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Best USB to IP converters - USB over IP hardware guide

Editorial Team Editorial Team Dec 18, 2019

A USB over IP adapter is a piece of hardware that connects an Ethernet cable to a USB port.

An advantage of using a USB to IP converter is the ability to connect multiple devices using an Ethernet cable. This type of cable provides more range and reliability than a USB cable. Another benefit of USB over IP hardware is that it operates via Plug-and-Play technology which enables you to activate the device by plugging it into a USB port and connecting to the Ethernet cable. After the Ethernet cable is connected to another device, you can access USB over the IP network to send files, transfer application data or share an Internet connection.

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Hardware USB to IP converters

We present a list of hardware USB to IP adapters. You may find these to be your best option to share USB over IP based on your particular situation. Review our recommendations and select the device that best suits your needs.

  1. Kensington ShareCentral converter
  2. USB2 Switch2 converter
  3. US224 hardware converter
  4. Software solution advantages

Kensington ShareCentral 2

Kensington USB to IP

If you are tired of constantly plugging and unplugging computer peripherals, this compact hardware tool will be a perfect solution for you. The ShareCentral 2 allows you to switch between any two USB devices by pressing the corresponding buttons. You simply attach the desired USB peripheral to your USB switch and connect the hardware to two PCs via USB. Now, you can switch each of the USB devices from one computer to another. LED lights will show you which machine is currently enabled.

USB over IP software

You may find that a software solution that we offer may be more comfortable when you need to connect a USB device over an IP network. It is easy to use and eliminates the need for more equipment or configuration changes. Simply install USB Network Gate on your computer and start sharing your USB devices over the network.
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USB Network Gate

Share USB over IP/TCP on Windows
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USB Switch UsB over IP adapter

Our next pick is the USB2-SWITCH2 tool working without drivers on Windows, Mac, and Linux machines. This hardware solution can provide two computers with shared access to a single USB-based keyboard, mouse, USB graphics adapter, etc. Also, you can connect the switch to a powered USB hub with multiple USB devices attached and change control of these devices between the connected computers

The US224 Peripheral Sharing Switch

US224 USB to IP converter

Another easy way to share your keyboard and mouse between two computers is the US224 Peripheral Sharing Switch. This device offers four built-in USB ports and a convenient remote port selection feature. In addition to a USB keyboard and mouse, it lets you share up to two peripheral devices. The hardware is compatible with multiple platforms, including Windows, Linux, Mac, and Sun.

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The core strengths and advantages of software USB to IP converters

But hardware USB over IP converters may have some disadvantages comparing to software solutions, which don’t require any additional cords and settings. To sum up, let's consider the clear advantages of software USB to IP converters over the hardware solutions:

  1. Unlike hardware devices, software tools can let you share an unlimited number of USB devices.

  2. In addition to local networks, dedicated software apps work over the Internet and WiFi.

  3. You don’t need to install any additional drivers.

  4. No cable clutter on your desk.

  5. Most software solutions support cross-platform connections, whereas hardware USB to IP converters are usually designed for working with a particular OS, etc.

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USB Network Gate
Share USB over Ethernet on Windows
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