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What is a KVM switch?

What is a KVM switch?
This device improves productivity, saves space, and money by allowing you to use multiple computers with one set of keyboard, monitor, and mouse. The exclusive feature offers IT administrators centralized real-time updating and maintenance.

You’ve just set up your new home office, or have begun work at a new company. As part of your job, you need to use two, sometimes three, computers at your work station. However, setting up three monitors, three keyboards, and three mice is making your desk far too crowded. Plus, there’s the additional hassle of moving around to use each computer.

What if there were a device that could allow you to quickly and easily access two, three, or more computers with just a single monitor, keyboard, and mouse? There is, and it’s called a KVM switch.

KVM stands for “Keyboard, Video (monitor), Mouse.” The main function of a KVM switch is to control, switch between, and manage multiple PCs or servers via a single keyboard, monitor and mouse (also referred to as the ‘console’).

To switch between the different computers or servers, a user can press a button on the KVM switch, press a hotkey on their keyboard, click on their mouse wheel, or use an on-screen display program. Regardless of which method one chooses, the idea is that you can quickly and easily switch between different computers while using the same keyboard, mouse, and monitor setup.

Different KVM switches can connect to different amounts of computers. It all depends on the number of ports a KVM switch has. Generally speaking though, KVM switches range from 2 to 64-port models, thus allowing for between 2 and 64 computers to be connected to a single KVM device, and in turn just one set of keyboard, monitor, and mouse.

For those KVM switches that support expansion capability, the more sets of ports a KVM switch has, the bigger the installation it usually goes in. For example, a 4-port KVM is ideal for a desktop, while an 8, 16, or up to 64-port KVM switch is best suited for a server room.
In addition to keyboard, monitor, and mouse, audio and USB peripheral-sharing capabilities can also be built into KVM switches.

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