A keyboard, video, mouse switch box, better known as a KVM switch box lets you use one keyboard, monitor and mouse with several computers, which can be the ideal solution for offices that are tight on space.
KVM switch boxes have come a long way since their inception, offering tons of new features making it easy for so-called "power users" to adapt them to their needs. A few of the key features available on today's breed of computer switch boxes are:
1. You can choose between DVI and VGA video.
2. Many of the newer KVM switches allow you to interface with USB ports for keyboards and mice.
3. You can get a simple keyboard, video, mouse switch box for two computers or expand to a whole office full of machines.
4. Most KVM switch boxes have a very small footprint, so they take up very little space on your desk.
Develop a game plan for keyboard, video, mouse switch boxesSince keyboard, video, mouse switch boxes come in so many variations, it's a good idea to plan out where you want to set them up, what they'll be used for and how many computers they'll be connected to.
Get the right port-KVM switch matchAll of the options, from USB and firewire to standard mouse and keyboard ports can be confusing. Knowing the configuration you need for keyboard switchers, and mice and video connections can save a lot of headaches when setting up your KVM boxes.
Know what cables you need for computer switch boxesWhether it be CAT-5 cables for a sophisticated network or simple DVI, VGA, USB or other video mouse and keyboard cables, make sure the KVM boxes you buy have the correct ports to work with your system.
- Choose electronic switching over manual switches. Although most of the newer keyboard switcher models use electronic switching, there are still a few bargain boxes out there that use manual A-B switches.
- Have the right configuration of cables and boxes. There's nothing worse than discovering after you've purchased boxes set up with VGA video and standard keyboard and mouse ports that your monitors and PCs are set up for DVI (high resolution) video and your mouse and keyboard are USB.
- Test the keyboard switcher before you buy. Since these are electronic devices, the chances of them not working without a hitch are slim to none. Work with a consultant that lets you hook them up and test them before you buy or a retailer with a decent return policy.