For our lab remote applications always were/are/will handy to manage our connection, I know there are many ways to manage your remote devices but some of them are complex and rest do not work well with all operating systems, once my professor said "Don't reinvent the wheel if it is already invented, just use what is available that fits your requirements and save time", well this debate could go long and I don't want to go into this discussion.
Recently I have been checking out a great revolutionary service called "Flexihub" and thought why not share this service with other people, it's offering its own unique mechanism that lets you connect to remote USB and COM port devices via Internet or LAN connection. It claims to give you the fullest access to remote devices no matter if they are connected to computers in a next door office or in a different country.
Here we'll review FlexiHub for Linux, but in fact it is a cross-platform solution also available for Windows and Mac systems. I've tested it on all available operating systems and I am quite surprised with the positive results, I hope to implement it in our lab soon.
Not only can you access remote devices but also manage your connections, connect and disconnect from remote devices without being physically present there. All of this is going through the 256-bit SSL encrypted connection which adds an extra layer of protection for data transfer, so there is no need to worry about sensitive data transferred from or to remote devices.
Since the app can send traffic through its own Redirection Server, your computers won't need a real IP address. Even when your machine doesn't directly detect remote computer with remote USB or serial device, FlexiHub will still enable you to connect to that device and work with it as if it was right here plugged in to your local computer. Also there is traffic compression performed by FlexiHub, which can speed up data exchange with certain types of devices and reduces traffic load. FlexiHub offers an option to choose compression type based upon best speed and best size compression, depending on user's needs.
Convenient access management offered by FlexiHub technology allows you to block access to any USB or serial device connected to local computer, thus no one can access it from remote location.
FlexiHub turns out to be very neat and modern solution with lots of conveniences like user's own online office, where one can manage connections and nodes (computers) and it is accessible from everywhere with Internet connection through password protected secure connection.
I installed and tested it on Ubuntu, Mac OS X, and Windows 7, communication is perfect regardless of the OS.
Free version available for testing on developer's website: http://www.flexihub.com/download.html. If you decide to invest in it, it will run $6.59 per month and up.
For developers who are interested in incorporating FlexiHub technology in their software, there is a developer's kit available for purchase.
Couple of minor downsides to this service are that free version supports sharing for only 20 minutes. So you'll have to buy a licensed copy to fully benefit from this app. Otherwise you will have to reestablish connection upon interruption. Also before you start sharing and accessing devices back and forth you'll need to install FlexiHub on each computer participating.
What do you think about this great service?