will the docking station mess up my software licenses?


Does the Plugable USB 2.0 Universal Docking Station have its own MAC address? If yes, it could mess up my software licenses, a problem that I heard about another docking station (by another company).

Here’s the relevant comment on that product page: http://www.amazon.com/review/R2NAC6UG…=


Hi Herine,

Thanks for the posting this question!

Yes, the docking station’s USB network functionality is its own independent interface (thus is with its own MAC address). It would be the same as the link you gave.

So this is something to think about if you have software licensing that’s tied to MAC address (rare for consumers, but more common in enterprises – the kind of software that costs thousands of dollars per seat). If you’re running software like this, you’re in an environment with IT staff, and they’d know if any of your software might run afoul of this.

There is an easy workaround – simply to not use the network interface (only use the graphics, audio, and USB ports of the device). In that case, the 3rd party software (and its license validation) will never be communicated over the dock’s ethernet interface. Also, there’s always the deeper option of disabling the USB network device in Windows’ Device Manager, so the network drivers won’t be installed, and no software will be able to detect that the network interface is there.

Hope that helps to paint a clear picture. Thanks again for asking before purchase!


First of all, thank you so much for being so helpful and responsive. I’ve read elsewhere about Plugable’s great customer service, but I am still impressed.

As for my question, thank you for answering it completely and also offering a solution. I am going ahead and buying the docking station. I just won’t use the Internet connection, just in case. I was going to directly plug in my laptop’s HDMI connection anyway; I just didn’t want to deal with the cables to my speaker and USB devices.