Electronic Team uses cookies to personalize your experience on our website. By continuing to use this site, you agree to our cookie policy. Click here to learn more.

How to share a USB dongle. Share a USB dongle between several computers

Editorial Team Editorial Team Mar 9, 2021

USB security dongles have become very popular thanks to a great deal of protection and security they afford for computing resources. Though you need to keep in mind that said dongles can only be used on one machine at a time, meaning, the rest of your team will have to wait for their turn. The good news is, with the right software tool, you can share a USB dongle over the network and not lose any time waiting.

Why share USB security keys?

Before we look deeper into sharing a USB dongle over network solutions, you may want to know why license dongle sharing is such a great idea.

Well, to name a few:

  • Remote access to a dongle from distant worksites.
  • Using licensed software without a dongle.
  • Way to prolong dongle’s service life.
  • Ensure the dongle from being lost or stolen.

So keep on reading to learn how to share a USB dongle easily and safely.

Using Donglify for USB dongle sharing over the network

The most convenient way to share a USB dongle over the Internet or a local WiFi is through the use of a specialized software app, e.g. Donglify.

Donglify is an advanced app that virtualizes a security key and thus makes it accessible from a remote computer as if it was directly connected to that machine. All connections established by Donglify are totally secure. On top of that, with this app’s functionality, you can share USB security dongles concurrently among multiple users.
Start your free trial today
7-day Trial • Cancel anytime.
4.5 Rank based on 198+ users
Read all reviews
Available on Windows 7/8/10/11, Server 2008 R2/2012/2016/2019/2022, Windows 10/11 on ARM, macOS 10.14–13.0 (Intel-based), macOS 11.0–13.0 (M1 & M2-based)
Already a Donglify user? Sign In →

Read on to find out how to share software security dongles across a network on the Windows platform and to MacOS machines. Using Donglify, this can be done very simply and reliably. To make things even better, Donglify provides three ways to use software without a dongle.

How to share security dongles remotely from within your account

Follow these steps to connect a remote machine to the computer that has the physically attached security key. After you share a USB dongle across your network you’ll be able to run the protected software on remote machines.
Sign up for a Donglify account. Then download and install the app on the local computer (server) with the attached dongle and on the client machine that requires remote access.
 Download Donglify
Start Donglify on the server and client computers and log into the software using the same email address and password.
 Log in to Donglify acoount
Click “+” on the server to invoke the pop-up window with a list of the shareable local USB dongles. Find the one you need (the “Multi-connect” icon next to it means you can share this USB dongle concurrently with multiple users) and click “Share”:
 Choose the dongle for sharing
On a client PC, find the dongle you’ve just shared and click “Connect”. After that, the dongle will be recognized by the system as if it had a direct physical connection.
 Connect to the remote dongle
When you’re done using this dongle, click “Disconnect” to end the connection.

Here is the video guide:


How to share a dongle using login token

A token is a secure digital key you can create and then pass to others. Using a token, a user can log in to Donglify and make the most of the app’s functionality, while not having access to the online Donglify account or any of the account owner’s personal data. More than that, you can delete a token any time and the associated user will be immediately logged out of your Donglify account.

Here is how you create a token:
Log into your online Donglify account.
Go to the “Tokens” tab and click “Create Token”.
Enter a name for the token, click “Create” and it will instantly appear on the list below.
Copy the token and pass it to whoever you want via email, SMS, or other means.
To delete the token, click the red “X” button next to its creation date.

And here’s how you log into Donglify account using a token:
Download and install Donglify on your computer.
Launch the program, enter the token, and log into the account.

Note: Each token can be used on multiple machines simultaneously.

Watch the video guide for a better understanding:


How to send invitations to other Donglify account owners

Invite other users to remotely access a security key allows you to control who uses the device while maintaining the privacy of your account credentials. Here is how you can send other users invitations to access your dongle:
Connect the dongle to your computer, start Donglify and click “+” to see the list of available devices. Find your key on the list, check the radio button next to it and click “Share”.
Send an invitation by typing the email address associated with a valid Donglify account and clicking the “+” icon. Donglify will display the email address and a Connected message when the user accepts the invitation.
To disconnect the remote session, click “More” next to the user’s email address and select the “Disconnect” option.

Check the video for more info:


Who gets the most out of Donglify

Service provider that are involved with licensed product maintenance for numerous customers. Deal with all your hardware license keys remotely and offer tailor-made services to each of your clients.

Licensed software developers looking for an easy way to give a product trial to potential customers without having to mail them hardware dongles. Make a dongle available for remote access through the Internet for as long as you need. No mailing cost, no dongles lost.

Large or medium business owners with numerous field staff and/or extensive branching. Share dongles through your network for every employee to access as needed whenever they go. No stress over damaging or losing any of your keys as they’ll be all safe in your main office.

Anyone who owns a licensed software product that is protected with a USB security key.

Additional perks you’ll get from opting for Donglify

  • Unique Multi-connect feature: make a USB device accessible from multiple remote computers on a single occasion*.

  • Time and costs savings: minimize the risks of losing or damaging your USB dongles or having them stolen without compromising their availability for users.

  • Top-notch security: the 2048-bit SSL encryption will take care that sharing your software license dongles over the network is completely safe and totally reliable.

  • Easy set-up: Donglify’s installation and initial configuration are so easy you can start using it in no time at all. Plus, there is no need for any extra hardware and software.

  • Access control: you can assign a dongle to a specific user, department, customer, etc.

  • Lifespan prolongation: the less unplugging and replugging your dongles endure — the longer they’re going to last. Just connect your security key to one machine and use Donglify to share it through the network.

Dongle sharing hub hardware solution

Another way of sharing USB dongles over a network is a hub. But opting for this method, you need to keep in mind the limitations dongle sharing hubs have due to being a hardware solution:

  • The number of dongles you can plug into the hub (usually, up to 5).
  • The number of users that can access each dongle at a time (6 or less).
  • You can’t use this option if you don’t have physical access to the dongle.

By way of example, let’s take a closer look at Smart Logic’s USB dongle sharing hubs:

SmarterX-USB: a wired hub (max. Distance to a PC is 5 m) with the 3 and 5 USB port versions, both compatible with every dongle on the market. These hubs work with Mac OS and Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/8/10. You can share a dongle with up to 5 users at a time.

SmarterX-NET: a USB dongle server plugged into a LAN switch. Dongles connected to it become instantly accessible from every networked machine, so there’s no need to physically attach the dongle to each user’s machine. You can share a dongle with up to 6 users at a time.

Final thoughts

As you can see from this in-depth guide, Donglify is the best solution when it comes to sharing your USB security keys without violating the licensing policy as it provides secure access to the dongles. Virtually, Donglify works as a dongle sharing hub except that it doesn't have the real hub’s limitations and won’t require any extra hardware or software tools. You can easily share a USB dongle between two computers just after signing in to your Donglify account.

Start your free trial today
7-day Trial • Cancel anytime.
Already a Donglify user? Sign In →