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USB Over Wi-Fi: How To Create Wireless USB Connections

Editorial Team Editorial Team Dec 25, 2023

Welcome to our guide on wireless USB! It has all the necessary info to connect and use your devices over the WiFi network. Here are some questions that you may have starting out:

  • How to make a USB device wireless?
  • What are the techniques to transmit USB over Wi-Fi?
  • How to share a USB device over a Wi-Fi network?
  • Which is the best USB over Wi-Fi solution: hardware or software?

The USB interface’s compact design makes it ideal for various devices like mice, computers, scanners, and external hard drives. It also has a plug-and-play feature that makes it simple to connect devices. That means you can move it and connect it to another computer with ease.

However, the physical sharing of the equipment isn’t adequate sometimes, causing users to switch to USB over Wi-Fi. It can be troublesome to swap cords, and a cable mess can make work processes less efficient.

This comprehensive guide will discuss four easy approaches to developing a wireless USB bridge to help you use USB devices without setting up a physical connection to the receiving computer.

Convert USB Device to Wireless

Opting for hardware solutions might be your first thought when converting USB devices to wireless functionality. So, let us look at these hardware options first.

USB to Bluetooth adapter

USB-to-Bluetooth adapter is one of the most basic strategies to complete a wireless USB transfer. You only need to connect a small USB adapter to your computer’s USB port. The adapter will then automatically install the necessary software drivers on your PC. Upon activation, your wireless device will link to the USB adapter via Bluetooth. Then, the adapter connects to the computer and simplifies the transfer of commands from the primary device.

However, remember that distance restrictions exist in this connection, and they depend on the Bluetooth version you utilize. Usually, you can place two devices more than 5 to 7 meters (20 feet) apart. Moreover, you may need a free USB port on your PC when performing this method. Numerous USB2BT devices have an internal battery that can last for several hours or even days before needing to be recharged. They also include manuals containing essential details about the connection and charging process.

Wireless USB cable

The authentication of the wireless “cable” concept is a common concern among users. When they use the term “wireless USB cable,” they usually mean something like this:

  • A USB over Wi-Fi bridge connects to a computer.
  • This connection turns the USB output into a wireless signal.
  • A secondary USB adapter on an attachable device receives this wireless signal.
  • The secondary bridge reconverts the wireless signal into a USB input and transfers this data to the attachable device.

Generally, it is the same USB wireless connection, but a few extra steps are required. In both scenarios, USB plugs communicate with another device—either a different piece of equipment or another USB plug—through Bluetooth signals.

NOTE:

Those two choices were both popular in the past, but they have significant flaws that make them ineffective for use in the present, such as:
• limited performance
• short efficacy ranges
• high latency
• regular disconnections
• lack of support for modern operating systems
• slow connection due to a weak signal

This old USB-over-WiFi-option required consistent power supplies since USBs frequently need to provide energy to the connected gadget. The next part of this guide will show you how to establish a USB over Wi-Fi bridge.

Exploring Software Solutions for USB Over Wi-Fi

Numerous software options to convert USB devices to wireless are available on the market. So, keep reading if you’re looking for simple ways to transmit USB wirelessly without requiring extra hardware or cleaning cluttered cables.

These solutions are ideal for linking USB devices through a second PC as an intermediary rather than wires. They also depend on USB over Wi-Fi software.
Let us look at some of these software choices:

Make a wireless USB connection with a USB Network Gate

These software solutions help develop wireless USB connections. So, you can make your USB devices accessible to any network-connected machine. You can also share your equipment with remote users anywhere in the world. The USB Network Gate, for example, allows users to access a device at once without additional hardware or cabling.

Try USB over WiFi software now
Connect up to 10 devices!

Three simple steps to make wireless USB devices:

1
Install USB Network Gate on all computers that are going to participate in connection. I.e. on a server where a USB device will be physically present and on clients that you are going to access USB over Wi-Fi from.
 Download USB Network Gate
2
Plug the USB device into a server computer and share it using a USB Network Gate.
 Share USB device over wifi network
3
Connect to the shared device from any client computer over a Wi-Fi network. After that the device shared on a server will appear in Device Manager of the remote client and all programs will treat this device as if it was directly connected to it.
 Connect to the shared USB device
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Connect any device wirelessly with USB Network Gate solutions

Share USB over Wi-Fi with FlexiHub

FlexiHub is another software option that offers a simplified method of sharing USB devices over Wi-Fi. It is a flexible tool for connecting and sharing different USB devices, including hard drives, printers, scanners, and USB dongles. Moreover, FlexiHub can transform your workspace into a kind of software-based USB hub since it clears up the cluttered wires around your computer.

How to connect USB devices wirelessly with FlexiHub

1
Go to the FlexiHub website and create an account for free. Turn the demo mode on if you need to expand USB over Wi-Fi.
 Download Flexihub
2
Download and install the FlexiHub app on all the PCs involved in the connection. These machines will act as Wi-Fi USB hubs.
3
Open the app on the local and remote computers and log in to your account.
 Start a Flexihub demo
4
On the remote PC, go to the connected devices list. Then, search for your chosen USB device and click the “Connect” button beside it.
 Share USB device over wifi

Following these steps, all users with the same FlexiHub account can access your wireless USB peripherals.

Which is the best USB-over-Wi-Fi solution: hardware or software?

USB over Wi-Fi bridge technology opens up new possibilities for individuals and companies. It also has several crucial benefits, including the following:

Advanced Flexibility provides remote access to USB devices
In comparison to physical solutions, USB over WiFi software options frequently offer a much wider range of device compatibility. You can easily apply a USB over wireless network method with any device, including tablets, scanners, 3D printers, and more.
You can link them in just minutes as opposed to an analog-wired connection, which might require more time and effort.

Ease of Installation
You can easily configure a USB over a wireless network in the application. You only need to follow the on-screen directions. On the contrary, analog-wired connections are more intricate and frequently need more technical knowledge.

Scalability
You can scale software choices to fit your current network condition, whether growing or declining. You can modify your network’s state with just a few clicks.
Adjusting physical equipment can be more demanding. You may have to purchase extra USB hubs and sometimes mobile charging stations to fuel your connected devices.

Remote Access
Usually, USB over wireless software provides remote access to USB devices. That means users can access and employ USB peripherals with an internet connection, regardless of geographical location. It is something that may not be possible with hardware solutions.

Updates and Maintenance
Updates are simpler for software-based solutions. Developers frequently release updates and bug fixes to guarantee their applications work on different old and new devices.
On the other hand, physical remedies demand more manual upkeep, where each piece of hardware needs to be updated separately.

No Physical Hardware Dependency
Hardware solutions depend on tangible parts that deteriorate over time. Meanwhile, USB over wireless software only requires regular updates. You need not change physical components with those wireless solutions.

Compatibility Across Operating Systems
An array of operating systems are compatible with software-based solutions for wireless USB connections. That includes traditional desktop platforms like Windows and macOS and more specialized ones like Android, iOS, Linux, and ChromeOS. As for hardware options, they rely more on certain software elements.

Virtualization Support
USB over wireless network software choices feature interfaces that are mostly compatible with virtual machines. In contrast, creating a virtual environment for hardware bundles is more challenging since every case is unique.

Enhanced Security Features
Advanced security features, such as encryption and two-factor authentication, are available in numerous USB over Wi-Fi applications. On the other hand, hardware-based solutions typically have less innovative security protocols.

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