USB Over Network consists of both a Server and a Client install. You install the Server part on the machine to which you want to connect the device and the Client version then needs to be installed on all the machines from which you want to access said device. Both installs are straightforward.
Server-side, it’s easy to create a USB share, and, depending on how many device licenses you have bought, it’s also easy to swap which device you are sharing. Client-side, it’s even less hassle.
Once installed, it launches a quick start that guides you through the basics. In addition, you can automatically connect any USB device shared on that server.
You’ll easily have devices shared across your network in minutes.
Special software lets you share USB over Ethernet and access devices easily as if those devices were directly attached to your remote computer.
Best USB over Ethernet Software to Date
In essence, USB over Ethernet software is a handy tool that helps redirect multiple remote USB devices across different networks (LAN, WiFi, Ethernet, the Internet).
There’s no shortage of these solutions in the market today and when making their choice users often take into account three main factors: price, cross-platform compatibility, and how many USB devices can be shared at a time.
USB Network Gate
USB over Ethernet (aka USB Network Gate) allows for a smooth connection to a USB port over a TCP/IP connection.
It is very easy to share USB devices and access them from any remote location in the world.
With this solution you have the possibility to use your USB devices in virtual environment, in blade servers, and over RDP.
USB Network Gate works with VMware, VMware ESX, Citrix XenDesktop, and Microsoft Hyper-V.
The Easiest Way to Share a USB Device over your Local Network
Step 1: Download a USB sharing app and install it on all computers that will communicate with your USB device remotely as well as on the machine (server) where the peripheral is attached physically.
Step 2: Start the software on the server PC, find the device in the “Local Devices” tab and hit “Share” next to it.
Step 3: On a remote computer (client), head to the “Remote Devices” tab, locate the device and click “Connect”
Step 4: This is it! Now, the peripheral will appear in the Device Manager of the client machine although it’s not connected to the PC physically.
- The 14-day trial version of the software lets you test the scanning over a network functionality of the tool;
- All types of USB devices are supported;
- Works across different platforms — Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android;
- Cross-platform support for Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android systems;
- 24 hour supports available.
- A license must be purchased it you want to use the product for more than the 14-day trial period
This USB over Ethernet app can be even more universal than USB Network Gate.
Additionally to all USB Network Gate can do, FlexiHub also supports serial port sharing, which widens the list of supported devices tremendously.
It is also very friendly and allows for powerful device management tools while staying friendly to amateur users.
Main differences of FlexiHub from the previous software:
- It allows connecting to remote devices even when a direct connection between computers does not appear to be possible (one of them may be behind NAT or firewall);
- The ability to manage connections from your FlexiHub account;
- Subscription licenses unlike the previous solution that is sold as a one-time purchase;
- Internet connection is required when using this app;
- Flexihub cannot tunnel USB traffic over the RDP protocol; it uses plain TCP/IP or UDP.
- The software comes with a clean and intuitive interface that will get you what you need simply and efficiently.
- FlexiHub has versions for Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android operating systems. You’ll have no problem establishing cross-platform connections, be it Windows-macOS, Linux-Windows, or any other combination.
- You can communicate with other users logged in to your FlexiHub account via a convenient FlexiChat.
- The app encrypts data traveling over an Internet connection, this way protecting it from unauthorized access.
- FlexiHub is fully compatible with VMWare, ESX, Citrix XenDesktop, Microsoft Hyper-V, Windows Virtual PC, QEMU virtualization software.
- Connection to remote devices is not supported with a free subscription;
- Annual subscription renewal is required.
USB over Network
USB Over Network allows sharing and accessing USB devices over a local network or the Internet. This app works on Windows and Linux.
Just as the two previous solutions it will let you use devices no matter how far they are right now.
The great advantage of this tool is that it supports an advanced sharing rule manager which will give you the ability to optimize the sharing process for a single device as for a group of USB-based peripherals which have the same characteristics.
- Support for any type of USB device
- The ability to share unlimited numbers of USB devices
- Client connections cannot be disabled from the server
- Devices cannot be isolated in RDP sessions
- On Windows systems the shared USB ports are reconfigured when the machine is rebooted.
USB Redirector allows sharing and accessing remote USB devices through LAN, WLAN, or Internet.
This USB over network app can act as a USB server and a USB client, and it is offered as a separate lightweight client too. A regular TCP/IP connection is used for communication.
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU!!!
VirtualHere can be used to share USB devices among multiple users over the Internet, LAN, or their cloud for easy access from any remote spot.
This USB to Ethernet connector is installed with minimal effort too, operates on each client machine or service’s cloud instance, and is available for Windows, macOS, Linux and Android systems.
What is interesting is that the solution offers a built-in VPN subscription service.
Thanks to this advanced option, you will be able to access your USB devices connected to a VirtualHere server wherever you are.
What is more, the version for network attached storages is available. The trial lets you share 1 USB device over Ethernet.
- Auto-connection is implemented after connections are dropped or the system is rebooted
- An OEM license allows the technology to be integrated into your software applications
- Automate program functionality with command-line options
- No display of the current connections data transfer volume
- Auto- connection is not possible to RDP devices
The mission of the USB/IP Project is to create a general system for sharing USB devices over Ethernet.
To make USB peripherals accessible over the network, USB/IP converts USB I/O requests to IP packets and forwards them to the required PC.
You can also use original USB device drivers and apps (without any modifications) for remote USB devices.
The Pros and Cons
- The solution is absolutely free to use
- The solution cannot guarantee stable performance with modern platforms, as it has not been updated for a long time;
- The USB/IP project does not support as many advanced USB sharing features as you can find in a paid alternative;
- USB/IP is tailored for rather experienced users.
How to Choose USB over IP Software
USB over IP applications enable the creation of a system to share USB connected devices over the Internet, Wi-Fi, or essentially any network.
It allows the user to control any USB device like a printer, webcam, or scanner from any remote location as if the device was directly connected to your computer.
A number of different USB over IP software applications exist, and it can be difficult to determine which one is right for your situation.
There are basically three factors that you need to consider when making your decision:
- the price of the application;
- the operating systems that you need to support;
- the number of USB devices that you need to be able to connect.
What to expect in the most popular applications:
- All programs have a cost with the exception of the open-source application.
- Most of the programs offer a free trial period.
- The price of the tool increases based on the number of devices that require USB over IP network connectivity.
Frequently Asked Questions
QUES: Is it safe to share USB data over Ethernet?
ANS: The ability to encrypt data transmission is one of the most important characteristics of any USB over Ethernet sharing solution.
As long as you use such apps as USB Network Gate, you don’t need to worry about the security of data transmitted over ethernet.
The application uses advanced 256-bit SSL encryption which protects all network communications from unauthorized access.
How many USB devices can be simultaneously shared over Ethernet?
ANS: USB over Ethernet software by Electronic Team, Inc. will let you share as many USB peripherals as you need.
The number of devices you can share at a time will be limited only by your system’s capabilities.
QUES: What is USB over IP?
ANS: USB over IP is a method of sharing USB devices with remote computers connected to an IP-based network such as the Internet, Ethernet, or LAN.
Using this technology, remote users can obtain the same functionality as if they were directly connected to shared USB devices.