How to share USB dongle over LAN or Internet
Software developers want to secure their products from copying; to that end they introduce dongles. Users want just the opposite – to make using software as simple and convenient as possible, no extra security layers or tricks, please.
I hear both sides and there is one thing I can tell you:
If we can’t avoid using dongles, we need to simplify working with them to the max.
In this article I’ll tell you how to share USB dongle over network, what dongles are and how to duplicate a dongle.
- Sharing step-by-step guide
- What is a computer dongle
- How to duplicate a USB dongle
How to share USB dongle over network
There is a special software that enables you to do that – FlexiHub.
Here is how you can use it:
- Download FlexiHub, open it
- In the window displayed click ‘Sign up’; this will redirect you to Registration Page
- Follow the instructions to register an account, it is free. Choose the subscription.
- Launch FlexiHub, sign in using your newly created login credentials
- Install FlexiHub on your other machine that needs access to a USB dongle and login using the same credentials. Find the shared dongle and connect to it.
That’s it! You can clone USB dongle and use it as if it is attached to your machine directly.
A free version of FlexiHub allows you to stay connected to the device for max 20 minutes, then the connection is dropped and you have to reconnect again. 20 minutes is typically enough to complete a task, but if you need to be connected for a longer time – check out what FlexiHub plan suits you best.
- The app allows connecting to a device via LAN, as well as wireless network
- A free version is not a trial one; you can use it as long as you need to.
- The app supports all kinds of USB devices – scanners, cameras, projectors, mobile phones, etc., your device will do too.
- Free version supports connection for only 20 minutes
- FlexiHub has to be installed on all machines that need to share USB device between two computers.
What is a dongle?
A software protection dongle is a device that allows you to protect content from accessing and copying. A hardware key has a product key or other protection mechanism. By attaching it to a computer or another electronic appliance a user can unlock software functionality or decode content or access a hardware device.
Dongles are typically attached to a PC via parallel ports, although in Macs you can also use ADB ports. A dongle passes all data coming through the port it is attached to, so the ports can actually be used for other purposes. It is not uncommon to attach several dongles to a single port.
Why is a dongle called a dongle?
There is a story that ‘dongles’ is derived from the name of a person who designed dongles first – Don Gall. A good advertising trick, but actually nobody knows for sure why dongles are called dongles. An early dongle was a solid and non-dangling RS232 block, it’s only modern dongles that dangle, and only when attached to a key-fob or lanyard.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, dongle first appeared in reference to computer security systems sometime between 1980 and 1982, when someone was seeking a term for a doodad that dangled, dong-like, from a device—and dug up dongle.
There are seven different theories that explain etymology of the term:
- An Arbitrary Coinage
- A Phonesthetic Coinage
- A Corruption of the Word "Dangle"
- An Appropriation From Poetry
- A Nerdy Hypothetical From a College Entrance Exam
- A Cheeky Invention of an Ad Man (or Woman)
- The Result of Occam's Razor
Etymology is "Arbitrary".
Types of dongles
There are 5 types of USB dongles:
- For Memory and Storage
- For Security
- For Wireless Internet Connections
- GPS Navigation dongles
- Bluetooth Dongles
Perhaps the majority of modern dongles are used for Memory and Storage. Every other person would carry a USB flash drive or memory stick with files, documents, computer applications, etc. Term papers and assignment for printout, pictures from your last trip to the seaside, handy software tools to share with colleagues and friends are now conveniently stored on Flash drives instead of floppy disks and CDs.
Used for authentication, USB Security dongles help protect your hardware or software from unauthorized access. Networks and software applications can be designed in such a way that they cannot be accessed without a software key, i.e. your security dongle. Electronic signatures are kept on such dongles.
Wi-Fi USB dongles enable desktops and laptops with no internal Wi-Fi cards to connect to the Internet wirelessly. It is mostly ultra-slim notebook models that require an external device, or rather software that allows computer’s OS to locate Wi-Fi signal.
GPS technology has become an essential part of Smartphone software, and dongles for GPS Navigation are not much in demand these days. However if you don’t have your smartphone within reach, you still might find them useful GPS navigation USB dongles turn your laptop into a navigation system. Powered entirely by a computer, they won’t let you down.
Bluetooth Dongles pass information between two computers and more, smartphones, and other devices – no extra cables or cords are required. Link your computer or laptop to a network and connect to any external device – from a mobile phone to a keyboard.
How to duplicate a USB dongle
It is illegal to crack and duplicate hardware key, and please do not bother even googling this topic. Software solutions that claim to backup dongles are actually emulators, crackers. Do not use such software, if you don’t want any legal issues.
However there is a way to go about it.
Check out software for USB dongles sharing, it provides you with fast, safe and legal way to share a single device between two computers.