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How to share a USB device between two computers

Olga Weis Olga Weis
Dec 11, 2023

Are you wondering how to connect your USB device to multiple devices and access the device all the time from all your computer systems? It's possible. If you use USB peripherals regularly, you may have felt the need to access a USB device connected physically to another device. In this article, we’ll discuss how to share USB devices over network between two computers in detail through two ways - using a USB switch and a USB network gate.

USB for Remote Desktop

Using USB Switch (Hardware Solution)

But what do you mean by sharing a USB switch between two computers?

A USB switch permits multiple computers to effortlessly share USB peripherals like scanners, printers, hard drives, etc. This option is more budget friendly but has certain disadvantages like limited number of USB devices, working distance, etc. However, it doesn't require you to unplug a USB peripheral from one device and plug it into another.

USB Switch

When using a USB switch, you don't require setting up a complex network to share USB dongle between two computers. device. Just hit the button on the USB switch to make the USB device available instantly to serve the devices connected to it.

The below steps will help you enable a USB switch between two devices:

  • Connect the USB Switch to the USB device that you need to share. You can even connect a USB device to several connected peripherals.
  • Establish the connection between the USB Switch and peripheral that requires remote access to a USB device.
  • On the USB Switch, hit the button.

Now, a device connected to a USB Switch will be able to change its connection to the guest computer from the host computer.

Pros and Cons Hardware USB Switch

icon pros Pros.

  • A USB hub for multiple computers usually is lightweight and small, so you can easily transport it anywhere and use it on the go.
  • You can quickly connect or disconnect devices using a USB hub without accessing the USB port of a computer.
  • Certain USB hubs come with power management functionality to be able to regulate device power usage and help conserve your battery life.
  • Supports data transfer at high speeds to enable efficient transfer of large files.
  • Compatible with multiple USB devices like scanners, printers, hard drives, etc.
  • You can chain USB hubs together to create more number of USB ports and connect more devices.

icon cons Cons.

  • Performance degrades on connecting more devices at once.
  • USB hubs might not power high power seeking devices like hard drives, gaming peripherals, etc.
  • Might not support certain devices, resulting in issues like connection problems.
  • Some can be weaker and break.
  • Puts additional cost.
  • Connecting too many devices can be messy without proper cable management.

Share USB Devices with Multiple Computers

The second method to share a USB device between two computers is by using a USB over Ethernet software, which is effective.

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 Devices Between Two Computers Via USB Network Gate

Follow the steps below to share USB device over network from the “server” computer side:
1 Run USB Network Gate. Navigate to the “Share Local USB Devices” tab
 Share local USB devices tab
Find the USB you’d like to share with another computer.
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)

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)
Choose the device you want to connect with
Hit the “Connect” button beside the device name
 connect to the device
And just like that, now your USB device is accessible from any distance, whenever you need it! Convenient, right?

The Pros and Cons of USB Network Gate Solution

icon pros Pros.

  • The software offers a free trial plan for 14 days.
  • It supports all USB device types.
  • One license supports 10 USB devices.
  • Compatible with operating systems - Android, Windows, Linux, and Mac, thus.
  • Compatible with several virtual environments like Hyper-V, VMware, Parallels, and VirtualBox.
  • The tool can connect with USB devices over RDP.
  • Customer support is available 24 hours.

icon cons Cons.

  • Once the free trial period of 14 days is completed, you will need to purchase the paid plan in order to continue services. There's no forever free plan available.
Try USB Network Gate now

Sharing USB Devices Between Two Computers Is No More Difficult

From the above information, you know how to access USB devices between two computers. The process is straightforward that anyone with any skill level can do and manage the task within a few clicks.

So, when it comes to choosing one method out of two, consider your requirements and situations as to which one is best suitable for you.

Overall, if distance is not a problem for you, you can choose to go with a USB Switch. It will provide you with a simple, convenient, and faster alternative to share a USB device between two computers.

However, if you are transitioning to a remote work environment, don't want to deal with hardware limitations, or have a remote team, you can choose USB Network Gate.

If you ask us, we recommend using USB Network Gate since it's reliable and convenient. This is why it's worthy of your investment. Besides, you may be required to access a remote device at any time that you can't connect to a 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!)
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.
Top choice

USB Network Gate

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