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List of 6 best USB over IP software tools

Olga Weis Olga Weis
Aug 8, 2022

Nowadays, many different devices (i.a. printers, scanners, webcams, etc.) hook up with computers via USB, typically using a USB cable. That's fine if both the PC and the peripheral are in the same room.

But what if you need to use the office printer while you are on a field trip or staying home? A better way to share USB over TCP/IP is to use dedicated software. This less expensive and more efficient solution will allow you to access USB devices over IP in the same way as if they were physically attached to your machine.

flexihub

FlexiHub - best USB over IP solution

Most efficient application for extending access to USB devices to IP is Flexihub. This software tool supports the sharing of serial ports, significantly expanding the number of supported devices. It features powerful device management tools in a user-friendly package suitable for all users, from experts to amateurs.

Access USB over IP network with FlexiHub

Step-by-step tutorial to access USB over IP

FlexiHub is an easy-to-use tool to manage devices over a network of any type.
1
Register a FlexiHub account and choose the subscription by the link you will receive in e-mail.
 register a flexiHub account
2
After that sign in and start a free demo.
 sign in and start a free demo
3
Now you can download and install the app on both machines you will use to share USB over IP.
 download and install the app
4
Launch FlexiHub on both machines.
 launch flexihub on both machines
5
You will see all devices in the list. Find remote USB device you want to access over IP network and click Connect.
 find remote usb device you want to access

That’s it! Now you can manage your USB device over network without any limitations.

Video tutorial

fh

Price: from $15 per month
Trial: 30 days demo period
Platforms: Windows, Linux, MacOS, Android, Raspberry

USB Network Gate

USB over IP (aka USB Network Gate) enables you to easily create a connection to USB ports over IP network. Using this application makes it easy to share USB devices over IP and access them from any location on the globe.

USB Network Gate Benefits:

  • Multiple computers can share devices and you can password protect your devices to limit access to authorized users.

  • This application allows you to use USB devices in virtual environments, over RDP, and in blade servers. VMware, VMware ESX, Citrix XenDesktop and Microsoft Hyper-V are all supported by USB Network Gate.

  • This application is truly a cross-platform solution as USB Network Gate fully supports the Windows, Linux, and Mac operating systems for sharing USB ports over IP.
Try the Best USB over Network app
14-day free trial

A quick guide to using USB Network Gate to share USB over IP network:

1
Download USB Network Gate, and install it on all computers that will be sharing the device.
2
The computer with the device attached is considered the server. On this machine, find the device in the list of devices that are available on your system and click “Share”
 find the device in the list of devices
3
Find the device on your client computer and press the “Connect” button.
 press the connect button
4
The device can now be accessed, controlled and monitored with its full functionality just as if it were physically attached to your machine.

Or watch USB sharing video guide!

ung

Price: from $160
Trial: under request
Platforms: Windows, Linux, MacOS, Android, Raspberry

Differences between FlexiHub and USB Network Gate:

  • The connection of remote devices is possible even when there does not appear to be a direct connection between computers, such as when one is behind a firewall or NAT.

  • Your FlexiHub account can be used to manage connections.

  • The software requires subscription licenses whereas the previous solution was a one-time purchase.

  • An Internet connection is required to use this software tool.

Other USB over IP solutions

USB Over Network

This application enables accessing and sharing your USB devices over IP or a local network. USB Over Network supports the Windows and Linux operating systems. As with the other solutions we have discussed, it enables remote access and control of USB devices regardless of where they are located. A feature of this software tool is an advanced sharing rule manager. Using it lets you fine-tune the sharing process for individual devices and for groups of devices that you define with the same characteristics.

USB Over Network

Price: from $150
Trial: 15 days
Platforms: Windows, Linux

USB Redirector (IncentivesPro)

USB Redirector is another application that enables you to share and access remote USB devices through the LAN, WLAN, or Internet. This USB over IP tool can act as either a USB server or a USB client. There is a separate offering that includes just the client functionality. A standard TCP/IP connection is used for communication. An additional feature of this app is the ability to blacklist specific computers so they cannot access the shared USB devices.

USB Redirector

Price: from $75
Trial: 15 days, Windows only
Platforms: Windows, Linux

VirtualHere

VirtualHere can be used to allow multiple users to remotely share USB devices over IP, LAN or their cloud for easy access from any location. Easily installed, this solution runs on each client machine or service’s cloud instance. VirtualHere supports Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and Android systems, and there is a version available for network-attached storage devices. The free trial enables the sharing of 1 USB device over the network.

VirtualHere

Price: $49
Trial: 10 days
Platforms: Windows, Linux, MacOS, Android

USB/IP Project

The USB/IP Project is an open-source solution that is attempting to develop a general system of sharing USB devices through the network.

Transmission between computers is done by encapsulating USB I/O requests into IP packets, allowing access to the full functionality of shared devices. No modification is required of the original USB device drivers and applications when used for remote devices. Some considerations to keep in mind if you are leaning toward the open-source solution are:

  • The software has not been updated recently so stability with modern systems and equipment cannot be guaranteed.

  • USB/IP does not offer the same level of functionality as the paid applications.

  • It was developed with the more experienced user in mind.
USB/IP Project

Price: free
Trial: n/a
Platforms: Windows, Linux

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.

USB over IP software - comparison chart

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Swipe tip
License type
License type
Various subscription plans
 
Single static license, Custom development options
 
Single static license
 
Single static license
 
Open Source
 
Single static licinse
Various subscription plans
 
Subscription options
Subscription options
• Personal: 3 connections*/5 nodes**
• Team: min. 5 members
• Business: custom
 
N/A
 
N/A
 
N/A
 
N/A
 
Monthly: 1 - 64 devices
Site: min. 10 devices
 
Free demo limitations
Free demo limitations
5 shared devices
30 days
 
N/A
 
2 shared devices
15 days
Windows only
 
1 shared device
10 days
 
N/A
 
1 shared device
15 days
 
Price from
Price from
USD 14/month/1 device  
USD 159.95 per one device  
USD 74.99/2 devices  
USD 49  
N/A  
License: USD 149.95/1 device
Subscription: USD 102.60/year/1 device  
Multiple device log-in
Multiple device log-in
up to 5 nodes/account***
 
1, 2, 10, or an unlimited number of USB devices that can be shared simultaneously on a single computer.
 
N/A
 
N/A
 
Unlimited
 
For Site license only
 
Proxi-server
Proxi-server
Redirection Server
• no need for external IP
• multi-network communication
• works through the Firewall
 
N/A
 
N/A
 
EasyFind
for extra USD 10/month
 
N/A
 
N/A
 
Supported platforms
Supported platforms
 
 
 
 
 
 
Server-side:
Server-side:
✓ Windows
✓ Linux
✓ macOS
✓ Android
 
✓ Windows
✓ Linux
✓ macOS
✓ Android
 
✓ Windows
✓ Linux
 
✓ Windows
✓ Linux
✓ macOS
✓ Android
 
✓ Windows
✓ Linux
 
✓ Windows
✓ Linux
 
Client-side:
Client-side:
✓ Windows
✓ Linux
✓ macOS
 
✓ Windows
✓ Linux
✓ macOS
 
✓ Windows
✓ Linux
 
✓ Windows
✓ Linux
✓ macOS
 
✓ Windows
✓ Linux
 
✓ Windows
✓ Linux (upon request)
 
Firmware for microcontrollers
Firmware for microcontrollers
Raspberry (upon request)
 
Custom development under request
 
N/A
 
Raspberry routers NAS (QNAP, Synology, etc.)
 
N/A
 
N/A
 
Security
Security
Login tokens for safe account sharing
Lock for device access control
 
N/A
 
Access control list
 
Scripts for access control
 
N/A
 
Server-side password
Sharing Rules
 
Encryption
Encryption
2048-bit SSL
 
N/A
 
N/A
 
SSL
 
N/A
 
SSL
 
RDP support
RDP support
Yes
 
Yes
 
N/A
 
Yes
 
N/A
 
N/A
 
COM-port devices support
COM-port devices support
Windows only
 
No
 
No
 
No
 
No
 
No
 

* Connection number defines how many remote devices you can connect to over the network at the time.

** Node is a machine you can log into your account on.

*** You can have more for an extra fee.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.
Establishing USB over IP connectivity can be easily accomplished by downloading, installing, and configuring FlexiHub on the computer with the connection to the USB device and the remote machine that will share it.
  • The computer that is physically attached to the USB device is known as the server.
  • A client is the term used for the computer connecting to the device remotely.

Note: A requirement is that the server has an external IP address to facilitate sharing devices over the network. Other machines use the address to connect to the shared USB device.
There are no limitations regarding the type of USB devices that can be shared over the network. FlexiHub offers a versatile and reliable software solution that enables cross-platform sharing of USB peripherals.