Some software programs require a hardware USB dongle for correct functioning. But what if you decide to work with a program that requires a hardware key in virtual environment? As you perhaps know there is no full-blown mechanism of connecting USB devices to virtual machines in Hyper-V. When server is virtualized, all references to USB bus and devices connected to it are lost.

The latest versions of VMware feature the mechanism of connecting USB devices to virtual servers; however it has some settings peculiarities. For those who use earlier versions of VMware the question of how to redirect USB devices is as vital as for the users of Hyper-V. Other virtual machines may have the same issue.

All these issues are easily solved by USB Network Gate. It redirects any USB device (like USB dongles, USB modems, USB disks, etc.) over a local network from one server to another.

USB Network Gate is a client-server solution, meaning that its server side gives access to USB devices to other computers on the network or to Virtual Machines, and client side allows using them as local resources. You can use any computer connected to the network as a server, either Windows, Mac or Linux one.


After installing server module of USB Network Gate, choose the USB devices that you will make accessible over the network. In order to redirect those devices USB Network Gate doesn't even need any hardware drivers, etc.

Note, that in some cases you may need to change the firewall settings and allow such services as UsbService.exe and UsbConfig.exe.
hyper v r2 usb support
Now install another copy of USB Network Gate on the client side (the virtual server where you want to use shared USB devices). Then search for available (already shared) USB devices and connect to the needed one.

After successful connection, USB dongle will appear on the server as if it were directly connected to it.
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How to customize Windows firewall

As USB Network Gate service and configurator need to communicate with each other, firewall has to be configured in such a way that it would allow UsbService.exe and UsbConfig.exe to send/receive data over network. You can find more specific details on this in the User Manual:

USB dongles support

We have performed tests of USB Network Gate with different models of USB dongles and the results were successful. However it was impossible to test all models, thus some of them may not be supported. Let us know the exact model you are using and we'll try to help you out if you fail to share it.

Redirecting USB device from host OS to guest OS

Even if you need to use a USB device connected to a host OS at the same computer but in virtual environment, USB to Ethernet Connector easily solves it. After installing the program on host OS and on guest OS, USB devices connected to a physical machine will be redirected to a virtual one and you will be able to use them as if they were directly connected to it.

Things you'll need

All you need is USB Network Gate and a USB dongle you need to be shared. You won't need any additional hardware or wires. Download free trial version of USB Network Gate here.