Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Be wary of random cheap peripherals

I’ve learnt that it’s not a very good idea to buy random cheap computer peripherals from eBay. If you have to reinstall the drivers and don’t have the original CD, you may well be very screwed.
This happened with my USB Infrared Data Access device (IrDA), bought off eBay last year for about £8. Apaprently it’s an Edisonsoft ES620, but with Edisonsoft not having an official web site finding drivers is hard. In all, I tried about 5 different drivers, all claiming to be for the ES620, and Windows would not install any of them.
Though these devices are cheap, the extra cost of buying proper-branded devices is probably worth it, since the manufacturer will usually have a web site where you can download the official drivers and get support if you are having issues with it.
As it happens, I only needed the IrDA device for my phone, which supports Bluetooth anyway and I have a Belkin Bluetooth device. It may not be the best device in the world but at least you can download the drivers easily.

3 Comments

  1. I second that. One of my friends had a generic webcam, and lost the CD. There were no manufacturer names to speak of on the device, and no model numbers to go on. She had no idea who made it, so getting drivers for it was impossible.
    I told her to chuck it and go buy a Logitech one instead.

  2. If I buy cheap things, I try to buy things that generic drivers will work for.

  3. Joe: Good point. I have bought random imported stuff before which has used generic drivers (card readers, flash drives etc.), and I suppose they’re okay because you don’t have to track down the manufacturer for them.