A common use case for a USB key or a dongle is to store license information for a software package. For the software to be installed or launched, a user needs to insert a device into the computer for it to read the software key. In a multicomputer environment, it is not efficient to reconnect a dongle to different computers or financially viable to purchase a separate USB key for each computer.
In this guide, we will explain how one dongle can be shared across all the computers on your network with the help of USB dongle over Ethernet sharing solutions: Donglify and USB Network Gate.
Donglify works by creating virtual instances of USB ports to which USB dongles are connected and shares the license information on those dongles with other computers over Ethernet.
Donglify is compatible with Windows and macOS operating systems. All connections initiated by Donglify are encrypted with a 2048-bit SSL key providing maximum security.
Electronic Team, Inc. has developed an effective solution for USB device sharing — USB via Ethernet. This USB over Ethernet software explicitly allows you to share USB devices with many different remote devices over Ethernet, LAN, or WAN.
By making use of advanced port virtualization technology, USB Network Gate facilitates the virtual replication of USB ports, and in turn, any devices that are connected to these virtual ports can be redirected over the network to any other machines on the network. This allows the security dongle to be accessible by all the connected machines as if the dongle was physically connected to each computer.
The following step-by-step instructions will guide you through the process of connecting a USB dongle to remote computers:
It’s important to note that USB Network Gate makes use of advanced encryption for all data transmissions, which means you can rest assured that all the data transferred between the shared dongle and the client machines is secure.
USB Network Gate supports a wide range of operating systems — Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and Raspberry. The server and client machines can have different operating systems yet still access and utilize the remotely shared USB dongles.
A dongle is a security key that helps to protect both software and hardware. To protect their software from unlicensed installation, some software companies may require a key to be inserted into a USB port for their software to be installed or accessed. The software can also be protected against unlawful copying and distribution by ensuring that the security key must be present for the software to run if at all.
There are different levels of licensing when it comes to a security key. If the dongle allows for network license management, this means the dongle can be shared and accessed simultaneously by multiple clients across LAN. This allows a single key to be used to unlock multiple instances of the software without requiring the purchasing of additional keys.
A network license key is useful but costly and might not be viable for smaller organizations or the general public. A single-user USB key is a more affordable alternative for many users. While more cost-effective, this does pose a problem when different people require access at the same time.