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How to share a USB dongle - 2021 full tutorial

You may be aware of the fact that you can share a USB security dongle if the device comes with the appropriate license. This license enables multiple computers to access the same USB dongle. However, not all hardware keys offer this type of licensing. Some USB security dongles are designed to be used on an individual computer only. To get remote access to USB key dongles of this type, you need to employ some dedicated third-party software.

How to share USB dongle on 2 computers

Another situation that you may face is attempting to access a USB security key that is connected to a physical host from a virtual machine. In this case, a dedicated dongle splitter app can help you share your security dongle over the network and redirect it to your guest OS.

Donglify is a software application that is extremely useful when faced with the challenge of how to share a dongle USB key with multiple remote computers.

Donglify
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Available on Windows 7/8/10, Windows Server 2012/2016/2019
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How to share a dongle - step-by-step instructions

Donglify is designed to virtualize USB ports and provide remote access to USB security dongles attached to them. The program is fully compatible with the Windows operating system. The multi-connect feature is one of the things that make Donglify such a perfect answer to the question ‘How to share a USB dongle over a network?’. With its help, you can freely access your remote security key from several computers at a time. Sounds exciting, right? Well, you can give it a try straight away. Please, follow this guide to find out how to share a USB dongle across a network (Wi-Fi or wired — all the same):
1
First, sign up for Donglify account. Then download the app and install it on all computers that need to access your USB dongle remotely. Also, make sure to install the program on the PC to which your physical dongle is attached directly (we’ll call it a device server).
 install Donglify
2
Next, start Donglify on the server computer and sign in to your account.
 sign in to your account
3
Once done, click the “Plus” icon in the window that will open and you’ll see the list of local USB dongles available for sharing.

Note, there should be the “Multi-connect” or “Single-connect” icon next to the USB dongle you are going to share. The first one means you can share a USB key dongle and it will be accessible to several remote machines simultaneously. The “Single-connect” icon indicates that a shared dongle key will be available for use on only one machine at a time.
 USB dongles available for sharing
4
Select the required USB dongle by checking the radio button in front of it and click “Share”.
 Select the required USB dongle
5
On a client computer, launch the program and sign in to the same Donglify account.
 Start Donglify on a client computer
6
In the app’s window, you’ll see the list of devices available for connection.
 devices available for connection
7
Find the one you need and click “Connect”.
 connect
8
This is it! Now, the shared USB key will appear in the remote system as though it were connected to that computer physically. It really is that simple to access USB security dongles from anywhere on your network with the help of Donglify.

How to share a USB dongle - Video Tutorial

Share dongles

Donglify Pros and Cons

With the easy and secure connectivity and the multi-connect feature, Donglify is beyond all doubt a very handy and user-friendly app. And now that you know how to share a USB dongle over the network, let's talk about Donglify’s pros and cons.

Pros:

  • You can share your USB license key through a wireless network, and multiple users will be able to conform with the software licensing terms.
  • You’ll be able to link up with remote devices even if a direct connection between computers is impossible.
  • You’ll know exactly how to share a USB dongle on 2 computers, so they both can enjoy powerful protection against software piracy.
  • You can use the multi-connect function to make a single USB dongle accessible from multiple remote computers at the same time.

Cons:

  • You can’t use Donglify if one (or both) of the machines you’re using it on doesn’t have an Internet connection.

Dongle sharing Hub Hardware

There is another solution you can use for sharing a USB dongle over the network: a hub. It’s a hardware device, and thus understandably has some limitations as to the number of dongles you can plug into it, and how many machines can access a dongle at every instant. Plus, you only can use this option if you have physical access to your dongle. By way of example, let’s take a closer look at Smart Logic’s USB dongle sharing hubs:

SmarterX-USB. It’a a wired dongle sharing hub, so you won’t be able to use it on a remote PC if it’s more than 5 meters away. There are two versions of it — with 3 and 5 USB ports. Both are compatible with every type of dongle on the market and work with Mac OS and OS Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/8/10. The ceiling amount of users you can share your dongle with through this hub is 5.

SmarterX-USB

SmarterX-NET. It’s a USB dongle sharing hub that works as a USB dongle server. You plug it into your LAN switch, and every dongle connected to it becomes instantly accessible from all networked machines in your office. This eliminates the need to physically attach the dongle to each user’s machine for them to see it just as if it was plugged into their computer directly. The maximum number of remote PCs that can connect to a dongle in parallel is 6.

SmarterX-USB
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