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USB devices over a TCP/IP connection

May 14, 2020

The term TCP/IP is familiar to the majority of computer users. It stands for Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and Internet Protocol (IP) which are two different networking protocols that are often used together. TCP/IP forms the backbone of the networks that people use every day to access the Internet, engage with others through social media, and play games online. Web browsers talk to websites using the TCP/IP protocols.

USB over IP

We are about to show you how you can share USB over IP with specialized communication software. USB Network Gate enables remote USB device access from any network-attached computer. Download the software to the operating system of your choice and follow the steps outlined below to share USB devices over the Internet or any TCP/IP network.

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Table of contents:

  1. Basic principles of USB device sharing
  2. USB over IP [Windows OS]
  3. USB over IP [Mac OS]
  4. USB over IP [Linux OS]
  5. USB over IP [Android]
  6. Customize additional settings [for all platforms]

Basic principles of USB device sharing

Once it is shared, a USB device becomes inaccessible for use on the local computer to which it is attached.

Sharing a USB dongle is very similar to making a hard disk accessible to other network users. Accessing the key from a client machine requires it to first be shared from the local computer.

An external IP address is required when sharing USB over TCP/IP. This allows the devices to be seen and accessed from other machines.

The USB device should be connected to the shared port on the server machine in order to be shared by a client computer. Sharing the port after the device has been plugged in is recommended although you can first share the port if you are certain which one is free. When that is done you can attach the USB device to the port.

Share USB over IP on Windows

  1. Install USB Network Gate on the Server machine, which is where the USB device is physically attached. The USB over IP software also needs to be installed on the machine that will remotely access the device and which is known as the Client computer.

  2. Launch the app on the Server. Choose the USB device to be shared from the displayed list and click the “Share” button. interface UNG

  3. Launch the app on the Client computer. You will see the remotely shared device in the list of available devices. Simply click “Connect”. The device will now be visible in the client computer’s Device Manager. connect USB device

USB Network Gate supports these variations of the Windows OS:
• Windows XP (32-bit & 64-bit)
• Windows 2003 (32-bit & 64-bit)
• Windows 2008 (32-bit & 64-bit)
• Windows Vista (32-bit & 64-bit)
• Windows 7 (32-bit & 64-bit)
• Windows 8 (32-bit & 64-bit)
• Windows 10 (32-bit & 64-bit)
• Windows Server 2012
• Windows Server 2016
• Windows Server 2019

Share USB over IP on macOS

  1. In order to share a USB device from a server running macOS, select the device to be shared from the USB devices that are physically attached to the host computer. Share-Local-USB-Devices

  2. Click the ”Share” to make the device accessible from client computers running USB Network Gate.

  3. On the client machine, access the remote panel, select the device with which you want to establish connectivity and click “Connect”
connect USB macOS

USB Network Gate requires one of these Mac operating systems:
• OS X Mavericks 10.9
• OS X Yosemite 10.10
• OS X El Capitan 10.11
• macOS Sierra 10.12
• macOS High Sierra 10.13
• macOS Mojave 10.14

Share USB over IP on Linux

  1. Sharing USB devices on Linux requires you to access the “Share local USB devices” tab. Select the device and click “Share”. ung-linux-share-button

  2. You will be presented with a “Share USB device” window in which you can modify the device settings. When complete, click “OK” to enable sharing of the device. ung-linux-description-change

  3. On the Linux client computer, navigate to the “Remote USB devices” tab and click “Find” on the main toolbar. The “Add remote USB device” window will be displayed in which you can choose the USB device you wish to access. ung-linux-remote-add-dialog

  4. Once the device is added to the list you can access it by clicking “Connect” or “Connect Once”. ung-linux-remote-connect

USB Network Gate works with these Linux distributions:
• Centos 7
• Ubuntu 14.04-18.04
• Kernel 2.6.32-4.4

Share USB over IP on Android OS

Android devices are very popular due to their tight integration with services provide by Google as well as their ability to allow users to multi-task.

USB Network Gate can be installed on your Android device downloading it from your computer.

  1. Start the program and connect the device to be shared to the Android’s USB port.

  2. Tapping “Share Device” makes the device accessible to other users on the network. UNG_Android

  3. Once you have started the app it can be stopped temporarily if you wish. This is done by tapping the “Suspend” button in the options menu or in the USB Network Gate notification display. When the application is suspended the OS will not run it in the background, returning computing resources to the system. UNG_Android_suspend

USB Network Gate requirements:
• Android 5.0+ Lollipop
• Android 6.0 Marshmallow
• Android 7.0 Nougat
• Android 8.0 Oreo
• Android 9.0 Pie

Additional settings for all Platforms

There are settings that can be customized regardless of the operating system on which you are running USB Network Gate. The procedure is similar for all platforms. Customization can be done on a variety of parameters such as:

  • Setting the TCP port that will be used to establish the connection.
  • Enabling traffic encryption for increased data security. All transmitted data is encrypted in this scenario, which may negatively impact communication speed.
  • Another way to heighten security is by securing the connection via password authorization. The client will be required to enter to password to complete the connection.
  • Enabling traffic compression can speed up communication with some USB device types and can minimize network traffic.
  • You can use the Description field to label the shared USB device with a custom name that will be used on the server and client computers.

Frequently Asked Questions

USB over IP is a way to share a USB device to any other connected remote computer. This connection can be over Ethernet, Wi-Fi, or Internet. The result is your USB device will appear and be fully accessible on the remote computer as though it was physically connected.
You are not limited to the type of USB device that you can share over IP. Software like USB Network Gate offers a truly flexible and robust cross platform solution.
USB over IP software is available for Windows, Mac and Linux thus making it possible to connect and share across different operating systems. This means the server and client do not have to be running the same operating system.
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