Accessing locally-attached USB devices can be very challenging when working in a Remote Desktop session. There are some methods you can try to get around this limitation but they do not offer a consistent and viable solution.
To solve the dilemma posed by a lack of USB for Remote Desktop access you need to use USB redirection of the local device to the RDP session.
Let’s take a look at how to redirect USB serial port RDP using several different methods. Here are the five best USB for Remote Desktop solutions.
USB Redirector solution as USB Network Gate allows USB over Remote Desktop connectivity letting users access local USB devices while working in an RDP session. The software works by sharing a USB port that can be used to connect to any compatible device. You can change devices on the fly with no need to reconfigure the software when you plug in a new piece of equipment.
To get started with this USB over RDP solution, simply install USB Network Gate on both machines which will be participating in the connection:
First, install the USB Network Gate Server on the local machine (where the client for Microsoft RDP protocol is installed). This enables you to use the Remote Desktop Protocol to share your devices. The Remote Desktop Connection will be furnished by the client for Microsoft RDP.
Next, select the remote machine that will share the device. It needs to have Terminal Server already installed. You will then install the USB Network Gate Client to enable USB redirection over RDP.
Additional features of RDP USB Redirector:
USB devices that are shared on the server can be accessed using USB Network Gate on any IP-based network such as LAN/WAN/VLAN/VPN/Internet.
Server and client code are merged into a single application with the option to only install the client code when needed.
Connect an unlimited number of clients to a shared USB device.
Supports the RDP and ICA protocols.
Share and access USB devices with USB Network Gate without any network configuration changes.
Specify the TCP port you want to be used in the connection.
Share and remove devices without rebooting your system.
Activity log tracks all of the program’s actions.
Hyper-Threading Technology and multiprocessor platforms are fully supported.
USB devices are assigned status icons for easy identification of shared resources.
Support for virtual machines including VMware, VMware ESX Server, Citrix XenServer, and Microsoft Hyper-V.
USB v3.0 support with USB v1.1 and v2.0 compatibility.
The OHCI, UHCI and EHCI USB standards are supported.
Per-session USB device isolation (USB flash drives and USB cameras in test mode).
Price starts from $159.95
A 14-day trial during which you can share one local USB-device.
FlexiHub is a simple RDP to USB redirector that connects USB or serial devices to an RDP session using an IP network like your LAN or the Internet. Having this capability is very useful in cases where you cannot implement USB redirection to RDP directly.
Easily connect and disconnect to remote serial and USB interfaces.
Remotely connect to any computer’s USB and serial ports.
Use the FlexiChat feature to communicate with other users while sharing USB and COM devices.
FlexiHub provides enhanced communication security by using 256-bit SSL data encryption. This feature keeps your data private and secure while it is being transferred.
FlexiHub offers a private communication server.
Send invitations to other users to encourage them to share your network-attached USB or serial equipment.
Data transmission is compressed when using FlexiHub which increases communication speed and helps minimize bandwidth usage.
Control port and device availability by blocking selected USB and serial interfaces from being shared over your network. These devices and ports will not be accessible with FlexiHub allowing you to restrict the use of specific devices.
Price starts from $159.95 per year
A 14-day trial that allows you to share only 1 local USB-device.
RemoteFX is a set of protocols for Microsoft's Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) that can be used to provide virtual Windows desktops over a local area network. A central Windows server hosts the virtual desktops.
Challenges involved in successfully implementing RemoteFX USB redirection include:
Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 or later version needs to be installed to run RemoteFX USB.
Networks must be running the TCP/IP protocol and USB drivers for each device must be installed on all virtual machines that will access the equipment.
Redirected USB devices cannot be accessed locally.
USB devices that will be accessed remotely with RemoteFX have to be physically connected before the remote desktop session is started.
Traffic from some devices such as USB display network adapters may be blocked by FX USB redirection. The tool does support data transmission from webcams and VOIP devices.
Biometric dongles cannot be used in an RDP session with RemoteFX.
USB for Remote Desktop by FabulaTech
USB for Remote Desktop by FabulaTech is a USB redirector to RDP sessions software application that enables remote desktop sessions to access devices attached to a computer’s local ports. The USB device can be used as if it were directly connected to the remote session.
The application has two components. The Workstation software is installed on a thin client or local computer that is connected to the USB device to be shared. The server portion of the app is used to redirect USB to remote desktop sessions. You can connect to the device remotely using Microsoft RDP, Citrix ICA or Teradici PCoIP.
USB for Remote Desktop benefits:
This solution does not require the installation of USB device drivers on the thin client or local machine.
Windows and Linux operating systems are supported as remote desktops.
USB port redirection is supported.
All types of virtual machines can use the tool to access remote USB devices.
Auto-redirecting of hot-plugged USB devices.
Supports single and multi-user environments.
Both 32-bit and 64-bit systems are supported.
Price starts from $199.95
15-days trial. You can open one user session and redirect two USB devices during the trial period.
USB Redirector RDP Edition
USB Redirector RDP Edition is another application that is comprised of two components. The tool is used to redirect USB devices to RDP sessions. The Workstation component of the application makes USB devices available to virtual machines, Terminal Server, and remote desktop sessions. It provides a nice solution to redirecting USB traffic to Virtual Desktop/VDI sessions.
USB Redirector RDP Benefits:
The application runs as a service in the background so you don’t need to keep it open on your system. After the top is configured you can close it and it will continue to operate even after you reboot your machine.
Only the Server component requires a license with the Workstation available for free.
Price starts from $89.99
15-day trial which allows one user session to redirect up to two USB devices.
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
, 6.08MB size
Version 8.2.2087 (8th Jan, 2019) Release notes