USB over Ethernet: List of the best solutions
We use so many devices that connect via USB these days - printers, scanners, webcams, etc. Obviously, USB cable is usually required to use these devices, which is great when the device you want to use is right here, by your computer. But what to do when you desperately need to use a device (or two) located in another office or at home, while you are at work or travelling? Buying a new device is not an option many times and can turn out to be quite expensive.
A much more efficient and less expensive solution is a special software that lets you share USB over Ethernet and access devices easily as if those devices were directly attached to your remote computer. So let's take a look at USB network gate solutions.
1. USB Network Gate
USB over Ethernet (aka USB Network Gate) allows for a smooth connection to a USB port over TCP/IP connection. It is very easy to share USB devices and access them from any remote location in the world. The app allows accessing shared devices from multiple computers and lets you set password protection to control access to devices.
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.
You can share your devices and access them on various platforms: Mac, Linux or Windows, which makes this USB over Ethernet solution cross-platform.
FlexiHub is another efficient USB redirector that can be more universal than USB Network Gate. Additionally to all USB Network 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.
3. USB Over Network
USB Over Network allows sharing and accessing USB devices over 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.
4. USB Redirector
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.
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, OSX and Linux systems.
USB Network Gate
Also available on macOS, Linux OS and Android , 5.62MB size
Version 8.0.1859 (7th Nov, 2017) Release notes