How to redirect USB from a thin client

Olga Weis

Contents


  1. What is a thin client?
  2. The problem of thin client USB redirection.
  3. Thin client USB redirection. “How to” guide.

What is a thin client?


A thin client is traditionally a desktop terminal that does not have a hard drive but comes with the minimum set of hardware which is sufficient for running its operating system. To perform its computing, a thin client needs to be connected to a server which stores all applications, sensitive data, memory, programs, etc. in its datacenter. As a communication channel thin clients can use Remote Desktop Protocols (RDP), like Citrix XenDesktop or Citrix Secure Access Gateway.

There are many thin-client manufacturers on the market today, but by and large, all of them, starting from titans like HP and finishing with small local manufacturers, produce more or less similar solutions.

Thin client usb redirection

Because all the actual computing occurs on servers and blades but not on the device itself, the thin client is regarded as a virtual desktop computing model (VDI) which provides some demonstrable benefits:

  • Improved corporate data security;
  • Centralization of administration;
  • Reduced investment in IT infrastructure;
  • Reduced cost of modernization;
  • Energy saving;
  • Centralized and simplified back up of desktops, laptops, and other client access devices.

In addition to the standard hardware and peripherals (like a mouse, a keyboard, a monitor, and a network cable), some other devices can also be connected to a thin client provided that it can recognize them and transmit to the terminal server.

The challenge of accessing USB devices from thin clients


As a rule, when you plug a USB device into a thin client it becomes available in a local session. However, accessing USB in thin client has several major limitations:

  1. Not all types of USB devices can be redirected using native methods, and even if the device is supported it can still work incorrectly in many cases.
  2. Attached to a thin client, a USB peripheral is available in a local session only. It does not seem possible to access a USB zero client device from a remote session.

The simplest way to overcome these challenges is by using a dedicated third-party software that will share the required USB device across the network. To achieve this, you can try USB Network Gate by Eltima, the leading solution in the market of network technologies.

The optimal solution for zero client USB redirection


USB Network Gate is a handy app tailored to virtualize USB ports together with devices connected to them and forward them over the Internet. The program fully supports Remote Desktop Protocol and Citrix ICA and lets you access any local USB devices in a remote session.

USB Network Gate by Eltima Software

USB Network Gate logo

USB Network Gate


Requirements: Windows (32-bit and 64-bit): XP/2003/2008/ Vista/7/8/10, Windows Server 2012. 5.62MB free space. Version 8.0.1859. (4th Nov, 2017). 4.9 Rank based on 179+ users, Reviews(72)
Category: Networking Software
With USB Network Gate, you’ll get the ability to share USB peripherals connected to your thin client among multiple remote users.
USB Network Gate

More than that, the program gives you the way to configure your local PC to detect and connect to USB devices shared on remote machines automatically.

You can find the software version for Windows, Linux, and Mac machines. In addition to that the utility offers:

  • Fast connections over any network (including LAN, Ethernet, WiFi, and the Internet);
  • Secure communications protected with advanced encryption;
  • Full access to the functionality of remote and local USB devices from thin and zero clients working over RDP, and more.

Step-by-step guide


Here’s how you can enable Wyse (or HP) thin client USB redirection with USB Network Gate:

  1. First, install the app on all computers that need to work with the USB device across the network.
  2. Then, start it on your local PC (thin client) and share the required USB peripheral in the corresponding tab.
  3. Once done, establish a connection to the remote desktop via RDP protocol.
  4. On the remote server, run USB Network Gate, find the desired device in the “Remote USB devices” tab and “Connect” to it. This USB peripheral will immediately appear in the server’s Device Manager like it was attached directly to that PC.

To make things simpler, only those devices that have been shared on the host machine will be shown in the guest OS in your RDP session. Also, you’ll be able to use the option of searching for shared devices on the network.

/ / / How to redirect USB from a thin client

USB Network Gate

Requirements for Windows: XP/2003/2008/Vista/7/8/10, Server 2012
Also available on macOS, Linux OS and Android , 5.62MB size
Version 8.0.1859 (4th Nov, 2017) Release notes
Category: Networking Software