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Olga Weis Olga Weis Last updated Oct 3, 2022

Access Remote Smart Card Reader [GUIDE]

Mobile workers may need to use remote desktop to connect to a smart card reader. Several common problems can make it difficult to access a remote smart card reader. We are going to look at these issues and show you how to use a smart card reader using remote desktop efficiently.

Remote desktop smart card reader issue

When you connect through a remote desktop session, you are redirected to the client computer. Your session cannot see smart card readers attached to the Remote Desktop Service Host (RDSH). You end up with a situation where remote desktop cannot find the smart card reader. For instance, Host X has a smart card reader attached to a USB port. When attempting to RDP to Host Y, the card reader connected to Host X is not detected. For example, when we talk about accessing medical ID cards in Remote Desktop session you can face some connectivity issues.

Connectivity problems can be hard to troubleshoot. Here are two issues you might face.

  • Make sure there is no physical problem with the card reader by connecting it directly to Host Y and Host X. This allows you to determine if the reader is functioning correctly. Even though the reader works fine when connected directly to each machine and is configured to be available in a remote desktop, it is still unavailable to Host Y when connected to Host X.

  • Verify that the group policies for Host X and Host Y are configured correctly by looking at Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Remote Desktop Services > Remote Desktop Session Host > Device and Resource Redirection.

If the group policies are configured and there are no physical problems with the device, there must be another reason making it impossible to access the remote desktop smart card reader. You will have to look at the Windows logs on Host Y after the RDP connection has been established. There should be error messages or warnings that point you toward the problem so it can be addressed.

Remote desktop smart card reader can be accessed with FlexiHub
FlexiHub
4.8 Rank based on 386+ Reviews

How to use remote desktop smart card reader

Before establishing an RDP session, click on Show options. Go to Local Resources and then drill down to the Local devices and resources panel. Click on More and then Smart Cards. Make sure the smart card is accessible by the RDP client and not just the physical host machine. For security reasons, Microsoft designed remote desktop to enable smart card access to devices that are configured for use by the RDP client. If the remote desktop smart card is attached to the host but not configured for the RDP client it cannot be accessed via a remote session.

Smart Card Reader remote access

Smart Card Reader over network

In recent years there is an increasing need for the remote access to EMV chip card reader devices due to the global spread of the chip cards. With the development of technology PoS terminals are becoming even more mobile than ever, and a direct wire connection is not only becoming inconvenient but in some cases not possible at all. Another common case is when smart card reader software is not compatible with your operating system and you are forced to work from the virtual machine. After installing the required guest OS, you discover that the locally connected smart card reader is not redirected to the virtual machine. In such situation accessing the smart card reader over the network is the most convenient solution.

Steps to connect smart card reader to Ethernet

To connect smart card reader available over Ethernet just follow these five easy steps:

  • 1.
    Register FlexiHub account and select the plan with the required amount of connections.
    flexihub account registration
  • 2.
    Install FlexiHub on the local and remote (or virtual) machines.
    flexihub download
  • 3.
    Start RDP client and connect to remote desktop. blank
  • 4.
    Launch FlexiHub and enter the login credentials to your FlexiHub account. A list of available USB devices will be displayed in the software's GUI. In case you don't want to share some of them simply press the corresponding lock button.
    launch flexihub
  • 5.
    Locate your card reader in FlexiHub on the remote (or virtual) machine and press "Connect".
    connection

That's it! All your shared devices will be available on the remote computers and behave as if they were plugged into them directly. You can manage your smart card reader without any limitations and read all sent data.

Smart Card Reader FAQ

Smart card readers are electronic devices that can access the information stored on a smart card. They can be stand-alone external devices that are attached by a USB connection, internal readers that occupy a drive slot, or built into a keyboard.
Smart card readers provide a standard method of authentication, identification, and data storage. Smart cards can be protected so users need to furnish a PIN or other form of authentication using the reader to access their contents.
EMV is a technical standard used in the smart payment cards, payment terminals, and ATMs that can accept them. The abbreviation EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, the three companies that invented and developed the standard. EMV smart cards (or so-called chip cards) contain an integrated circuit alongside the magnetic stripe keeping their data. Such cards can be divided into two groups: the one where the cards should be physically inserted into EMV smartcard reader, and the second one where the cards use radio signals to provide a wireless connection to EMV card reader.
EMV is a standard method used for authenticating smart payment cards and the terminals and ATMs that accept them. The acronym comes from the three companies that created the standard, which were EuroPay, MasterCard, and Visa. An EMV chip encrypts financial information, making it a more secure solution than older cards with a magnetic strip.
EMV software is an application that enables developers to test the use of EMV smart cards. The app can be used with a standalone personal computer or a smart card reader to determine a program's functionality. It can work with contact and contactless card readers and supports recent Windows operating systems.
FlexiHub is compatible with any smart card reader including the EMV and Omnikey and Ximax smart card readers. Mass vaccinations in Germany to address COVID-19 were facilitated by a combination of smart card readers and FlexiHub. You can read more about how this piece of software helped healthcare professionals keep people safe on this page.
Smart Card Reader Remote Desktop
  • 4.8 overall rank based on 386+ Reviews
  • Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and Raspberry Pi. 8.97MB Size.
  • Version 5.3.14268. (20 Oct, 2021).
  • Pricing starts from $14/month