Share USB over RDP

  1. The problem of access usb in rdp session
  2. Software for USB access in Remote Desktop
  3. How to work with USB over RDP session

Connecting a virtual desktop to local peripheral devices such as scientific instruments or storage devices can be accomplished using remote desktop USB redirection. Using an RDP USB redirector enables the user to access devices remotely and achieve the same performance as if they were directly connected to the equipment.

The virtual desktop user achieves the advantage of greater functionality that rivals that of a physical machine. The concept of RDP USB redirection is not complex. Software is employed which relies on network connections between the physical and virtual desktops. The connection is used to transmit data from the physically attached device to the virtual environment. System administrators need to monitor USB for remote desktop implementations to ensure that the correct networks are used and that only supported devices are connected to the network.

Internet or local Network

There are many factors that can impact the performance of USB for remote desktop functionality. The IT team needs to ensure that the network used for USB over RDP can handle the demands of the connected users. Latency, bandwidth, and sporadic reliability can all negatively impact the network’s ability to provide adequate performance. Wide area networks (WANs) can be used to connect remote desktops to USB devices, and are often employed when users are in multiple diverse locations. Unfortunately, at times their throughput is limited which affects the functionality of the connected devices on the virtual desktop.

Local area networks (LANs) which are located in the same building as the virtual desktop users are better suited for running USB over terminal services. Using a LAN, you can achieve network latency that ranges below 20 milliseconds, which often cannot be replicated with a wide area network.

Another factor that network administrators need to consider is keeping their VDI software updated. They also need to make sure that the operating systems and servers involved can be used to implement remote desktop to USB connectivity. For instance, making sure the right distribution is used when implementing Linux USB over IP functionality.

Are there devices that are not suited to USB redirection?

Some devices will provide better performance when used in a USB over RDP scenario. This should lead the IT team to be selective regarding the devices they choose to use with a USB redirector. Devices that require substantial resources are not good candidates for USB redirection. Scanners fall into this category which is further complicated by their reliance on sequential processes. In some cases, USB redirection software will not allow scanners on the network or only support a limited set of their features.

Consuming inordinate bandwidth is another problem that impacts the viability of using certain types of devices for USB redirection. This is certainly true of video and audio devices. Redirecting their data can result in negative performance for the whole network. These types of devices may also be restricted from use by the redirection software being used.

Software for USB access in Remote Desktop

USB Network Gate from Electronic Team, Inc. is an excellent solution when you need to provide USB access to Remote Desktop users. Any USB devices connected to your network can be shared with any network-attached user with USB Network Gate. You simply install the application on the machine that has the device physically attached and the remote machines with which you plan to share the resource.
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USB Network Gate

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USB Network Gate

Shared USB devices can be identified automatically by client machines when using USB Network Gate. When you turn on your computer the devices will appear as if they were directly, physically connected to your machine.

USB Network Gate also allows you to share USB devices with thin clients. Just plug your USB peripherals into the local thin client machine and they can be accessed from a remote desktop.

The Citrix ICA protocols are fully supported in USB Network Gate version 7.0. This allows you to control access to the shared USB devices. You can assign a device to a specific RDP user, making it inaccessible to all other users in a multi-user environment.

RemoteFX USB Redirection (MS-RDPEUSB) is supported in the Linux version of USB Network Gate. This enables the redirection of a shared USB device from a Linux machine to a remote Windows client with no need to install the software on the remote computer. The Windows machine can make use of the peripheral devices as if they were locally connected.

How to work with USB over RDP session

Virtual desktop implementations are becoming more popular in the business world due to their simplicity, flexibility, and security. Employees in large and small companies make use of USB thin clients to interact with USB devices through their virtual desktop. While the previously mentioned software is an effective method of implementing USB in RDP, there are also solutions that employ Windows operating system tools or the functionality of your virtual machine.

What is Remote Desktop RemoteFX?

Remote Desktop RemoteFX is a set of protocols used by RDP to connect virtual desktops over a LAN. Successfully implementing RemoteFX USB redirection poses some challenges. There are operating system requirements that demand you run Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 or later versions. Only local area networks running the TCP/IP protocol are supported by this redirection method. When running RemoteFX USB redirection on Server 2016, the correct USB drivers need to be installed on each virtual machine.

Remote Desktop RemoteFX

In order to use USB devices over remote desktop with RemoteFX, the equipment must be physically connected prior to starting an RDP session. USB devices are not available for local access when being used for redirection. Remote FX USB redirection blocks some traffic such as that from network adapters of USB displays but does support VOIP devices and webcams. Using a biometric dongle in a remote desktop session is prohibited by RemoteFX.

Citrix ICA USB Redirection

Citrix supports pressure-sensitive devices with their HDX remote display technology. Wide area networks can be used for the company’s USB Redirection to Cloud offering. Using this USB over ICA solution resolves the latency problems associated with using styluses on touchscreens in virtual environments such as XenDesktop. Creative professionals who work remotely can take advantage of this feature by using the XenDesktop and XenApp 7.6 Service Pack 3.

Citrix ICA USB Redirection

There are two distinct modes in Citrix’s USB Redirection to Cloud solution. Interactive mode is used for apps that make use of a stylus for input. Capture mode can be used for tasks such as obtaining signatures on documents remotely.

An enterprise’s whole network infrastructure can be slowed down by excessive redirection of transmission from video and audio devices. The HDX protocol uses both software and hardware compression and rendering as it strives to remove any latency impacting the virtual user. Bandwidth is supplemented by connecting the XenDesktop or XenApp server to Citrix Receiver client software. Once the Receiver is installed in the virtual environments, devices or programs that demand access to substantial computing resources can operate without the need for specialized drivers or additional GPUs.

Citrix also provides optimization for USB devices such as media players and cameras that may not be supported by standard USB redirection tools. It accomplishes this by using channels specifically dedicated to their network connections.

USB Network Gate

Requirements for Windows (32-bit and 64-bit): XP/Vista/7/8/10, Windows Server 2003/2008/2012/2016/2019
Also available on macOS, Linux OS and Android , 5.59MB size
Version 8.1.2013 (11th Jun, 2019) Release notes
Category: CommunicationApplication