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How to share a USB device between two computers

Olga Weis Olga Weis
Oct 20, 2021

Ever wondered how to share one USB device with two computers? Is it even possible? Good news! The answer is yes!
Anyone who depends on USB peripherals day-to-day has encountered scenarios where they’ve needed access to a USB device physically connected to another computer.
This article offers two helpful options to share USB devices with multiple computers- both simple enough to perform with a few clicks (or just one push) of a button!

USB for Remote Desktop

Share USB Device Between Two Computers With USB Network Gate

Regardless of the distance between the user and the USB device they need to access, using USB over Ethernet software can make it a quick and convenient process. This complex but easy-to-use app allows users to share USB devices between a variety of platforms and distances.

Even better, messy and frustrating cables and wires will not be necessary! The software we’ll share simply redirects access to the desired device over an internet connection.

USB Network Gate permits users to share as many devices/USB ports as they’d like via Internet, LAN, WAN, or VPN.

Remote machines (referred to as “clients”) can connect with the computer that the user is working from (referred to as the “server”.) Once connected, the server can access/control/manage USB devices connected physically to the client computer.

Users will enjoy the full flexibility and functionality of their USB devices because apps compatible with remote USB devices won’t notice a difference- thus treating them as if they were physically attached to the server machine.

How To Share USB Device Between Two Computers Via USB Network Gate

Follow the steps below to share a USB device from the “server” computer side:
1
Run USB Network Gate. Navigate to the “Share Local USB Devices” tab
 Share local USB devices tab
2
Find the USB you’d like to share with another computer.
3
Hit the “Share” button beside the device name
Optional Step: Edit the TCP port used for the connection, and/or enable encryption/authorization/traffic compression

Please note: Share settings can be altered at any time
Share settings

How To Connect/Access A Shared USB From The Client Side (Remotely)

1
Open USB Network Gate. Navigate to the “Remote USB Devices” tab (USB Network Gate lets the client automatically detect shared USBs, adding them to a list of devices available for access)
2
Choose the device you want to connect with
3
Hit the “Connect” button beside the device name
 connect to the device
4
And just like that, now your USB device is accessible from any distance, whenever you need it! Convenient, right?
Try USB Network Gate now
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Method 2: USB Switch (Hardware Solution)

Let’s go over the second highly effective method of how to connect one USB device to two computers: a USB Switch.

What is a USB sharing switch?

USB switch: hardware solution

A USB switch is a piece of hardware that allows users to share one (or more) USB peripherals amongst different users (like USB flash drives, USB external drives, USB printers, USB memory cards, and so on.)

This specialized hardware (USB 3.0 Sharing Switch) makes it simple to alter the connection of one set of USB devices from one machine to another. With one press of a button, users can switch to share USB device between two computers easily and quickly.

Follow the steps below to make a USB switch between two computers:

  1. Attach/connect the USB Switch to the USB device you want to share (it could even be a USB hub with multiple peripheral devices connected to it)

  2. Connect the USB Switch between the two machines that will need remote access to the USB devices

  3. Press the button on the USB Switch

Now any and all devices connected to the USB switch will change their connection from the host machine to the guest machine!

Didn’t we tell you it would be simple?

The Pros And Cons Of Both USB Sharing Options

Both sharing options make sharing USB peripherals fast and convenient- which vastly enhances productivity. However, using a software option is the clear winner for any situation where long-distance/remote working is necessary.

That being said, USB Network Gate is a perfect solution! Check out some of the awesome benefits it has to offer:

  • USB Network Gate allows you to connect to an unlimited number of remote USB devices with just a few click
  • USB Network Gate shares USB PORTS (not devices), meaning you can connect any USB device to a “shared” port and it’ll automatically appear as an available device from the client-side
  • USB Network Gate is compatible/cross-compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems! That means Linux machines can access devices on a Mac or Windows computer (vice-versa, and everything in between)

Additionally, the application supports USB passthrough to virtual environments, functioning perfectly during RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) sessions.

Adversely, the USB Switch hardware has the benefit of its affordable pricing- being cheaper than USB Network Gate. However, you get what you pay for with USB Network Gate, as its massive suite of features and usability make it a very worthwhile investment.

Sharing USB Devices From One Computer To Another Doesn’t Have To Complicate

As you can see, accessing a USB device remotely is very simple. Anyone of any skill level can manage the task with just a few clicks, and it’s just a matter of deciding which method makes the most sense for their situation.

All in all, if you don’t have to worry about distance being a factor, a USB Switch is a quick, simple, and convenient option.

Alternatively, if you (like many organizations in the post-COVID world) are switching to remote working environments, have remote support teams, or don’t feel like dealing with the limitations of hardware, software like USB Network Gate is an ideal option.

We recommend USB Network Gate because the convenience and reliability are more than worth the price- and you never know when you may need access to an important device from a machine that can’t be connected to ta USB Switch.

Frequently Asked Questions

Via an internet connection, users can access not just a USB device- but the entire computer, itself. Multiple options exist for accessing USB devices over a network. For example: Windows users can share drives by enabling Remote Desktop Connection (or using software like USB Network Gate!)
USB standards support up to 127 USB devices (Hubs included.) USB Network gate allows Windows users to share an unlimited number of connected USB devices.
No matter how far the required USB device is from your computer (in the next room, in another city, or on the other part of the world), as long as you use the dedicated software, USB over Ethernet software, you’ll be able to connect to this remote peripheral from your PC.
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USB Network Gate

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