Do you use peripherals like your monitor, mouse, and keyboard with more than one computer? It is an increasingly common situation, especially with remote employees who have created workstations in a home office. But these can require a lot of tiresome unplugging and replugging when you want to switch computers. That is, unless you have a KVM switch.
A KVM, keyboard video mouse, switch is a multi port switch that allows you to connect multiple computers to a single set of peripherals. Connect both computers via USB to the KVM switch computer inputs and then attach each monitor to its display outputs and your keyboard and mouse to its USB ports. Once all of your devices are connected, it is easy to switch between the connected computers with the press of a button!
Selecting the Right KVM Switch
These are some of the biggest factors to consider when you are choosing a KVM switch:
Display Connections: Check which type of ports for your displays the switch offers. DisplayPort and HDMI are most common, but you will also find plenty of models with ports for other connectors such as DVI and VGA.
Number of Displays: If you use dual monitors or more in your setup, check the number of display outputs to ensure your switch offers enough ports to drive all of your monitors.
Display Resolution Refresh Rate: If you need a certain resolution or refresh rate on your displays, for example 4K 60hz, make sure that the switchs output capabilities support your needs.
Additional Ports: Most KVM switches include one port each for your keyboard, mouse, and speakers or headphones, but many also have extra ports for seamless USB switching on peripherals like external hard drives, printers, and more.
Switching Method: KVM switches typically have a button on the main chassis that performs the actual switch between computers. Some include hotkey functionality that allows you to switch directly from your keyboard, and others even include a remote control for ultimate convenience.
Operating System Support: Many KVM switches are compatible with multiple operating systems, but some are specific to either Windows or Mac computers.
KVM Cables: Looking to simplify your cable management? Consider using KVM cables, which bundle multiple types of cables into one and help you avoid a messy nest of cables around your switch.
Find all the computer accessories you need right here at Micro Center. Shop our full line of KVM cables and switches right here, featuring brands like Trendnet and IOGear DisplayPort KVM Switch products. Don’t forget to check out all of our cable options, including extender and adapter cables, to customize your setup. See our selection of USB hubs for easy ways to add all of the peripherals you need.