Are you looking for an option to manage multiple PCs from one keyboard, mouse and monitor? Then choose a KVM switch. You connect the KVM switch on one side to your mouse, keyboard and monitor. You can connect multiple PCs on the other side of the KVM switch. You can switch back and forth between the connected PCs effortlessly via a selector switch, remote control or key combination.
Many models also have the option to switch between your PCs via your headset with microphone. Choose a KVM switch with sufficient connections and pay attention to the correct monitor, keyboard and mouse connection.
Best KVM Switch
What exactly is a KVM switch?
Anyone who has ever worked with multiple PCs knows that it is difficult to work with multiple monitors, keyboards and mouse side by side on a work table or desk. The monitors and keyboards take up a lot of space and you will soon be typing on the wrong keyboard or sliding the wrong mouse.
Isn’t there a simple solution for this? The ideal solution for this is the KVM switch. With a KVM switch you have the possibility to operate multiple PCs with one keyboard, one monitor and one mouse. KVM switch is short for keyboard, video and mouse switch. The operation of a KVM switch is simple.
You connect your keyboard, monitor and mouse to the KVM switch. Then connect the keyboard, video and mouse connections of each PC you want to control to the KVM switch. After starting up each PC, you can easily switch between the different PCs with the KVM switch. The video signal of the selected PC appears on your monitor and the keystrokes and mouse movements are passed on to the selected PC.
Which KVM switch to choose?
When choosing a KVM switch, it is important that you choose the right type, so that it works seamlessly with your PCs. One of the most important connections is the monitor connection. There are three different standards for connecting a monitor. First, the old but still widely used analog VGA connection.
Second, the DVI connection that can transmit both analog and digital signals. Thirdly, the popular and increasingly used digital HDMI connection. If all your computer equipment has the same connection, the choice is easy. If your equipment has different video connections, it is necessary to use video convectors so that with all connections you arrive at one and the same standard in order to use a KVM switch. With some simple models, the necessary cabling is supplied or is permanently connected to the switch unit. These models can be connected immediately after unpacking and put into use. With the rack mount models in particular, it is important to check whether the necessary KVM cable to connect the KVM switch to a PC is included. If not, you can also order the required KVM cable.
KVM Switch Connection Options
A KVM switch supports the connection of a keyboard and mouse and for many models also the audio input and output. Nowadays a USB connection is used to connect the mouse and keyboard. Almost every model supports a modern USB keyboard and USB mouse. Some models also support connecting a keyboard and / or mouse via the older PS2 connection.
In a number of models, the USB keyboard and mouse signals are passed on one to one via their own USB connection to each PC. With many rack mount models, the keyboard and mouse signal is combined into one signal via a built-in USB hub, so that only one USB cable needs to be connected between the switch unit and each PC. Many models also support audio switching.
This is particularly useful in playing games. Connecting audio using two 3.5 mm jackets per PC. These can be used for stereo audio and microphone. Many models can be powered from one of the connected PCs through one of the USB connections. A number of other models – especially the rack mount models – include a power adapter.
KVM Switch Features
When figuring out, it is important to pay attention to the correct connections and the number of PCs to be connected. In addition to these features, there are some additional features that can greatly simplify the KVM switch operation.
An important additional feature is the source selection. If you work on a daily basis with a KVM switch, it is important that switching between the different PCs is quick and easy.
The simplest models have a manual switch on the device itself, to switch between the different sources. This is sufficient if you only want to switch between PCs every now and then. If you want more comfort, choose a model with a remote control. You can place the remote next to your keyboard, so you never have to reach far to switch between PCs.
If you want to be able to switch between PCs regularly and quickly without having to take your fingers off the keyboard, choose a model that can be operated via the keyboard with a shortcut or a key combination. This solution is suitable for situations where you want to be able to switch effortlessly between PCs.