Many commercial software applications require the user to verify authorization to run the program using a physical USB dongle. This can result in connectivity issues when working in a virtual environment. There is no reliable, native method of connecting virtual machines to USB devices in Hyper-V. When servers are virtualized, any references to connected USB buses and devices are deleted.
The most recent versions of VMware address this shortcoming and provide the means to connect USB devices and virtual servers. When using earlier versions of VMware or other virtualization platforms, successfully connecting to USB devices can still pose problems.
Donglify offers users a simple and efficient method of connecting a physical USB security key to virtualized servers in VMware and other virtualization solutions. Donglify is a lightweight application that employs advanced port virtualization technology to enable USB security dongles to be redirected to a virtual machine over a wired or wireless network.
Using Donglify requires a two-step process that touches the computer hosting the physical dongle and the virtual machine that needs to access the device.
On the host machine:
Note: If a “Multi-connect” icon is displayed with a USB dongle, it indicates the device can be shared simultaneously with multiple network-connected machines. Dongles that can only be used by one machine at a time will display a “Single-connect” icon.
On the virtual machine:
There is no full-blown mechanism for connecting USB devices to virtual machine in Hyper-V, so when server is virtualized, all references with USB bus and USB devices connected to it are gone.
In the latest versions of VMware there is a mechanism to connect USB devices to virtual servers, but for the users of earlier versions the task of redirecting USB devices in virtual sessions is still strong. Other virtual machines may be having the same problem.
With USB Network Gate you can use any computer connected to the network as a server for sharing devices: Windows, Mac or Linux.
1. Install USB Network Gate (server side enabled) on the computer with USB devices connected. No need of additional hardware - it is just USB Network Gate for all redirecting.
Note: that sometimes you may be required to change firewall settings to allow such services as UsbService.exe and UsbConfig.exe.
2. Install USB Network Gate on the client machines (this time as a client of course). This way you'll be able to access and work with USB devices shared on the server machine. Perform the search for available (shared) device and connect to it.
After successful connection, USB dongle will appear in a virtual session as if it was connected there physically.
How to customize Windows firewall
USB Network Gate and configurator need to communicate with each other. Customize firewall to let them do so by adding UsbService.exe and UsbConfig.exe to the list of allowed processes.
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USB dongles support
USB Network Gate was successfully tested with various models of USB dongles. However it is impossible to test all existing models, so in case you are experiencing issues we'll be glad to help you.
Redirecting USB device from host OS to guest OS
USB Network Gate brilliantly solves the task of redirecting a device connected to a host OS for usage on a guest OS on the same computer. Simply install USB Network Gate on host OS and on guest OS, and USB devices will be redirected to virtual machine just as if they were present there physically.
You'll only need USB Network Gate and of course USB dongle you're going to share. No need of any additional hardware or software. Download free trial version of USB Network Gate here.