How to share USB dongle

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.


How to share USB dongle over network


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

There is a special software that enables you to clone HASP dongle – FlexiHub.


Here is how you can use it:

  1. Sign up a FlexiHub account here and activate a free trial to be able to connect to the remote devices.
  2. Download and install the software on each of your PCs that need access to the shared dongle.
  3. Launch FlexiHub, sign in using your newly created login credentials.
  4. Find the shared dongle on your other machine that needs access to a USB dongle and connect to it.
Access remote USB dongle

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 send the invites for connection to other users, which is very convenient if you have no opportunity to connect any remote HASP USB key or any other device by yourself. Also, you can always test a paid subscription for free for 7 days.

  • The app allows connecting to a device via wireless network.
  • The ability to connect to remote devices even when a direct connection between the computers is not possible.
  • The app supports all kinds of USB devices – scanners, cameras, projectors, mobile phones, etc., your device will do too.

  • Connection to remote devices is not possible in free plan.
  • Internet connection on both computers is a must for using Flexihub.

Alternative solution for USB dongle sharing

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 an ideal alternative solution to FlexiHub, if you prefer a perpetual license instead of a subscription-based license.

USB Network Gate

Step-by-step instruction:

  1. Install the software after downloading it to the machines that will share and access the remote USB dongle.
  2. Connect a USB dongle to the computer that will act as a server (share a device), start USB Network Gate and share it from there, what will make a device accessible to the clients (remote computers).
  3. Connect from any client computer to the shared device.
usb network gate Note:
  • With USB Network Gate it is possible to see what client a USB device is currently connected to, which will certainly be helpful, if a user forgets to disconnect the dongle.
  • It is important to remember that only one computer will be able to use a shared device at a time

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:

  1. An Arbitrary Coinage
  2. A Phonesthetic Coinage
  3. A Corruption of the Word "Dangle"
  4. An Appropriation From Poetry
  5. A Nerdy Hypothetical From a College Entrance Exam
  6. A Cheeky Invention of an Ad Man (or Woman)
  7. 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
  • HASP dongles
USB dongle remote access

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.

USB security dongle

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.

3G dongle

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 dongle

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.

USB adapter dongle

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.

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