How to share scanner on network

How To Share Scanner Over Network

Let's talk about sharing a USB scanner over network, either LAN or Internet. I will borrow an example from my recent guide on sharing a USB printer: there are two Windows PCs — one is in my home office upstairs, the other one is in a room downstairs, they both need to be able to connect and scan documents over network.

The PC upstairs has Lexmark 3500-4500 Series scanner connected to it via a USB cable. I have a Wi-Fi router and wireless network, and I am to figure out various ways of sharing the scanner.

Contents

Method 1: Sharing scanner over network

FlexiHub

Windows, macOS, Linux, Android
4.8 Rank based on 78+ users

The easiest way would be to use FlexiHub - a software that lets you access and share remote USB devices over IP. Continue reading to find out how to share scanner on the network with FlexiHub's help.

FlexiHub

Step-by-step guide:

  1. Sign up a FlexiHub account here. Or you can register an account later in the app.
  2. Select the number of required connections and start a free trial.
  3. Install the software on each of your PCs that need access a shared scanner.
  4. Then start FlexiHub on every computer that will connect to a scanner and enter your login credentials.
  5. In the FlexiHub window on another computer find the USB scanner and click "Connect".
  6. Here you go! Now the remote scanner is recognized as if it was plugged in directly to your computer.
Sharing USB scanner with Flexihub

Please note that free FlexiShare subscription allows only to send invites for connection to the shared scanners, i.e. you won't have an opportunity to connect to the remote ones. To share and access your scanner you need to acquire a paid FlexiHub subscription.

Pros:
  • The app is easy-to-use - no redundant settings or buttons;
  • Supports Windows, Mac and Linux;
  • Apart from scanners, shares any USB and serial devices — printers, keyboards, fax machines, bluetooth adapters, etc.

Cons:
  • Connection to the remote devices is not possible in the free subscription plan.

Method 2: using reliable scanner sharing software

USB Network Gate

Windows XP and later, OS X 10.9+, Ubuntu 14.04+, Android 5.0+
4.9 Rank based on 179+ users

USB Network Gate is a software that helps you share and access USB devices as if they were directly connected to your machine. The way it works is pretty similar to FlexiHub.

USB Network Gate

How to connect scanner to PC over network. Step-by-step guide:

  1. Download USB Network Gate from the official web site by following this link. Install the software on the computer with the connected scanner and all the computers that need a shared access.
  2. Once the app is installed on all the computers, the connected device will be displayed in the app’s window. Press Share next to the name of a USB scanner, and it will become available for connection on the other computer. If you need, you can add encryption or compression to the connection.
how to share usb scanner with software
Pros:
  • With the 14-day trial version you can test how scanning over network work with your device;
  • Works across different platforms — Windows, Mac, Linux and Android;
  • Supports all USB devices, not only scanners;
  • Support services are available at any time.

Cons:
  • If you want to use it for more than 14 days, you will have to purchase a license;

Method 3: Share scanner on Windows

Windows offers a built-in functionality to share a scanner with other computers or set it up as a wireless scanner on your network.

This is how you share scanner on Windows:

Step 1
Plug in your scanner’s USB cable to a computer connected to the network or to the USB port of a router or modem. Follow the instructions to install the scanner, if it has not been done before. You can refer to the installation instructions specific to your scanner model or Microsoft guide.

Step 2
Open Control Panel from Start menu, go to Network and Sharing Center and click View network computers and devices.

Step 3
Right-click your scanner icon and select Install to make it accessible to other machines in the network.

windows sharing scanner guide

Note:

This does not work on Windows XP, there is no such option. To share printer on Windows XP try either of the above methods.

Cons:
  • Anyone in the network can use the shared scanner;
  • The connection cannot be protected — anyone can access scanned images, including important documents.


Summing up the scanner sharing topic

As you see, FlexiHub seems to be the easiest way to share the printer over the network. You don’t need any additional settings or hardware — just the single point access from the FlexiHub account.

Let's get started!
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