Can two computers access an external HD via USB simultaneously?
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If LAN is possible you can set it for sharing. Other computer will then connect and use it through network. Basically one computer will be host(one with usb drive attached) other guest(one who will access it). Otherwise i dunno..maybe there is usb splitter cable with two ends? Or you can put external drive hdd into PC as normal hdd and then connect the 2 computers if it's external hdd.
Not with a regular hub since you can only have one host controller on the bus at the same time. There are special hubs/switches designed for sharing USB devices both automatic and manual. However, I do not know how well they work with linux.
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There are NAS drives/enclosures out there which do support both Ethernet and USB however you will not be able to use them at the same time!
If both machines have got Ethernet cards it is possible to connect the disk to one and then share to a different network; however, this is a bit complicated as you would need to use a technology such as VPN or alternative open up the required ports on the routers NAT (not recommended).
I think the best option provided the systems have Ethernet interfaces would be to use a 3rd machine if possible with dual NICs (network cards) and connect to both systems via cross-over Ethernet cable. Basically the idea would be to build a little file server using something such as a bare system running of flash or small HD then share the disk via NFS to both systems.
Apart from that I really don't see anyway as the USB protocol as stated by TobiSGD is not designed to be used with multiple machines in a multi-access environment.