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How To Redirect a USB Dongle over RDP

Olga Weis Olga Weis Jun 17, 2021

Remote desktop sessions using the RDP often face a specific type of connectivity problem. If you try to run a license-protected app on a remote server, you’ll find that you have troubles with recognizing your local USB devices over RDP (dongles in our case). In many cases, vendors disable the ability to access security keys over RDP, leading to reduced productivity and wasted time.

This article demonstrates a simple and convenient method of using USB dongles in remote desktop sessions with a dedicated and very efficient software solution.

remote desktop usb dongle

Software for connecting to a USB dongle in RDP

USB Network Gate is a versatile software tool that has many uses when working with remote USB devices. Using this capability, USB Network Gate can connect a remote desktop session with a USB dongle.

This USB dongle redirector software enables users to connect to locally attached dongle keys over RDP. A connection made in this way makes the license dongle over RDP appear as it has a direct connection to the remote session.

USB Network Gate eliminates the problem of being unable to use the features of a protected app on your remote session due to issues with dongle connectivity. This simple method of redirecting a USB dongle over RDP ensures your session will be able to recognize and access the key’s information.

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How to redirect a USB license key over RDP

The following simple steps are all you need to implement access to a security dongle over RDP:
Install USB Network Gate on the computer with a direct connection to the security key.
Launch the application and open the “Local USB Devices” tab.
Locate the dongle you want to share and click “Share” next to it.
 dongle over RDP
Use RDP to connect to the remote desktop.
Click ‘Finish’ after completing the setup. You might have to restart your PC or laptop to see the connected device.
On the remote server:
Once the RDP session is established, start USB Network Gate and open the “Remote Devices” tab.
Select the security dongle and click “Connect”.
 connecting to a USB key in RDP

A nice feature of USB Network Gate is that it only displays USB devices that have been shared by the host machine. You can search for other available network-connected USB devices with the app.

There is also an “RDP auto-connect” option that automatically establishes remote desktop dongle connectivity so you can get right to work without opening USB Network Gate’s interface.

Here are the pros and cons of using USB Network Gate:


  • The tool establishes stable USB connections.
  • It’s a cross-platform solution that can use the Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems as host or clients.
  • A wide variety of USB devices is supported by the app.
  • Minimal network configuration is needed to establish connectivity.


  • This is a commercial application that needs to be purchased.
  • To implement USB dongle redirection, a network connection is required.
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