Looking for an efficient way to share USB devices between two computers? In this article, we will highlight two popular methods to achieve this. The first one is a software tool called FlexiHub - a compact app designed for sharing USB peripherals over the Internet. The other solution is known as a hardware USB switch; it provides the ability to share devices among computers without the need of networking those devices. Each of these methods has its pros and cons. Learn more about them below.
Or, even more than two devices, no matter how far apart they are located - in different rooms or in the opposite hemispheres. USB over Ethernet is a high-functional software that allows you to share an unlimited amount of USB devices over any distance no matter what platforms are used. And what is still better, no additional wiring will be necessary for FlexiHub provides you with full access to your USB device via the Internet.
You will find more details in the video tutorial below:
USB Network Gate is another popular solution helping you access the same USB peripheral from different computers. The software is capable of sharing USB ports over LAN so you will have no problem connecting your devices to one, two, or many networked machines.
One of the greatest things about the program is that it’s compatible with the Microsoft RDP and Citrix ICA protocols. It also provides support for the native RemoteFX USB redirection. This means you can easily share your local USB devices between two machines while working in your RDP session.
USB Network Gate is easy to install and use. Here is how you can connect to a USB device remotely with this handy app:
That’s it! The device will appear on the remote computer without being physically connected to that machine.
Now any time you will want to switch the device between different computers you can use the “Connect” and “Disconnect” buttons in the friendly software interface.
Note: USB Network Gate and FlexiHub provide the ability to connect to a USB device from one computer at a time. You cannot access one peripheral from several machines simultaneously.
This video guide illustrates the steps for connecting USB to multiple machines:
There is one more effective method to access your USB device from several PCs - by using a USB switch. It’s a handy hardware solution that helps you to share any USB devices (MFDs, memory sticks, external drives, card readers, etc.) with other users. And using a USB 3.0 sharing switch you’ll be able to throw over a whole bunch of USB devices from one machine to another just at the push of a button.
So all it takes to share a USB between two computers is a few simple steps:
When choosing between software and hardware methods to share USB devices between multiple computers, users usually take into consideration the following important factors:
Software solutions like FlexiHub or USB Network Gate have a clear advantage over a hardware USB splitter or switch on that front. Software applications have no limitations on the number of devices to share while a hardware tool is always limited to the number of USB ports it offers.
Thanks to the ability to redirect USB device data over the network (LAN or the Internet), the software solutions allow connecting to devices from anywhere no matter the device location, whereas hardware USB splitter cables are limited by the distance.
All that is required for sharing a device with FlexiHub is a couple of mouse clicks. No complicated settings, wiring, or configurations.
Hardware USB switches are usually chosen because of their affordable price. But taking into account the powerful feature set offered by the FlexiHub and USB Network Gate software, their price seems to be perfectly reasonable.