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In essence, USB to IP hardware can come in handy for sharing USB devices between two computers. If you have more than two machines which require shared access to the same USB device, you should try to make this device accessible over the network with the help of a software USB over Ethernet tool.
In this article we want to introduce the most popular USB sharing apps. This full 2022 list of best 8 USB over Ethernet software include:
USB Network Gate by Electronic Team, Inc. should be on your radar if you need an application to share USB devices over Ethernet. It is an effective USB over Ethernet tool that will reliably redirect the USB traffic from any device across a network. This app provides a convenient way to share printers, card readers, webcams, and any other USB device over any network including WiFi, Ethernet, LAN or the Internet.
USB/IP project is designed to establish a general system for sharing USB peripherals over Ethernet network. This solution is free. Its mission is to convert USB I/O messages to IP packets for their further redirection to a required computer. What’s nice about the project is that you can use original USB device drivers and programs for remote USB peripherals. As for the weaknesses, USB/IP solution hasn't been updated for quite a long time and is recommended for experienced users rather than computer novices.
Another great tool for remote access to USB-based devices is USB over Network software. The utility works perfectly well on Windows and Linux operating systems. It gives you a way to connect to a USB peripheral even if it’s located miles away from you. With this application, you get an effective USB server auto-discovery feature which allows you to find USB servers installed in your local network without specifying their remote IP address.
USB over Ethernet also supplies the user with a method of accessing USB devices over Ethernet. It accomplishes this by creating virtual copies of physical USB ports on remote machines that desire access to the USB equipment. When a device is connected to the physical port, FlexiHub connects this real interface with its network-attached virtual copy. Now the remote machine with the virtual port can access the device as if it were physically connected.
FlexiHub supports the Windows, Linux, macOS, and Android operating systems and cross-platform connectivity between any of the supported platforms is easily achieved. The tool also works with many virtual environments including ESX, VMWare, Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenDesktop, and Windows Virtual PC. The tool offers users a simple and intuitive method to access USB over the Ethernet.
VirtualHere is a handy app that eliminates you of the need to physically plug USB devices into your computer when you want to use them. With this solution, your valuable peripherals can be accessed remotely over a local network, the Internet or in the cloud. The app has a clean and friendly GUI and requires minimal effort to be installed. It’s compatible with Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android, which is also a great advantage. Some other benefits you get with VirtualHere include a built-in VPN subscription service and a special version for network attached storages.
Remotely accessing USB devices over any type of IP network is easy with USB over Ethernet. It’s a professional-grade application that enables you to use a network-connected USB device on a remote machine as if were directly attached. The tool accomplishes this without requiring you to install the device’s driver on the computer to which it is connected.
USBDeviceShare is another tool which enables the sharing of USB devices over Ethernet. Network-attached USB devices can be accessed remotely as if they were directly attached to the remote machine. The device can be used to interact with programs even though it is not physically connected to the computer. All varieties of USB are supported by USBDeviceShare. It can handle USB 1.x, 2.0 and 3.0 devices which provide variable speeds of data transmission. This app provides a software solution for accessing USB devices over an IP network.
HelpWire is a remote support solution that minimizes the financial costs and time spent addressing customer problems and issues. The tool allows tech support specialists to access USB and COM ports and attached devices on remotely located computers.
HelpWire employs advanced port virtualization technology that provides remote connectivity to serial ports, giving remote users full control over the physically connected USB devices. Tech support teams can access any network-attached USB device using HelpWire and use it with the same functionality they would get with a direct connection to the peripheral.
Key advantages of HelpWire
Here are some of the most common criteria users take into account when selecting a solution to share USB over Ethernet:
1. The security of data transfer. Different software tools offer different levels of protection when redirecting USB data over the network. If you are going to share USB over Ethernet, you should make sure your USB over LAN application forwards your sensitive data over encrypted channels.
2. The software integration option. It’s important whether the solution can be utilized only as a standalone USB over Ethernet app or can be integrated into a custom product.
3. In a shared computer environment, use USB Network Gate to isolate any connected USB devices and prevent unauthorized access. With any USB peripheral device, whether it’s a USB drive, camera or audio card, you can manage access by specifying a session ID, or a specific user by Microsoft user account.
4. The price. There are free and paid USB over network apps.
If you are developing your own product and your goal is to add some basic USB sharing capabilities to your project, the free solution may be sufficient. However, if you are looking for some advanced USB redirection features like remote access to USB devices over RDP, forwarding of USB to a virtual environment or blade servers, etc. it would be wise to consider a paid application with a powerful feature set.