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Wireless USB sharing.
How to make a USB hub wireless

Editorial Team Editorial Team Dec 4, 2023

Many computer peripherals connect via USB cables. However, connecting devices directly to the computer may be inconvenient in some cases. They could be placed too far away, or you may have too many devices to connect.

This is where a wireless USB hub comes into play, helping you save working space by organizing your setup.

Keep reading to find out:

  • What is a wireless USB hub?
  • How do wireless USB hubs work?
  • How to make a wireless USB hub with DIY measures?
  • Can you use Raspberry as a wireless USB hub?

Wireless USB Hub

Modern computers and laptops have reduced the number of physical ports as they increasingly support wireless connections through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. However, certain devices still rely solely on physical ports. In such cases, users need to consider ways to implement a wireless USB splitter to connect all these devices to their computers.

So, what is a wireless USB hub? A wireless USB hub is a hardware that helps connect multiple USB devices simultaneously without using any cables. It also enables data transfer from all those devices to the target computer. For decades, there were only wired USB hubs. However, port hubs rose to fame between 2013 and 2020 due to the better flexibility they offer users.

With wireless USB hubs, physical cable connections are no longer necessary. All you need to do is:

  • Connect devices to the hub and then turn on the Wi-Fi on the sharing station.
  • After doing so, the sharing station establishes a wireless connection to your PC and transfers information.
  • With this setup, you develop a USB-to-Wi-Fi link that allows you to access USB devices all through your network.
How do wireless USB hubs work

A few years ago, the IOGEAR Wireless USB Hub and the Belkin Cable-Free USB Hub were the most popular USB hubs over Wi-Fi. These particular models, however, are already unavailable on the market. Fortunately, you can find new analogs comparable to those two.

USB hub for wireless peripherals

What to keep in mind when using a wireless USB hub?

As of 2024, wireless USB extenders are starting to lose their popularity due to the following features:

Restricted range. A Wi-Fi USB hub usually has a limited operating range. If you move too far from the hub, you may experience connection problems. You often need to stay physically close, usually within 30 meters (100 feet) of the wireless USB hub adapter. In some cases, you need to be even closer to the sharing station.

The lack of remote abilities. If you need to provide access to devices for someone who is physically distant, you can’t do it with a physical USB hub with wireless capability. Other users should be located within the range of your Wi-Fi router.

Slow data transfer speeds. A DIY wireless USB hub has lower bandwidth compared to fully wireless data transfer hubs. It can limit your work when you transfer large files or use devices that require high bandwidth.

Compatibility. A wireless USB port hub is not compatible with as many devices. They may not support older devices, and some hubs may not accept USB radio-controlled mice, limiting their potential usage.

Set-Up complexity. Setting up a wireless USB hub and adapter kit can be complex, even for tech-savvy users. It may involve configuring wireless settings, drivers, and security features.

Limited Ports number. Wireless USB hubs typically have a limited number of USB ports, often supporting up to 8 devices. It may not be sufficient for all your device bundles, so you may start looking for multiple hubs, occupying even more physical space.

Reliability. Wireless USB extension connections can be prone to dropouts or signal fluctuations. This can be frustrating in situations where a user requires a stable connection with high bandwidth.

Luckily for you, there are numerous software solutions available to replace physical USB over Wi-Fi hubs. Explore these software measures to extend your USB device networks with ease.

How to Make a USB Hub Wireless?

The USB Network Gate lets you take a standard USB hub and turn it into a wireless device. All you need to do is connect devices to a USB hub and plug them into the computer. After that, you can share remote access to those devices worldwide, regardless of their location.
This approach allows you to simultaneously use a wireless USB hub for multiple devices.

It will also suit situations when you need to transfer information from various scattered devices to the main one. For instance, imagine that you have three large offices in different cities, and you need to gather information on the arrivals and departures of all your employees at the main office. Each office has multiple ID card scanners. Deploying this network configuration with traditional USB wireless hubs would be impossible. However, it’s easy to implement with a software-based USB hub.

Try a Wireless USB Splitter now
Connect up to 10 devices!
The basic USB hub that you were using to connect multiple devices to your personal computer can now be used to provide access to everyone connected to your network. To create this setup, follow these steps:
Install the USB Network Gate application on the computer that will serve as the wireless USB hub (server part) and on the computers that will connect to it wirelessly (clients).
 Install wireless USB hub software
Plug the USB hub into the server computer and launch the app. Share access with the client computers.
 Share USB devices over wifi network
Instruct users on the client computers to click 'Connect' near the icon of the remote device.
 Connect to the shared USB hub

The advantage of using a USB Network Gate as a wireless USB hub

USB Network Gate serves as a versatile software solution that replicates and extends the functionality of a wireless USB hub 3.0, all without the need for additional hardware. It’s a more effective alternative to hardware USB hubs. Here are just some of the main benefits of a software-based USB hub with Wi-Fi support:

Remote Access. USB Network Gate enables you to access remote USB devices as if they were directly connected to your local computer. This feature is handy for those who need to access devices located in different locations.

Device Sharing. Several users can access a similar USB device over the network at the same time. This functionality is perfect for settings when multiple individuals use a single USB device, like a scanner or printer.

Less Cable Mess. Since USB Network Gate doesn’t require you to use additional physical USB cables, you need not worry about handling tangled cables. Fewer cables mean a clean-looking workspace setup.

Budget-Friendly. You are no longer required to purchase extra hardware to use a software-based USB hub to connect remotely, making it a perfect choice for individuals who want to stay within budget.

Cross-Platform Compatibility. USB Network Gate works well in various operating systems such as Windows, macOS, and Linux. With it, you can share similar USB devices between PCs running different operating systems.

Flexibility. With a USB Network Gate, you can utilize remote devices linked to your PC in any application on your gadget, whether a gaming or work-related app.

Simple Setup. Setting up a USB hub with Wi-Fi support using the USB Network Gate program is easy. Just follow the on-screen directions to achieve a proper setup.

DIY Wireless USB Hub

You can use a Raspberry Pi to create a low-latency wireless USB hub tailored to your needs. This approach even allows you to share USB hubs, enabling authorized users to remotely connect to the USB over a Wi-Fi Raspberry Pi hub.

Install the USB Network Gate build and follow the steps below on how to set up a wireless USB hub:

  1. Download the USB Network Gate for Raspberry Pi.
  2. Open the Raspberry’s terminal and run the following command:

    dpkg -i [package]
    apt-get install -f
    rpm -i [package]

    Or use that command: yum install [package]

  3. Launch the app and select “Share” next to your USB device.

With these steps, you can establish a DIY USB hub with wireless connectivity. Now, you can access the shared USB device remotely from any computer connected to the internet. Once you execute the command, you can access the shared device from any machine with the USB Network Gate app and establish an active client connection with your computer.

You don’t need to load the kernel module to launch USB Network Gate on a Linux machine. You can even connect a wireless USB hub external hard drive, deploying your server network.

These remote devices are compatible with VMware, VMware ESX Server, Citrix XenServer, and Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines.

The USB Network Gate application also ensures advanced 2048-bit SSL encryption to protect connections. You can also enable two-factor authorization with an additional password for added security on your Wi-Fi USB hub or USB sharing station.

Final Thoughts

Now that you understand what a wireless USB hub is and how to integrate it into your workflow, it's essential to grasp the differences between physical and software-based solutions. Even top-rated wireless USB hardware solutions have inherent physical limitations, and remote access to physical device bundles is typically not possible. These hardware solutions consume power and support a limited number of connected devices, with most top-tier physical USB wireless extenders accommodating up to 8 or 10 connections.

On the other hand, software-based wireless USB hubs offer limitless possibilities. You can remotely access devices from anywhere in the world. Scaling the network is a breeze; you can easily upgrade to a more extensive plan. Software solutions excel as USB hubs for wireless peripherals, allowing you to connect thousands of devices worldwide to a single network.

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