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Hyper-V USB Passthrough Tutorial

Sep 10, 2021
Hyper-V USB passthrough Windows 10

Accessing local host devices from virtual environments such as VMware and Hyper-V is useful in many situations. In this article, we are going to show you how to make set up a USB Passthrough to access USB devices from a VM for easy USB redirection so you could use local resources like printers, dongles, webcams, etc.

Hyper-V USB passthrough in 3 clicks

USB over Network (aka USB Network Gate) is a USB redirector software tool that provides an easy way for Hyper-V USB dongles passthrough, USB drive redirection, and using a USB hub and other devices in Hyper-V or VMware ESX. This specialized communication app enables you to attach USB devices in Hyper-V by sharing a USB over the network.

USB Network Gate is a client-server solution, meaning that its server-side gives access to USB devices to other computers on the network or to Virtual Machines, and the client-side allows using them as local resources. You can use any computer connected to the network as a server.

Here’s how to access USB in Hyper-V by employing USB Network Gate. This solution requires just a few easy steps to implement a Hyper-V USB device passthrough to a Hyper-V or VMware workstation via RDP. And you won’t have to buy any other extra gadgets, apps, or wires.

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Install USB_Network_Gate.exe on the host and guest operating systems.

  2. Use the app to share a device physically attached to the host over Ethernet.

  3. On the VM, locate the shared peripheral in the application and click ‘Connect.’

That’s how easy it is to mount a USB peripheral to VM by using a dedicated USB redirector. You will see the peripheral in your VM’s Device Manager and be able to access it as if it was directly connected to your virtual machine.

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Pros and cons of accessing USB in Hyper-V with USB Network Gate

Pros

  • Virtually all USB peripherals are supported.
  • Simple configuration process to implement USB access across the network.
  • USB Network Gate is compatible with Linux, Mac, and Windows OSes, including Windows 10.
  • It creates secure USB connections.

Cons

  • USB Network Gate is commercial software that has a financial cost.
  • Network connectivity is required to redirect USB traffic.
Hyper-V attach USB

Alternative ways of setting up USB device redirection in Hyper-V

Another way to solve the problem of a VM powered by the Hyper-V hypervisor not seeing local SCSI and USB devices is by using the enhanced session mode. To enable it, use the Hyper-V Manager to change the settings of your server (look for the Allow enhanced session mode setting). After that, guest VM should be able to access ay leas some of your host’s resources.

The following method is for Windows users only, more specifically for those who have Server 2012 R2 edition. You can redirect a USB dongle or other local devices to a Hyper-V or VMware workstation VM via the Microsoft Hyper-V Client. To do that, you’ll have to change some group policy settings on your host to grant remote users access to USB device redirection and then allow redirection of PnP devices on the VM.

Or you can try server-side Hyper-V USB Passthrough to share USB over Ethernet. This works for local USB storage devices only, but it is definitely worth trying if that’s your case. First, you disconnect the device from your host system, then go to your VM’s Disk Management Console, look for a new device there, and assign it a disk volume letter.

Bottom Line

So, does Hyper-V support USB devices? As we have demonstrated, the answer is yes. You can enable USB support in a few different ways, but we believe using the USB Network Gate USB redirector application is the easiest and most effective solution. It will save time when compared to using Hyper-V enhanced session mode and any other solution.

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