Anyone out there who never heard of virtualization and virtual machines and servers? Perhaps not. Most of us at some point of time made use of benefits offered by virtualization technologies. Running multiple operating systems in parallel on the same hardware has a lot of advantages – apart from cost savings, it helps you automate processes and be more flexible in managing limited IT-resources. However, virtualization also has certain issues that you will have to go about somehow – one of them is struggling to access USB devices from VM as VMWare or Microsoft Hyper-V, for example, have limited support for USB passthrough.
So what do you do? Sooner or later you’ll surely need to access USB in a virtual machine. There is a way to go around it – share virtual USB port over Ethernet!
Windows XP (32-bit and 64-bit), Windows Vista (32-bit and 64-bit), Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit), Windows 8 (32-bit and 64-bit), Windows 10 (32-bit and 64-bit), Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2019
Windows, macOS, Linux, Android 4.8 Rank based on 78+ users
Dedicated software such as FlexiHub will help you redirect USB to a virtual machine and enable you to access and manage physical ports of host OS without compromise.
If you work in virtual environment rather often, FlexiHub is one of those solutions that will make your life much easier. It is so compact it hardly has any impact on the performance of your machine. The interface is minimalistic - all USB devices are displayed in your account accessible to you on registration. And it is really easy-to-use, here is your step-by-step guide on how connect USB to VM:
Download and install the app on your host OS. Login using your credentials and you’ll see a list of all available devices – each of them with ‘Unlock’ button next to it. To make them available in a virtual environment, press this button, if needed.
Now you need to download and install FlexiHub on your guest OS. Launch the app and log in using the same credentials. In the app window displayed you will see a list of devices shared from the host OS.
Choose a device you need to access in a virtual machine and click "Connect".
Now your virtual machine will recognize USB devices as if there were connected directly to it. No additional settings or commands required, manage required USB ports in a virtual machine freely.
Benefits of using FlexiHub to connect USB to virtual machines:
★ FlexiHub is compatible with a large number of virtualization apps – VMWare Workstation and ESXi, VirtualBox, Citrix XenDesktop, Microsoft Hyper-V, etc. Once you create a FlexiHub account, you can access your USB devices in virtual machines created by any of these software.
★ FlexiHub works across platforms, i.e. it supports Mac, Linux, Windows and Android.
★ FlexiHub detects and recognizes devices connected to your host OS as if they were connected directly to your virtual machine. No additional settings required.
★ Your virtual machine can access USB ports not only of your host OS but remote computers that have FlexiHub installed, as long as you are logged in there.
Alternative software for accessing USB in virtual machine
If you would like to operate exclusively in the local network or prefer a non-subscription-based licensing, then USB Redirector would become an ideal software alternative for USB virtualization and redirecting USB devices to a virtual machine. With the help of USB Network Gate you can get access to USB ports that are physically located on the host operating system of the computer where virtual OS is installed or any other remote computer no matter where it is actually located, therefore enabling you to transfer data of remote USB device to a virtual machine.
To forward a USB device to a virtual machine with the help of USB Network Gate, do as follows:
Install the application on the host and virtual machines;
Share a required USB device from the GUI;
Setup a connection to a USB device from USB Network Gate on a virtual machine.
Requirements: Windows XP/2003/2008/Vista/7/8/10/Server 2012