers and moved about 1.34GB of image files in 96 seconds—top-notch performance for USB 2.0 transfers.
So what’s not to like? The ezShare’s presentation doesn’t exactly impress. While the Tornado makes for a tidy package, the ezShare looks like a plain, run-of-the-mill cable. But at $27 vs. $50 for the Tornado, we’ll live with the ugly cable. And with Mac compatibility thrown in to boot, the ezShare is an obvious winner. Now all it needs to win a Kick Ass is Linux support.
Vantec ezShare Adapter
Cross-platform support; low price; good performance.
Has all the style and grace of a plain white USB cable.