What is a KVM Switch?

KVM is an abbreviation for Keyboard, Video, Mouse and in its simplest form a KVM switch is a device that allows a user to control more than one computer from a single keyboard, video screen and mouse:

A simple I user 2 computer KVM switch

That's it... I just want to switch between a couple of computers >>>

We, and many others in the computer industry, call these types of switches Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) swicthes. Although multiple computers can be connected to the KVM switch, typically a smaller number of computers can be controlled at any given time. Modern devices have also added the ability to share USB devices and speakers with multiple computers.

Some KVM switches can also function in reverse - that is, a single PC can be connected to multiple monitors, keyboards, and mice. While not as common as the former, this configuration is useful when the operator wants to access a single computer from two or more (usually close) locations - for example, a public kiosk machine that also has a staff maintenance interface behind the counter, or a home office computer that doubles as a home entertainment PC.


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