This is expert-class diagnostic software to study USB ports and devices, but demo limitations make an efficient test difficult. USBTrace's multipane interface logically places data for easy readability and offers a simple way to move and resize panes to user preferences. The Help file serves as both a manual and a quick-study guide. However, an extensive understanding of USB controllers, devices, and drivers is required.
Operating USBTrace is surprisingly easy. Devices or drivers to monitor are chosen using quick check boxes. The click of a button starts capturing data as it is transferred through the selected device. A spreadsheet of data is displayed very quickly, including the time, device, request, status, and other information. It is difficult to test the app over time, though, as the demo stops when a small buffer is filled. During our tests, that took less than 30 seconds. Nevertheless, you can highlight captured data to display additional information. Though most of the data will be unintelligible to all but expert users, it takes just couple of clicks to store data in an HTML, XML, or text file.
While we wished the demo limitation wasn't as stingy, USBTrace is a rare diagnostic that doesn't alter your system as it captures data. It's stable, uses little overhead, and the information it grabs is extensive. Expert users will appreciate the program's easy operation and informative display.