I know this question exists, but it's about USB in General. Mine is about USB 3.0 and newer specifically.

USB 3.0 specification introduces the feature known as direct host-to-host connection with normal USB 3.0 A/A (male/male) cables (or some bridge cables? Anyway I can't find any to buy). [1] [2]

But it's now 2018, I have a pretty new laptop. The sources date from 2012 or older.

My question is:

How can I connect two computers (preferably using Windows 8.1, I don't mind using a OS with a linux-kernel) with USB 3.0 ports together to transfer files or maybe play LAN games? (I know how to do it with normal networking cables :P)

  • USB 3.1 devices have not even been released consider and update your question. – Ramhound Aug 10 '14 at 17:09
  • okay, removed USB3.1 from title – Gizmo Aug 10 '14 at 17:12
up vote 9 down vote accepted

This cable connects two USB3.0 hosts together. They provide chinish app for that but in Linux, you can use my patch to use it as virtual ethernet card. I managed to achieve speeds between 1-2Gbps. But you can write own driver to transfer any data: you simply write to USB EP0 and read from USB EP0 on the other side.

Host-to-Host Connections

USB 3.0 Type-A Connector Detail

Unlike USB 2.0, the new standard will allow for two host devices to be connected directly with a USB 3.0 crossover cable. This new cable features the typical Type-A connectors on each end but with a new internal wiring. This cable omits the Vbus, D+ and D- wires (USB2.0 data and voltage) and cross-routes the SuperSpeed transmit and receive connections. This crossover cable is designed for debugging and host-to-host applications and will not cause damage if plugged into a USB 2.0 port.

What software, if any, is needed; I do not know. A USB 3.0 crossover cable may be purchased online or at a few major Computer retailers.

  • 2
    Is anyone aware of any method presently that now allows networking over USB3 on macOS or Windows? – ylluminate Nov 15 '16 at 3:11
  • 1
    According to "USB Complete: The Developer's Guide, Fifth Edition" page 30 books.google.com/… there is usb 3.1 A-to-A cable without Vbus,D+,D-, but it requires special drivers and is intended for debugging – osgx Nov 21 '16 at 4:32

There's Transfer Express from ASUS, but it is not on the market, and probably never will be. And it works only if both your boards are ASUS. Also it's over 3.0, which is already outdated since the intro of 3.1, which the link is testing using 2 SSDs in RAID 0 to get higher than 500 MB/s. There are videos on YouTube for the Transfer Express device. Just get yourself a fast thumb drive like the SanDisk Extreme or Lexar LP20 or 2 10 Gb NICs.

ASUS Goes All In With USB 3.1 Capable Motherboards has some information.  Here are some quotes from Using Asus Transfer Express: A Multi-Platform Control Hub (Part 4):

I like the PC-to-PC and PC-to-Android keyboard and mouse sharing. The overall usage experience was hassle-free; the shared keyboard and mouse was great for controlling multiple PCs simultaneously, and I was even able to play real PC games through my Nvidia Shield tablet. An improvement here would be the option for a more seamless PC-to-Android keyboard/mouse switch than a hotkey.

The biggest adjustment that I would like to see on the Asus Transfer Express is functionality with other vendors’ hardware when the device bundle hits retailers in the coming months. If an Asus motherboard is deemed a requirement for the primary PC, that is understandable, but forcing both PCs to be Asus hardware seems unnecessary and very restrictive.

  • I edited it, and commented in case people fail to come back and notice. – Dan Simms Apr 18 '16 at 17:30

One way would be to use a USB-Ethernet adapter, plug the USB-Ethernet in both computers and connect like that. This is especially useful if your computer dosen't have an ethernet port. You can buy one here: http://www.staples.com/Belkin-B2B048-USB-30-to-Gigabit-Ethernet-Card/product_IM1QU4388

  • Thats not an answer to the question... – Jodka Lemon Dec 16 '15 at 14:21

This cable implements the new host to host feature of USB 3.0 that you mention:

http://www.datapro.net/products/usb-3-0-super-speed-a-a-debugging-cable.html

As your own reference and as this product page mentions, Linux, windows, and OS X do not have the software support to run full networking over this kind of cable. One use for this cable is remote debugging a windows kernel.

If you want to do networking over a single USB cable, you will have to use the kind of host-to-host cable which predates USB 3.0. This kind of cable looks like a host-to-device connection to the computer at each end and the regular USB networking software stacks of each machine will talk to their own ends happily. What makes this work is a bulge in the center of the cable containing active electronics which implements the two device ends of the USB connections and bridges data over between the two cables.

  • 1
    Please read the question again carefully. Your answer does not answer the original question. – DavidPostill Jan 11 '15 at 19:32

i know this is an old thread, but maybe someone will find this information useful.

There is a product called Inateck hb4009. Quite a versatile product and it should suffice many users who needs easy data transfer over usb.

  • Why is useful exactly? This seems far to like an advertisement for the product honestly. Besides the actual product is a USB hub....so any usb hub could do this, which would not do what the author wanted. – Ramhound Jun 4 '15 at 15:04
  • Naming a product does not answer the question of how to do it. – fixer1234 Jun 4 '15 at 15:25
  • 1
    The Inateck hb4009 is NOT just a USB 3.0 hub. It also has a "magic port" which will allow two PC's (or a Mac or an Android device) to be connected together via USB for file transfers, etc. However, it will only perform that function at USB 2.0 speeds according to the official website at inateck.com/… – user473517 Jul 26 '15 at 11:42

I know this is an old post, but I stumbled upon the USB 3.0 Wormhole Switch Cable, Super Speed Transfer Cable JUC500 from Amazon.com.

I went through the reviews of the product and discovered that a user has successfully transferred data files in excess of 1.1Gbps to 1.4Gbps between two PCs containing SSDs. The review (update) on the product is recent with a date of 7/2/2015.

The USB cable also functions as a sort of virtual KVM connection as well although it can be quite buggy at times. Link to the cable: http://www.amazon.com/Wormhole-Switch-Cable-Transfer-JUC500/dp/B00W43L3KW/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8

Well, your question is:

How can I connect two computers (preferably using Windows 8.1, I don't mind using a OS
with a linux-kernel) with USB 3.0 ports together to transfer files or maybe play LAN
games? (I know how to do it with normal networking cables :P)

The answer to that is: By using a USB3.0 male-to-male cable. The computers once connected will show up in "My Computer" just like any USB attached device normally would.

You also stated above your question:

USB 3.0 specification introduces the feature known as direct host-to-host connection
with normal USB 3.0 A/A (male/male) cables (or some bridge cables? Anyway I can't find
any to buy).

To buy them try: CableLeader.com

  • Is there no extra software needed? did you already try it? – Gizmo Aug 10 '14 at 17:43
  • 2
    There is no extra software needed and no I have not tried it. Most companies that sell this cable, which is shown on the website I linked, state: DO NOT TRY TO CONNECT TWO COMPUTERS WITH THIS CABLE - You may damage the computers by doing so and may even cause a fire. – Andrew Aug 10 '14 at 17:51
  • I found another cable that would work without causing harm to anything Proper Transfer Cable – Andrew Aug 10 '14 at 21:11

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