Having a quick and easy way to share USB devices with remote computers is highly desirable in lots of work-related situations. Extending USB via Ethernet using a dedicated software solution (e.g. FlexiHub) works for all types of USB peripherals and operating systems, and that alone makes this method so popular. Plus, a software USB extender has no limits in distance or the number of USB ports you can share. And you won’t have to spend money on any extra gadgets (like a USB hub or USB-RS32 adapter) and CAT6 LAN cabling.
In this article, we want to introduce the most popular USB sharing apps. This full 2021 Top-7 list includes:
This app supplies the user with a method of accessing devices over Ethernet. It accomplishes this by creating a virtual copy of the physical USB port on a remote machine that needs access to the USB equipment. When a device is connected to the physical port, FlexiHub connects this real interface with its network-attached virtual copy. Now the remote machine with the virtual port can access the device as if it were physically connected.
FlexiHub supports Windows, Linux, macOS, and Android, and cross-platform connectivity with zero compatibility issues between any of the supported platforms is easily achieved. The tool also works with many virtual environments, including ESX, VMWare, Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenDesktop, and Windows Virtual PC. The tool offers users a simple and intuitive method to access USB dongles and other USB-based devices via Ethernet with no special configuration requirements.
USB Network Gate by Electronic Team, Inc. should be on your radar if you need a software tool that works better than any hardware USB-Ethernet adapter. It is an effective USB extension app that turns a machine into a USB server that reliably redirects traffic from USB-based devices across a network. UNG provides a convenient way to share printers, dongle keys, card readers, web cameras, and any other peripheral plugged into a USB port of your computer over any network, including WiFi, Ethernet, LAN, or the Internet.
USB Network Gate has gained popularity with users around the globe due to its reliability, capabilities, and user-friendly interface. The software offers two exceptional features that will protect your data and reduce your network bandwidth usage. The tool also has the capacity to compress all data transmission to improve transfer speed and minimize the demands on your network. These elements of the application help make it the best USB over Ethernet software solution.
The best features of USB Network Gate
USB/IP project is designed to establish a general system for sharing a USB device through Ethernet networks. This solution is free. Its mission is to convert USB I/O messages to IP packets for their further redirection to a required computer. What’s nice about the project is that you can use original USB device drivers and programs for remote peripherals. As for the weaknesses, USB/IP solution hasn't been updated for quite a long time and is recommended for experienced users rather than computer novices.
Also, it can't be used as a software extension for a USB hub and requires at least a 100 Mbps network connection to work with latency-sensitive devices like scanners, webcams, or security cameras.
Another great tool for remote access to USB-based devices is USB over Network software. The utility works perfectly well on Windows and Linux operating systems. It gives you a way to connect to USB dongle keys and other peripherals even if they are located miles away from you. With this application, you get an effective USB server auto-discovery feature which allows you to find all USB servers installed in your local network without specifying their remote IP address.
VirtualHere is a handy app that eliminates the need to physically plug USB devices into your computer when you want to use them. With this solution, your valuable peripherals can be accessed remotely over a local network, the Internet, or in the cloud. The app has a clean and friendly GUI and requires minimal effort to be installed. It’s compatible with Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android, which is also a great advantage. Some other benefits you get with this app include a built-in VPN subscription service and a special version for network-attached storage.
Remotely accessing a USB device over any type of IP network is easy with this professional-grade application. It enables you to access a USB device attached to a remote machine from your local machine over Ethernet even if there is no physical CAT6 cable between them. The tool accomplishes this without requiring you to install the device’s driver on the computer to which it is connected.
Here are some of the most common criteria users take into account when selecting a software USB extender: