How to clone USB dongle over the network

Olga Weis

Contents


  1. What is a USB dongle?
  2. Common issues with USB dongles.
  3. Best solution to clone a dongle key.

What is a USB dongle?


A USB security dongle (also known as a hardware key or electronic key) is a hardware device designed to protect software from copying, illegal use, and unauthorized distribution.

The technology of each key is based on a special microcontroller with its unique algorithm of operation. USB dongles have non-volatile memory, and some keys can even be equipped with a built-in cryptoprocessor.

USB security dongle

To use a security dongle, you need to connect it to a certain program interface. The interaction with a particular software version allows a dongle to perform its function. As a result of such interaction, the key unlocks the software features and decodes its content.

Common issues with USB dongles.


Some complex and expensive USB keys offer the network license management option, which allows multiple users of a local network utilize the same license. This eliminates the need to buy a separate dongle for each machine. Such option is suitable for those who plan to use the USB key within a single room.

However, there are some software dongles that don’t provide such functionality. They are designed to be used on a separate computer only, or otherwise, the response algorithm with the application won’t work. So, the question arises of how to clone a USB license key to multiple machines in this case.

Another problem may appear when the software you need to access is not compatible with the operating system of your local PC. In this situation, it will be a good idea to instal a virtual OS (VMware, Hyper-V, VirtualBox, etc.). But then you can face another challenge, as it’s not an easy task to forward local USB devices to a virtual environment. And what remains to be done? Is there any way to make the local USB key accessible to a virtual machine?

The easy method to clone USB dongle.

FlexiHub

Eltima Software offers a simple and efficient solution to clone USB key - FlexiHub. The dedicated software will create a USB security dongle clone and redirect it to a guest OS across the Internet. By using this advanced app, you can easily emulate the presence of a USB dongle on a virtual or any remote machine on your network. FlexiHub ensures secure, well-protected connections established over LAN, Ethernet, or WIFi. What’s more, the program supports Mac, Windows, and Linux platforms which makes it a cross-platform solution.

Here’s how you can clone dongle USB key with FlexiHub:


  1. Install FlexiHub on the machine with a USB dongle attached and all computers that will access the device remotely.
  2. Register your FlexiHub account. Start the app on the server computer (the one with the dongle physically connected to) and log into the software account. You will see the list of devices ready to be shared.
  3. Now, open the app on a remote computer and log into FlexiHub account using the same credentials. Find the USB dongle in the list of available devices and click “Connect”.
  4. This is it! Starting from this moment, your PC will recognize the remote security key as though it were physically connected to the machine.