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RemoteFX USB device redirection allows users access (and full control over) peripheral USB devices during a Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). RemoteFX USB redirection is a special feature that supplements USB redirection when standard USB redirection to RDP isn’t enough.
RemoteFX USB passthrough is a powerful feature that supports additional high-level redirection needs like:
The entire goal behind RemoteFX USB redirection development was straightforward: anyone should have access to any USB device they need and know their devices will always work at full functionality.
Standard Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) allows the use of specific device types during RDP sessions, via various high-level redirection capabilities:
Unfortunately, there are numerous devices that the standard Remote Desktop Protocol doesn’t support.
Devices such as multifunctional printers, webcams, scanners, etc. do not fall under standard Remote Desktop Protocol coverage.
However, that’s why RemoteFX USB redirection was developed. It serves as a universal tool that can support and redirect these devices during a remote session.
RemoteFX USB redirection occurs at the port protocol level (USB Request Block) which is similar to how users can redirect serial/parallel ports through remote desktop sessions.
Below we’ll uncover why this is an advantage, but it should be noted that RemoteFX USB redirection is intended to supplement Remote Desktop Protocol high-level redirection, not replace it.
When users meld RemoteFX USB redirection and RDP high-level device redirection, the best of both worlds can be achieved.
|RemoteFX USB Redirection||RDP High-Level Device Redirection|
|No drivers are required on the client machine||Driver installation is required on the client machine|
|Device drivers must be installed on the server computer||Device driver installations aren’t usually required on the server computer|
|One redirection method regardless of device type||Specific redirection methods based on the device type|
|Forwards URBs to/from the device via RDP connection||Exposes high-level device functionality within remote sessions via optimized protocols based on the device type|
|Devices can only be used during one RDP session at a time (i.e: another client machine cannot use the USB device while it’s in use during another remote session)||Multiple remote desktop sessions can access and control a device simultaneously (this includes the local client, too)|
|RemoteFX is optimized for Local Area Networks (LAN)||RDP high-level device redirection functions on both WAN and LAN networks|
RDS Session Hosts
Additional RemoteFX USB Passthrough Requirements:
|Device||Support Status||Redirection Method|
|All-in-One Printer||Supported||RemoteFX USB Redirection|
|Scanner||Supported||RemoteFX USB Redirection|
|Biometric||Supported Within A Session
Not Supported During Login
|RemoteFX USB Redirection|
|PTP Camera||Supported||Plug And Play Device Redirection|
|MTP Media Player||Supported||Plug And Play Device Redirection|
|Webcam||LAN-Only Support||RemoteFX USB Redirection|
|VoIP Telephone/Headset||LAN-Only Support||RemoteFX USB Redirection|
|Audio (Not A USB Composite Device)||Supported||Audio Redirection|
|CD Or DVD Drive||Supported For Read Operations||Drive Redirection|
|Hard Drive Or USB Flash Drive||Supported||Drive Redirection|
|Smart Card Reader||Supported||Smart Card Redirection|
|USB-To-Serial||Supported||RemoteFX USB Redirection|
|USB Network Adapter (Also Includes Some Personal Digital Assistants)||Blocked||N/A|
|USB Keyboard Or Mouse||Supported||Input Redirection|
RemoteFX USB redirection supports the highlighted devices, while alternative devices listed are supported via high-level device redirection.
Any devices that haven’t been listed above are processed via RemoteFX USB redirection. The devices should function normally but are not officially supported.