SwitchesCompanies often use multiple computers simultaneously. For users of these computers, switching between different keyboards and mice can be inconvenient and disruptive. Keyboard, video, and mouse (KVM) switches provide a veritable a solution to this problem. A typical KVM switch allows you to use a single set of keyboard, monitor, and mouse across multiple computers. Some KVM switches also allow audio connections to be switched. Some even have cables connecting to the KVM and multiple connections at the computer’s end to minimize the wires running around your desk or office. Below is a brief explanation of how these devices work, what they’re used for, and what they generally cost.

How KVM Switches Work

These KVM switches allow users to access multiple computers with only a single set of input and output devices. By sharing these devices, desktop clutter and serpentine cables are kept at bay. While the most common type of KVM switch allows access to two computers, there are those that can handle as many computers as a user requires. Users can switch between computers by pressing a button on the device itself or through a keyboard shortcut.

Applications

Aside from the normal office setting, KVM switches are widely used in large networks with dedicated servers. In these large and complex networks, user interaction and monitoring are necessary to ensure the servers are operating at full capacity; KVM switches makes these tasks a lot easier. Servers in large networks are mounted horizontally on racks; and an entire array of servers can share one set of input and display devices via a KVM switch with a monitor drawer.

Cost

Green LightSimple KVM switches that control 2 to 3 computers start at $20. For the typical office setting, quality KVM switches can be purchased for less than $50. The KVM switches for heavy-duty industrial, military and commercial applications go for $1,500 to $2,500. When choosing a KVM switch for your company, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind. These include the KVM switch’s resolution and performance, bandwidth, number of users allowed, and others. It is important to learn what a KVM switch is truly capable of before you purchase it. You can learn more about KVM switches from companies like Crystal Image Technologies.