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Connecting USB Devices Wirelessly: Definitive Guide

Most USB peripherals get connected to computers via USB cables. But sometimes connecting devices directly to different computers can be not that convenient. Besides, you may need to share wired USB peripherals, like printers/scanners/hard drives with your office colleagues.

Olga Weis Olga Weis Last updated May 9, 2022

For such cases, there are wireless USB hubs and extenders that you can rely on. Keep reading to find out:

  • how to share USB over Wi-Fi wirelessly using a computer;
  • explore the wireless USB hub features;
  • and how to make a DIY wireless USB hub using Raspberry Pi.

Turn your computer into a wireless USB hub

To connect USB devices wirelessly, you can use a second computer as an intermediary. This requires USB over WiFi software. Let's look at some solutions.

Connect USB devices wirelessly with FlexiHub

One of the ways to connect a Wi-Fi USB hub to another computer is with the help of FlexiHub — a versatile software solution for sharing and connecting USB devices over Wi-Fi. It supports a wide range of USB devices including printers, scanners, hard drives, USB dongles, etc.

FlexiHub lets you significantly reduce the number of wires near your computer, turning it into a sort of wireless USB hub without requiring any additional hardware.

Here is a video demonstrating this concept:
Among the features offered by FlexiHub you can find:
Cross-platform You can run FlexiHub on any OS of your choice, it can be either Windows, macOS, Linux, Raspberry Pi, or Android.
Data protection All connections are secured with 2048-bit SSL encryption. This ensures communication security and prevents data corruption or loss.
Redirection server This means your computers don't need a public IP address to share and access USB devices remotely.
Access control You can restrict access to devices connected to your local machine so that only authorized users can use them.
Data compression FlexiHub compresses data sent to the remote side, which significantly reduces traffic consumption and increases data transfer speed.

How to connect a USB device wirelessly to another computer

  • 1.
    Go to the official website and register a free FlexiHub account. blank
  • 2.
    To be able to extend USB over Wi-Fi, activate a demo mode within a user cabinet. blank
  • 3.
    Download and install FlexiHub on all computers participating in the connection to use them as Wi-Fi USB hubs.
    usb over wifi software
  • 4.
    Launch the app and log in with your credentials on the local and remote computers. On the latter one, find the device you need, and click the ‘Connect’ button next to it. blank
That’s it, your device will be visible to other users logged into the same Flexihub account and they will be able to connect to USB devices over Wi-Fi and utilize their full functionality.

Create a wireless USB bridge with USB Network Gate

Another way to share a USB over Wi-Fi and make USB devices wirelessly connected to a remote computer is to use USB Network Gate.

usb network gate
USB Network Gate is another effective solution for connecting wired USB devices to a wireless network. It not only allows you to share USB over Wi-Fi but also works across a local area network, and on top of that allows establishing a wireless USB connection with another computer over the remote desktop protocol.

How to share a USB device over a Wi-Fi network

  • 1.
    Download and install the software on a machine that will act as a wireless USB hub (Server part) and computers that will connect to the shared USB devices wirelessly (Clients).
  • 2.
    Plug a device into the computer with the server part installed, go to USB Network Gate and share it from there. This will make it accessible to Client computers.
  • 3.
    Connect to the shared USB device over a wireless network from any Client computer.

Wireless USB hubs

As we mentioned earlier, there are wireless USB hubs that can be used to share USB peripherals on a Wi-Fi network. Let's take a closer look at what a wireless USB hub is, its features, how it works, and how to set up a wireless USB hub.

wireless usb extender

What is a wireless USB hub and how does it work?

A Wi-Fi USB hub or USB sharing station is hardware that helps with sharing USB devices across the Wi-Fi network among different users.

Wireless USB hubs work by creating a USB to Wi-Fi bridge, meaning that they transfer the signals coming from the connected USB devices into data that other devices on the network can accept and read.

⚠️The drawback to using a Wi-Fi USB hub is that devices connected to the hub must be connected directly via a USB cable. The “wireless” aspect in the name of the hub refers only to its ability to connect to the computer over a Wi-Fi network.
The hub can be equipped with an adapter kit for connecting to computers without a Wi-Fi adapter.
usb wifi adapter
To avoid low latency, the device must be within the range of the router and the signal must be sufficiently stable.

In terms of range, the wireless USB Hub will transfer up to 480 Mbps within 10 feet, while after about 10 feet, the data transfer rate will be 110 Mbps.

The most common type of USB hub is USB 2.0, which provides data transfer rates up to 480Mb/s. USB3.0 is much faster, up to 4.8Gb/s. USB hubs come in different sizes, allowing you to connect a different number of devices. They usually have from 2 to 6 USB ports.

Most often, a USB Hub is used for wireless connection to a computer of such devices as webcams, printers, external hard drives, cameras, etc. However, the wireless USB hub is not very useful for gaming. It will be more practical to buy a wireless keyboard and mouse straightaway.

How to set up a wireless USB hub

The setup process of the wireless USB hub consists of the following steps.

Firstly, install the software that comes with the device. This is necessary for the computer to recognize it and then be able to connect to the USB wirelessly. Once done with the installation, you can start connecting your devices to a wireless network or via an RJ45 cable. And finally, you’ll need to connect the USB device to a USB port of the wireless hub.

What about wireless USB 3.0 hubs?

wireless usb 3.0

Wireless USB 3.0 hubs do not exist yet. USB 3.0 has a transfer rate of 5 Gbps, which is faster than IEEE 802.11ad (alternatively known as WiGig or 60GHz WiFi). So, don't expect any consumer product to transfer data wirelessly at that speed. But still, there are many USB 2.0 wireless solutions available.

Is there a Bluetooth Wireless USB hub?

There is also an alternative to the Wi-Fi USB hub and that is the USB2BT or USB to Bluetooth adapter. It allows connecting any wired device to a computer without utilizing a USB port.

How does it work? For example, you want to use a mouse on a laptop, but there are no free USB ports available. All you have to do is to enable Bluetooth on your laptop, connect a mouse to the USB2BT and start the pairing procedure with the Bluetooth connection on your laptop.

bluetooth wireless usb hub

The USB2BT Device usually has a built-in battery. Depending on usage, it can run for hours or days. Most peripherals, including keyboards, and webcams are supported by the device.

Please note that power consumption may differ and data rates are dependent on the wireless connection and can be quite slow if the signal is weak.

DIY wireless USB hub

Finally, you can make your own compact wireless USB extender using Raspberry Pi. With this method, you can even share USB hubs. This means that any peripheral device that is connected to the USB ports of the hub will be available for remote connections without the need for additional configuration.

raspberry usb hub

To connect a USB device wirelessly to another computer with Raspberry Pi, you just need to install a special FlexiHub build. At the same time, no USB extenders, no additional gadgets are required.

  • 2.
    Open your Raspberry’s terminal and run the following command:

    yum install [package]
  • 3.
    Launch the app and select “Share” next to your USB device.

Now, you will be able to access the shared USB device remotely from all computers connected to the Internet.

Summing up

When it's physically impossible to share USB devices, when there are no free USB ports on the machine, or when you need to share devices with colleagues, a wireless USB connection comes in handy.

There are quite a few ways to make any USB device wireless. They include software and hardware tools such as wireless USB hubs and USB extenders. However, the software solutions offer more important benefits. They are flexible and come without any limitations inherent in hardware solutions.

Connect to USB over network with one click
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  • Requirements: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and Raspberry Pi.
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  • Version 7.0.15125. (3 Jun, 2024).
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Connect to USB over network with one click