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USB splitter - access USB devices on several computers

Olga Weis Olga Weis Last updated Dec 17, 2020

Sharing USB peripherals with multiple computers simultaneously can be difficult. You often need to physically swap cables when connecting a printer, external hard drive, or scanner to different machines. This method of sharing devices is inconvenient and may be impossible with large and stationary equipment.

One solution to this dilemma is a USB port splitter. A USB device splitter can be implemented with hardware or software. The hardware solution will work if the device is located near the computers that need to access it, though there will be additional cabling that can be a problem. And a hardware splitter will not be sufficient to share devices that are in a remote office or building.

A software USB data splitter is a more flexible option that enables you to share devices among computers located anywhere as long as they are on the same network.

USB device splitter software

What is going to help you is FlexiHub. The app is powered by an absolutely unique technology that allows virtualizing USB ports for their further splitting over the Internet. You simply connect a USB peripheral to your local PC and the device appears on as many remote computers as you need. All you need to do is install the program on all machines that need to communicate with the device.

FlexiHub

Windows, macOS, Linux, Android
4.8 Rank based on 78+ users
FlexiHub brings the devices plugged into a remote USB port to your location via LAN, WAN, or the Internet.
FlexiHub

FlexiHub creates virtual copies of actual USB devices and redirects them over TCP/IP channel. The nice and important thing about the app is that it cares about the security of your connections. FlexiHub deploys advanced traffic encryption that reliably protects all data transported over the network to a remote side.

How to split a USB port with Flexihub?

1
First, create a FlexiHub account and sign up for a free demo period.
 create account
2
Then, download and install the app on all PCs that need access to the split USB device.
 download USB splitter
3
Start FlexiHub on the computer to which the required USB peripheral is connected directly and sign in to your account. You’ll see the peripheral in the list of devices shared over the Internet.
 USB device splitting
4
Now, go to a remote computer, launch FlexiHub, and log into the account with the same credentials. Find the required device in the FlexiHub window and click “Connect”.
 connect one usb device to two computers
5
This is it! Now, you’ll be able to access the full functionality of the remote peripheral as though it were physically connected to your computer.
Try USB device splitter now!
30-day demo period

USB device splitter alternative software solution

USB Network Gate is a software solution developed by Electronic Team, Inc. that allows USB ports and connected devices to be shared over a network. The application makes use of port virtualization technology to create virtual copies of USB interfaces and redirect data transmission to remote computers.

USB Network Gate enables any type of USB peripheral to be shared, from standard printers to complex scientific equipment. All that’s required is to install the software on each computer that needs to access the device.

It is easy to configure and use the software to split a USB port so it can be used by multiple computers. Just use the following simple procedure.

  1. Connect the USB device to the computer that will share the device over the network. This machine is known as the server. Download and install USB Network Gate on the machine and launch the app. The connected USB device will be displayed in the “Share local USB devices” tab. Select the “Share” button next to the device to make it available to other network-attached computers.

  2. Download and install USB Network Gate on a remote computer or client machine. Start the program and navigate to the “Remote USB devices” tab. Click “Connect” next to the device you want to access and the client will immediately have full functionality similar to that of a direct physical connection.

That’s it! You now have access to a remote USB device as if it were physically attached to your machine.

What is a hardware USB port splitter?

A USB splitter is a hardware device that helps to divide one USB port into two (or more) lines and is usually used to plug one peripheral into several computers. Similarly to a telephone wire splitter, this device runs separate connection lines to USB ports on each machine.

Although many people prefer the wired method, there’s also a software way to split USB ports among multiple computers. In this article, we’ll tell you how to make one USB device available for access to multiple PCs without any USB splitter cables or wires.

usb signal splitter

What are the purposes of a USB hub?

A USB hub splitter can be beneficial in several ways including:

  • Expanding USB connectivity - A USB hub transforms a single USB port into multiple interfaces that can each be connected to a different peripheral. This allows you to connect more devices to a machine. Complex systems of USB devices can be created by chaining multiple USB hubs together.
  • Charging USB devices - A powerful USB hub can be used to charge multiple USB devices simultaneously. You will often see this type of hub called a USB charging hub.
  • Extending USB connections - A USB hub can allow you to extend the physical distance between your computer and a specific USB device. This type of USB hub is also called a USB extender.

Comparing software and hardware USB splitting

Several important factors need to be considered when choosing between a hardware and software method of splitting USB ports. In some cases, one solution may be more appropriate for your particular situation.

✅ The number of devices to be shared

The major limitation of a hardware splitter is its physical number of ports. You cannot exceed that number of simultaneously shared devices. Software USB splitters like USB Network Gate or FlexiHub remove this limitation and provide more flexibility regarding the number of devices being shared across the network.

✅ Distance limitations

Hardware USB splitters are constrained by the length of cables and are only useful when the USB devices are located near the computers that need to access them. Software solutions send data transmission over a network like the Internet or a LAN and eliminate any concerns over where the USB devices are located.

✅ Ease of use

A software solution like FlexiHub implements a USB device splitter with a few mouse clicks without the need for complex wiring or configuration.

✅ Price

Hardware USB splitters are usually less expensive than their software alternatives. Software solutions are more versatile and provide additional functionality that is worth the extra cost.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, USB ports can be split, with an upper limit of 127 USB ports on a single PC. When you split a USB port you are reducing the power available to all USB ports on the machine.
You can use a USB splitter to share a printer or other external peripheral between two or more computers at the same time. A splitter saves you from the trouble of swapping cables and connecting the device to the various machines. It also lets you obtain the maximum value from your peripherals and reduces the need for multiple devices that perform the same function. A software solution like FlexiHub enables you to create unlimited connections whereas a hardware USB splitter is limited to the number of ports built into the device.
A USB splitter identifies itself to the bus controller as a hub. In this configuration, the hub will forward data traffic from the controller to the downstream devices to which it is connected and from the peripherals back to the controller.

FlexiHub

Requirements: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and Raspberry Pi.
Size: 8.89MB
Version: 5.2.14094 (6 Sep, 2021)
User rating: (4.8 based on 78+ users)