Ethernet and USB are both common interfaces used for data acquisition, but they have different advantages and disadvantages depending on the specific use case. LabJack offers multifunction data acquisition (DAQ)hardware with USB, Ethernet and WiFi options.
Here are some benefits of using an Ethernet connection for data acquisition compared to a USB connection:
Longer distance: Ethernet cables can transmit data up to 100 meters without any signal loss or degradation, while USB cables are limited to a maximum length of 5 meters. This means that Ethernet connections can be used to acquire data from devices that are far away from the acquisition system.
Higher data transfer rates: Ethernet connections support higher streaming data rates compared to USB connections. The LabJack T7 for example can stream data at the following rates:
-Ethernet can usually maintain just under 120 ksamples/second.
-USB generally maxes out right around 100 ksamples/second.
Multiple device support: Ethernet connections support multiple devices on a single network, while USB connections can only support a limited number of devices. This means that Ethernet connections can be used to acquire data from multiple devices simultaneously.
- Electrical isolation: The Ethernet connection on any LabJack T-series device has 1500 volts of galvanic isolation. All power supplies shipped by LabJack Corporation with T-series devices have at least 500 volts of isolation. The transformer provides electrical isolation between the network and the device. This means that any electrical noise or interference that may be present on the network cable, such as voltage spikes or ground loops, is not passed on to the device. At the same time, any electrical noise or interference generated by the device is not passed back to the network.
- Remote access: Ethernet connections can be accessed remotely using the internet, which can be useful for monitoring data acquisition processes from a remote location. This is not possible with USB connections, which require physical access to the acquisition system. For more details read the LabJack via Internet App Note
Overall, Ethernet connections are a better choice for data acquisition applications that require high data transfer rates, longer distances, multiple device support, and network security. However, USB connections can be a good option for applications that require portability and ease of use.