If you regularly use two or more computers at the same time, you’ll want to avoid the inconvenience and clutter of having multiple keyboards and mice.
The good news is it’s possible to control all your computers using just one keyboard and mouse, and we don’t mean disconnecting and reconnecting them every five minutes. Discover the best solution for you, below.
The most straightforward solution is to install cross-computer control software such as Synergy. This takes just a few minutes to download and install. It lets you keep your mouse and keyboard connected to one computer, while allowing them to control all your other computers as well.
A USB/KVM switch is a hardware device that allows you to control several computers through one keyboard and mouse. KVMs go one step further and allow you to switch between screens. For a KVM, you connect your mouse, keyboard and screen to the KVM box, and you run cables from the box to each computer. The USB switch is keyboard and mouse only. You then switch between computers by pressing a physical button on the box.
Multi-computer keyboards and mice enable you to switch from one device to another at the press of a button on the mouse or keyboard itself.
Remote desktop software allows you to control all of your secondary computers through a single, main computer. So you only need one keyboard, mouse and screen, for the main device. When you select to connect to one of your secondary computers, it appears inside a window on your main computer, where you can interact with it like any other program.
There’s a lot of remote desktop software to choose from. If you’re looking for pointers, VNC and TeamViewer are two a popular options that let you connect to secondary computers running Windows, Mac OS or Linux. Do your research to make sure the software you choose works for your setup.
If your computers are separated and you can’t (or don’t want to) walk between them, remote desktop software is your best bet. But if you don’t mind picking up and putting down, a multi-device keyboard and mouse may lend itself to greater productivity.
A KVM switch will let you connect it to all your computers, and switch between them. Price and quality vary greatly, so do your research before choosing.
Cross-computer control software such as Synergy is a simple and affordable solution. This will let you to work across several devices seamlessly, using a single keyboard and mouse of your choice.