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Editorial Team Editorial Team Feb 17, 2020

What is USB server?

USB server is a software solution that lets you access various USB devices (mostly printers and scanners) plugged into this server among computers on the network without the need of plugging them in and out all the time when they are needed on any of those PCs.

Table of contents:

  1. USB server usage
  2. How to create USB server
  3. Guide:
  4. Tips
  5. Things you'll need

USB server usage

Usually the server device is connected to the network via standard port and is equipped with one or more USB ports. As a result, printers or scanners connected to such device become available for remote computers over the local network. USB servers usually have their own web interface for setup and management. They also may include special software for adjustment of configuration.

Try USB Server app now
14-day free trial

How to create USB server

Need to share USB devices over network, but don't want to plug them into your own computer? USB Network Gate is a professional, yet so easy-to-use solution for breaking a distance limit between USB device and its host! With USB Network Gate you can plug USB devices to any computer thus making this computer a USB server and use the connected devices from any remote PC on a local network even via RDP, Wi-Fi or Internet.

You can connect several USB devices to a local PC (e.g. USB hard drive, USB flash drive, USB dongle, USB printers/MFDs, USB home monitoring & control systems) and work with these devices from your laptop via Wi-Fi. No wires or additional hardware required!

Did you know?

You can turn any of the PCs on the network into USB server with the help of USB Network Gate with no additional hardware needed.


For Windows OS:

  1. 1
    Install USB Network Gate on the computer that you are going to use as a USB network server. Plug USB devices that you are going to use on other computers into it.
     Install USB Network Gate (Windows version)
  2. 2
    Share the USB devices with the help of USB Network Gate (that's super easy to do).
     Share USB device (Windows version)
  3. 3
    Install USB Network Gate on all computers that will connect to the devices shared at USB network server. On Windows machines USB Network Gate for Windows has to be installed, and USB Network Gate for Linux/Mac has to be installed on Linux/Mac machines.
     Installing USB Network Gate on the client computer (Windows version)
  4. 4
    On client computers add remote USB device that you shared on USB server and then establish a connection with it in USB Network Gate.
     Add remote USB device (Windows version)
Try USB Server app now
14-day free trial

For macOS

Creating a USB server on a Mac requires you to run USB Network Gate on the computer. Follow these steps to implement a USB server on a macOS machine after launching the app.

  1. 1
    Click the Local pane in the upper part of the program’s window.
  2. 2
    A list of the USB devices currently connected to the computer is displayed in the Local Pane. Locate the device you want to share and select it.
  3. 3
    Click the Share button.

    USB server Mac - Share Device
  4. 4
    Make any configuration changes necessary for the selected USB device in the displayed dialog box.

    USB Server for Mac configuration
  5. 5
    After you have finished configuring parameters in the USB server software for mac, click Share.

Your device is now available to be used by client computers from the network USB server.

For Linux OS:

Below you can find step-by-step instructions on how to use the USB server on Linux OS. To create a Linux USB server, you have to launch USB Network Gate.

  1. 1
    Switch to the Share local USB devices tab.

    Share local USB devices (Linux version)
  2. 2
    Choose the USB device you want to share. Then press "Share"

    Share USB device (Linux version)
  3. 3
    You can change the TCP port to be used in the connection, or enable encryption, authorization or traffic compression.

    Option tab for share USB device (Linux version)

Why use a software USB device server
to share devices over Ethernet?

If you want to turn your computer into a USB device hub, you can do this by using a USB server software. A dedicated application like USB Network Gate has many advantages over a traditional USB device server hardware:

  • The software solution allows creating cross-platform connections. For example, you can share a USB peripheral on a Mac and connect to it from Linux or Windows OS or the other way around.

  • USB Network Gate is capable of sharing devices over any network, including Ethernet, Wi-Fi and the Internet.

  • With the software app, you can access remote USB peripherals no matter their location. USB Network Gate works over any distance.

  • The dedicated program supports the Remote Desktop Protocol and makes it simple to connect to local devices while working in the RDP session, and more.
Try USB Server app now
14-day free trial


Only one client can use USB device shared on a server at a time. This is conditioned by the fact that USB Network Gate is a universal tool, so as of now multi-access cannot be implemented in it, moreover not all USB devices may support multi-access mode.

If you share a device on USB network server, that device becomes no longer available at that server. Unshare it to use and fully control it there.

Things you'll need

  • Windows OS, Mac OS or Linux OS computer;
  • USB Network Gate;
  • USB device you would like to share.

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