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Free USB Redirector software - Windows and Linux guide

Last updated Mar 26, 2021

When you are required to work with USB devices remotely, employing USB redirector software is an excellent solution.

Contents:

  1. USB Redirector free instructions
  2. How to manage devices with USB Redirector
  3. USB redirector free (open source) solution
  4. The bottom line about free USB redirector.

FlexiHub

Windows, macOS, Linux, Android
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FlexiHub is a USB redirector for Windows and Linux OSes. It is an easy to use solution that enables you to share USB devices over a network. Here are the simple steps required to set up FlexiHub.
FlexiHub

Step-by-step guide to work with USB Redirector

Here we will let you know how to manage USB devices with a free USB redirector client - FlexiHub for Linux. As you will see, working with a USB redirector for any Linux distributions is very similar to using the Windows version. A free subscription allows you to connect to shared USB devices. If you want to use your Linux system as a platform from which to share connected peripherals, you need to select a paid subscription. Once your account is in order, you can connect to remote devices with the following procedure.

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1
Download and install FlexiHub on the machine with a direct connection to the USB device and the computer that will access the equipment remotely.
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2
Launch the application on both machines and log into it with the same credentials. Launch USB Redirector Linux

Note: Logging into your account on the FlexiHub website is only useful for managing your account and selecting the number of connections you require. You use the same credentials to log into the app when you are ready to redirect USB traffic to remote computers.

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3
Locate the device you wish to share from the FlexiHub interface on the remote machine and choose ‘Connect’.
 Locate the device in FlexiHub
4
After connectivity is established you can access the peripheral from the remote system as if you had it directly connected to your computer.

Note: The default settings enable all client nodes to access devices attached to the USB ports of machines actively logged into your FlexiHub account. You can limit this access by password protecting selected devices which prevent their general use. You can also lock them to prohibit all remote access.

How to manage USB devices with FlexiHub redirection on Linux

FlexiHub redirection on Linux
  • Connecting to a remote device with this USB-redirector for Linux utility from the client side simply involves clicking ‘Connect’ after selecting it from FlexiHub’s list of available devices. These will be all of the unlocked devices on the connected FlexiHub nodes.
  • Right-clicking on the device enables you to modify the compression level of the USB transmission. This can help you preserve bandwidth and increase the speed with which devices communicate. Compression needs to be used intelligently in order to be useful.
  • Uncompressed data such as that transmitted by scanners are good candidates for compression. Other types of data do not lend themselves to being compressed and attempting to do so will waste system resources. An example is webcam transmission which is already compressed at the source and will not benefit from efforts to compress it further.
  • Click ‘Disconnect’ when you terminate your connection to the USB device.

Free USB Redirector - Open Source solution

USB/IP is a simple and popular free open source USB redirector.

The goal of the USB/IP Project is to develop a general system of USB device sharing over IP networks. Data is transmitted by encapsulating the I/O messages from USB devices into TCP/IP messages that can be used for communication between computers.

USB/IP Design Overview

The tool enables the original USB applications and device drivers to be used without modification by remote devices.

OpenSource USB Redirector

As illustrated in the accompanying diagram, the VHCI (Virtual Host Controller Interface) driver is configured as a USB host controller driver on the client machine.

USB redirector free download
30-day demo period

The role of the VHCI is to enable the connections, enumeration, and initialization of remote USB devices by emulating a physical host controller driver. It takes the request blocks generated by USB devices and encapsulates them into USB/IP requests which are sent to remote servers.

The Stub driver on the server host receives the transmission and turns it back into USB requests that are communicated to physical USB devices.

Conclusion:

FlexiHub USB Redirector is a commercial product that requires a paid subscription to remotely access USB devices. If you prefer a USB redirector of the open source variety, the USB/IP Project offers a solution that might be just what you need.

FlexiHub

Requirements: Windows 7/8/10, Server 2008 R2/2012/2016/2019
Size: 7.01MB
Version: 4.6.13465 ()
User rating: (4.8 based on 78+ users)