What Is A KVM Switch and How Does It Work?
Are you currently using one set of keyboard, monitor, and mouse for multiple devices? Then you’re probably aware that it can get tiring when you have to constantly swap cables when you have to use different devices. If you’re experiencing this problem, then getting a KVM switch may just be what you need.
First, let's start with the basics: What are KVM Switches?
KVM stands for Keyboard, Video, and Mouse. A KVM switch is a device that you can use to control multiple devices using the same keyboard, mouse, and monitor. Take note, by devices, we are pertaining to computers, smartphones, tablets, media players, gaming consoles, etc. KVM switches work by allowing you to switch from one device to another with just the press of a button.
When dealing with KVM switches, it’s important to know that there are multiple types available, and each one caters to different needs. There are KVM switches that can only control up to 4 devices, while others can control up to hundreds of devices.
So, what is a KVM switch used for?
To answer that, we must determine what is the purpose of a KVM switch. KVM switches are commonly used in environments where multiple computers or devices need to be accessed and controlled from a single location. Here are a few sample applications you could look at:
- One of the most common places where KVM switches are used is in data centers or server rooms where administrators are required to manage multiple servers. In this case, a KVM switch can be used to switch between multiple servers and perform troubleshooting, maintenance, or updating tasks.
- KVM switches are also useful for video production companies and graphic design studios where multiple computers are used to perform different tasks. For example, a KVM switch can be used to easily switch from a video editing computer to another one used for documentation.
- For home users, KVM switches are particularly useful for those who have a desktop computer and a laptop but don't want to have to switch between two different keyboards and mice. With a KVM switch, you can easily switch between your desktop and laptop without having to disconnect and reconnect your peripherals.
Now that you know where you can use it, your next question would probably be why you should use it. Here are a few reasons why:
One of the most common reasons for using a KVM switch is convenience.
With a KVM switch, you can easily switch between multiple devices without having to constantly unplug and replug cables. This saves time and reduces wear and tear on your devices.
Another advantage of KVM switches is that they can help solve problems related to space and power consumption.
Instead of having multiple keyboards, mice, and monitors taking up valuable desk space, you can consolidate everything into a single setup. This can also help reduce power consumption since you won't need to power multiple monitors and devices.
Having a KVM switch is cost-effective
Another key advantage of using KVM switches is their cost-effectiveness. By allowing multiple devices to share a single keyboard, mouse, and monitor, KVM switches can help reduce the cost of equipment, as well as the space required to store that equipment. This can be particularly valuable for small businesses or home users who may need more money or space for multiple sets of peripherals. Additionally, KVM switches can help reduce energy costs by allowing you to power off devices that aren't in use, further reducing your total cost of ownership.
You can easily collaborate with your teammates
KVM switches can be used to facilitate collaboration between team members who are working on a shared project. By connecting multiple computers to a KVM switch, team members can easily switch between devices and work together on a single project without having to switch devices physically. This can be particularly useful for remote teams, as it eliminates the need to physically pass devices back and forth.
KVM switches can help prevent security breaches
One of the most significant advantages of using KVM switches in data centers is the improved security they provide. By allowing administrators to access servers from a single console, KVM switches can help reduce the risk of unauthorized access to servers or other sensitive data. This is particularly important in environments where security is a top concern, such as government agencies, financial institutions, or healthcare facilities.
- Improved efficiency through customization
Some KVM switches come with advanced customization features that allow you to configure settings and hotkeys to meet your specific needs. For example, you may be able to program a custom hotkey that switches between your most frequently used devices or customize the behavior of your mouse and keyboard. This level of customization can help you streamline your workflow and improve productivity even further.
Setting up a KVM switch isn’t that much complicated too, but before we dive into the steps, let’s first make sure that you get the right KVM switch for your needs. Here are what you should consider when getting a KVM switch.
Number of devices
Before buying the best KVM switches in the market, you should first consider how many devices you’re connecting. For example, there’s no need for a 10-port KVM switch if you’ll only be connecting 4 devices.
Device connection type
Your KVM switch must also be able to support the connection type of your devices. Check if you need a KVM switch that supports VGA, HDMI, USB, etc. However, if you have an older device and are looking for a newer KVM switch model, there are available adapters you could use to connect any type of device to any type of port.
To set up your KVM switch, all you have to do is connect all your devices to their designated ports. This typically involves connecting your keyboard, mouse, and monitor to the KVM switch, as well as connecting your devices to the appropriate ports on the switch.
Once your devices are connected, you can then switch between them using the switch. This is typically done using a button on the KVM switch or through a keyboard shortcut. Some KVM switches also allow you to switch between devices using a software, which can be useful for those who want more control over their switching.
Are you ready to purchase your first KVM switch? Then your next question would most probably be:
What are good KVM switch brands?
Objectively, a good KVM switch brand would mean having excellent hardware specifications that can easily support everything you have to do with it. If you’re planning to buy one for your home or your work, then OREI is your best choice. With highly functional KVM switches, lifetime tech support, and free customer support, you’re sure that you’ll be getting the best switch for your setup.
Start choosing from OREI’s available KVM switches by clicking here. OREI’s shop includes all the significant and relevant information you need to make an informed purchase. You can also check a few sample applications, reviews of previously satisfied buyers, as well as answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). While you’re there, you may also want to consider getting items that our customers usually bought together with their KVM switch purchase.
To conclude, a KVM switch is a very versatile and convenient tool for anyone who needs to use one set of peripherals for multiple devices. They’re especially useful for professionals who regularly work with multiple computers, as well as home users who want to simplify their setup. Whether you're looking to reduce clutter on your desk, improve productivity, or simplify your workflow, a KVM switch is a useful device that you can use to improve your daily computer usage experience.
Do you want to learn more about KVM switches and other HDMI devices? Choose from a selection of good reads readily available in our blog.