By Evan Ackerman
Whether it involves computers or printers or anything else, accessing hardware over a network can be a real headache. D-Link is introducing some new software that should make it a bit easier to attach your computer to a remote USB device. And hey, guess what, it’s free!* Specific details are somewhat sketchy, but according to D-Link, “SharePort turns the local USB port located on the back of the 802.11n family of Wi-Fi routers into a fast and responsive virtual port so users can access a range of USB devices, by utilizing a new technology of USB over TCP/IP.”
An important thing to keep in mind is that this won’t transform your USB devices into network devices. In other words, only one computer on your network can access the USB device attached to the router at a time. Even so, this is an easy way to network a printer or drive without paying the premium for one with networking hardware built in. If you have a D-Link DIR-655, DIR-825, DIR-855, DGL-4500, or DIR-628, you can get the SharePort software (and some other energy management and HD optimization software) for free simply by updating your router’s firmware.
*As long as you own an expensive D-Link router, that is.