How to use a webcam with a remote desktop session
The first step required to use this software solution to connect remote machines to USB devices is to create a FlexiHub account. At account creation, you can start a free 7-day trial of the application.
Follow these simple steps to use a local webcam on a remote desktop:
- Download and install FlexiHub on the machine with the physical connection to the webcam as well as those machines that will access the shared peripheral. The computer connected to the device is known as the server with the sharing machines called its clients.
- Launch FlexiHub on the server and log into your account. Using the same credentials, start the programs and log in to the account on a client machine that wants access to the USB device.
- Find the USB device you want to access in FlexiHub’s interface on the client computer and click the Connect button to complete the process.
After communication is established, the device will be recognized by the remote computer and appear in its Device Manager. The virtualized devices offer remote users the same functionality of a direct physical connection.
Benefits of remote desktop webcam software
✦ Supports a wide range of webcams
FlexHub does not require any special configuration to provide remote access to a wide variety of USB hardware devices.
✦ Compatibility with popular video conferencing solutions
This webcam for RDP redirection software works with all popular video conferencing applications. The tool supports Skype, Zoom, Slack, Google Hangouts, and many others.
✦ Advanced security
The security of your communication is vitally important and FlexiHub uses 2048-bit SSL encryption to safeguard data transmission. Shared webcams are fully protected from misuse when accessed through FlexiHub and your network.
✦ Redirect webcams to multiple platforms
This flexible software solution supports cross-platform configuration of Windows, Linux, and Mac remote desktops. Any platform can act as the server for clients of any other supported platform. Users on a Windows remote desktop can use webcams connected to Linux or Mac servers.
✦ Webcam drivers are not required
Client computers do not need to have webcam drivers installed to be able to access the shared peripheral. This feature eliminates the troublesome and potentially time-consuming of installing drives for each new device introduced to the environment.
✦ Optimize network traffic
Data transfer compression helps minimize the stress of transmitting video streams through your network. It also speeds up your interaction with the remote desktop cameras.
Redirect webcams with Remote Desktop Services
Now we will take a look at what needs to be done if you need webcam access on a Remote Desktop Services (RDS) server.
NOTE: Webcam usage on an RDS server requires significant CPU resources. This is in part due to the CPU cycles needed to transmit the raw USB data through RDP.
Another potential problem is network latency. Redirecting webcam traffic with an RDS server requires a considerable amount of network bandwidth to achieve smooth and reliable communication.
The Windows 10 update that delivered Build 17035 included a feature designed for Remote Desktop users. The operating system now supports redirecting video capture devices using the Remote Desktop Connection app.
The Windows native Remote Desktop client is contained in mstsc.exe. You can enable or disable video capture redirection under the app’s local devices and resources window.
There is a new group policy option that can be used to disable this feature. The option is located under Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Remote Desktop Services -> Remote Desktop Session Host -> Devices and Resource Redirection.
This new policy setting enables you to control the redirection of video capture devices to remote machines in an RDS session.
Remote Desktop Services does not allow the redirection of video capture devices by default. Once this policy setting is enabled, video streams can be redirected to remote machines. The More option in the Local Resources tab on your Remote Desktop Connection lets you select which devices will be redirected.