FireWire and USB Comparison - Access USB from Remote Computer

Olga Weis

Question: Learn the difference between FireWire and USB standards. Which is the most suitable for everyday goals? How to share USB data between remote computers and how to access remote USB?

Answer: let's look into the details about both standards. The differences in the architecture have a big influence on data throughput. FireWire 400, FireWire 800, and USB 2.0 are of different architecture types:

FireWire and USB
  • FireWire is using a "Peer-to-Peer" architecture. The peripherals are intelligent and can negotiate bus conflicts, to decide which device will control data transfer most efficiently.
  • High-speed USB 2.0 is using a "Master-Slave" architecture. Computer is handling arbitration functions and dictates data flow among the peripherals.

Most often you won't have to decide which protocol you are going to use, the product you are getting is often aimed at a specific protocol and can only work with either FireWire or USB.

FireWire or USB

For all out sustained output and input of data FireWire external hard drive usually shows the best performance. But USB 2.0 external hard drive will show more compatibility and convenience thanks to being widespread among many types of computers.

Despite of all advantages of FireWire, in February 2011 Apple introduced the new standard: Thunderbolt. The last computers with FireWire were released in late 2012. By 2014 Thunderbolt became widespread among Apple computers replacing FireWire quite successfully.

Thunderbolt 3 interface uses USB-C ports. So basically our comparison comes from FireWire to USB comparison to actually Thunderbolt with USB-C and USB 2.0 comparison. USB-C is in its rising stages right now, and more and more devices implement it.

The issue of accessing remote USB devices over network still stays relevant as well as sharing USB-C over network and USB 2.0 over network.

One of the top solutions for sharing and accessing remote USB devices over different types of networks is USB Network Gate. With USB Network Gate working with a remote USB device is no different from working with a local one.

USB Network Gate

USB Network Gate is available for various operating systems, which is super convenient as you can share a device on macOS machine and access it on Windows or Linux computer. Or any other direction. You can share your Thunderbolt devices over LAN, WAN or Internet and access them from anywhere in the world without any additional hardware or software.

The highlights of USB Network Gate:


  • Supports remote desktop sessions and allows working with USB devices on thin clients;
  • You can access USB devices in a virtual session of VMware, Hyper-V or Citrix;
  • Devices become remotely available over any type of network - LAN, WAN, and Internet. No matter where a remote device actually is - you can work with it as if it was plugged in your computer directly.

USB Network Gate

Requirements for Windows: XP/2003/2008/Vista/7/8/10, Server 2012
Also available on macOS, Linux OS and Android , 5.28MB size
Version 8.0.1828 () Release notes