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USB over Wi-Fi

How to share and connect USB over IP - an in-depth guide

Olga Weis Olga Weis Last updated Oct 15, 2020

What is USB over IP software? USB over IP software is a solution for sharing USB devices over TCP/IP network and making them available for use on the remote computers.

Share USB over TCP/IP with the reliable utility

FlexiHub

Windows, macOS, Linux, Android
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FlexiHub provides an advanced USB via IP sharing system which will help you to connect USB devices across the TCP/IP network and turn your computer into a USB to IP server.

FlexiHub helps sharing USB devices over IP, and the other way around – you can connect devices attached to remote computers in your network as if they were inserted directly into your machine.
FlexiHub

How to use USB/IP software with Windows

You may have a question “How do I enable USB over IP?”

As soon as you have completed creating your FlexiHub account, you are ready to connect USB devices over IP with these simple steps.

  1. Download and install FlexiHub on the machine with the physical connection to the peripheral device. This will be known as the server. The software also needs to be installed on the client computer that will remotely access the device using USB over TCP/IP technology.
  2. Open FlexiHub on the server and log into your account. Repeat this action on the client machine using the same credentials. Log into your account
  3. Locate the USB device you want to access on the client computer and click the Connect button. Locate the USB device

The device will be recognized by the remote computer after the connection is established.

The USB to IP software gives the client machine the same functionality as if it had a physical connection to the peripheral. The server acts as a USB over IP hub so that all data transmitted from shared devices is immediately available on the client.

How to share USB over IP on other OSes

FlexiHub works on the most common and popular operating systems – it perfectly shares USB over TCP/IP on Mac, Linux, and Android as well. Moreover, you can connect absolutely different computers to your account. That means that it is possible to share USB via IP on Linux, and then connect to that device on Mac.

The steps for sharing and connecting USB devices over Internet Protocol for Mac and Linux computers are identical to those for Windows, so you can refer to the previous chapter of this guide.

However, for Android the procedure is a bit different due to the difference in the interface layout. Here is how to share USB over IP on Android:


  1. Download and install FlexiHub on both ends of the intended communication. The Android device that is connected to the USB device will act as the server. The machine that will access the USB peripheral remotely is considered the client.
  2. Start the software and log into your FlexiHub account using identical credentials on the Android device and the remote client computer. Log into your FlexiHub account
  3. Connect your Android device to a USB device and verify that the FlexiHub application recognizes it. Connect your Android device
  4. Locate the desired USB device using FlexiHub on the remote machine and click Connect to access the peripheral.

After communication is established, the client will have the same degree of access to the device as if it had a direct physical connection.

Please note, that FlexiHub for Android works ONLY in the server-mode, i.e. it can just share USB devices over IP with the remote computers, but not connect to the shared devices itself.

How does USB via IP software work

With FlexiHub you can manage your devices remotely, i.e. you do not have to be physically present at the remote end to connect or disconnect a device. In this article, you learn to make your computer become a USB over IP hub, and you can view and manage devices attached to the remote computers.

FlexiHub routes traffic through its own Redirection Server, so it is NOT required for your computers to have a public Internet Protocol address. That means, even when computers are not able to discover each other on the network, you will still be able to connect to the shared USB devices over IP and use their functionality remotely.

Advanced 2048-bit SSL encryption is used by FlexiHub when transferring USB data across TCP/IP. Thanks to such extra security measures, there is no need to worry that any valuable data can be intercepted and read by unwanted identities.

The function of data compression will improve the responsiveness of certain devices when connecting over IP. Such a feature will especially be handy for those USB devices that tend to send the uncompressed data.

Usage scenarios for USB over IP technology

There are many situations in which the ability to share USB devices over IP can be very useful. Below we give some examples of popular ways to use this technology.

Sharing USB devices in an office

Using USB over IP technology can increase the value of your USB peripheral equipment by enabling the devices to be shared effectively throughout an office. Rather than purchase separate devices such as webcams, printers, scanners, or external hard drives for each employee, a single item can be shared with everyone using USB over IP functionality. This saves money and eliminates extra cabling or moving devices and lets users share a device across Windows, Mac, and Linux systems.

Accessing security dongles remotely

USB security dongles are used to protect software products from unauthorized use or replication. The rationale behind using a security dongle is valid, but there may be problems with its implementation that can be avoided with USB over IP utility. Over time, the security dongle can get worn from being connected and disconnected to multiple machines which can impact its performance. There are situations that may demand that the security key be shared among a number of employees simultaneously. Using a versatile USB over IP application, you can copy an image of the device to a remote computer and provide complete access to its functionality and contents.

Accessing iOS and Android devices remotely

Testing and debugging by mobile software developers are streamlined by the ability to connect to the devices over the network. Your mobile devices can connect to the network wirelessly and be made accessible to any network-attached computer no matter where it is located. The full functionality of the connected device is available to the remote user as if it was directly attached to the smartphone or tablet.

Redirecting USB traffic to virtual environments

Many virtual environments do not make it easy to access locally-attached USB devices connected to the host machine. USB over TCP/IP software eliminates this problem and enables you to access any USB device from the host computer in the virtual machines it supports. With an application like FlexiHub, you can redirect the traffic from a local printer, scanner, mouse, or any other USB device to your virtual machine.

FAQ about USB over IP software

The Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, often simply called TCP/IP, is a collection of protocols that govern how communication is enacted by network devices connected over the Internet. Private networks such as a local area network (LAN) or intranet can also implement TCP/IP to control data transmission.

TCP/IP is only part of the suite of Internet communication protocols but is usually the only used to refer to the complete set of standards.
USB over IP is a technology employed by communication software to enable USB devices to be accessed and controlled over a TCP/IP network. With the assistance of USB over IP software, multiple network-attached computers can share a single USB device. The software provides full access to remote peripheral equipment without requiring device drivers to be installed on client computers.
USB over IP applications work by creating virtual USB controllers on remote computers. After a device is attached to a shared USB port, the software uses the network to create a link between the peripheral and the client computer. Data transmitted from the USB device is translated into TCP/IP packets which are sent to the virtual USB controller where they are converted back into standard USB requests.
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