Gaming nerds have several characteristics in common. You can easily confirm that a particular room belongs to a gaming nerd if you find tangled wired, poorly organized hardware and randomly located active computers. But all gaming enthusiasts do not have such characteristics. This is because a few of them realize the significance of the proper organization of the devices they use. When you use decent quality KVM switches, you can neatly organize multiple active computers, cables, and other accessories.
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Also Read: Best Monitors with built-in KVM Switch
Though device sharing is ordinary nowadays, you need a stable and reliable KVM switch to accomplish it efficiently. The present post discusses the best KVM switches in 2021, suitable for gaming or to neatly organize different computer accessories. But before diving into the details of these switches, let us first know what a KVM switch is:
The term KVM stands for the Keyboard, Video, and Mouse. From a technical perspective, the KVM switch is the hardware that connects multiple PCs when the input and output devices could control any one of them at a specific time. The structure of these switches features a dial or a button. They function as the main controller. The connected PCs and servers function as the secondary devices.
The practicality of KVM switches is not just limited to gaming geeks. Anybody who uses multiple devices like smartphones, tablets, gaming PCs, gaming laptops, etc., simultaneously needs such witches for multitasking. These switches make sure there is no need to disconnect hardware from a system if you want to use it with some different device. In-office setups and banks, you may find KVM switches used for connecting a printer to multiple PCs. There is no need to frequently connect and disconnect the wires for the printer to work in such cases.
When it comes to offering the best performance at a reasonable price, the IOGEAR GCS52DP KVM Switch tops all the others. There are 10 top-notch KVM switches for gaming in 2021 at various prices and with different features. Choose the one that suits your needs and budget.
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It sometimes becomes difficult to get a KVM switch equipped with all the fundamental features at a reasonable price. This KVM switch from IOGEAR contains all the fundamental features. Firstly, discussing its appearance, it comes in an appealing box with a beautiful design. The compatibility is decent enough with Windows, Mac, Linux, and Unix OS distributions. This implies that you can also connect this KVM Switch and the SBCs such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi.
To make it convenient for beginners, the GC52DP switch comes with a plug & play interface. Just press the remote button to transition amongst the devices—no need to be a tech geeky to use this switch.
The length of the included cables is 1.2 meters. It helps you to connect at most 2 PCs. The box also includes the HDCP compliant DisplayPort. The display is competent enough to support 4K resolution @ 30Hz. There is the availability of 2 USB interfaces; one for the USB keyword and another for the USB mouse. Furthermore, the audio in/out jacks are flawlessly compatible with 2.1 and 7.1 audio.
For normal use at homes or offices, especially for beginners, this KVM switch from IOGEAR is quite convenient. Along with the technical specifications, the switch also excels in terms of solid build quality. Due to the subtle design, the box does not take up excess space.
Certain customers demand a KVM switch with the basic features but without spending much. Usually, I do not recommend any product whose quality is not up to the mark. The Rosewill RKV-2UC KVM switch comes at an affordable price. It is highly suitable for those people on the lookout for perceiving the practicality of a KVM Switch.
It includes a few fundamental features only. At a time, you can connect it with a maximum of 2 PCs through the included cables. Through the 2 USB and VGA interfaces, it supplies power to each of the connected PCs. Moreover, the USB ports are dedicated to the input (keyboard and mouse).
The specifications suggest that it can support Windows and Mac. However, you can use it on Linux too. In that case, the upper limit of the resolution declines to 1024×768 pixels. Owing to the plug & play interface, it is quite easy to set up and use for beginners.
At this reasonable price, you cannot anticipate cutting-edge features. Hence, do not expect this switch to support a USB 3.0 port and an audio connection. Certainly, the quality is not that you observe in several high-end or mid-range switches. But you gain the most value out of your money.
It comes with one extra feature, i.e., a remote selector. Through this feature, this Rosewill switch enables you to switch ports through the desktop. Typically, switching amongst PCs via a low-end Switch can severely impact the display output. However, this issue is not found in the RKV-2UC switch. The reason is it implements the Video DynaSync technology.
An extraordinary feature is Power-ON Detection. It enables the switch to supervise if a PC turns OFF. Besides, it rapidly recognizes the issue and switches to the system which is running.
The ULBRE Soho KVM switch is too a good choice for beginners. Simultaneously, it can connect 2 OCs and delivers power through the 4x USB 3.0 ports. These ports support fast data transfer. The data transfer pace is remarkable when compared to that offered by the USB 2.0 ports. With this switch, you can even connect mechanical keyboards. But for that, you may perceive annoying sounds.
One of the best features is it comes in a compact design that needs the minimum space. It is quite easy and quick to switch files between PCs. Through the one-press switch, the entire operation seems smooth and practical. It is found that the power supply is adequate for powering a mouse, keyboard, and storage drive. But if you wish to connect a printer, scanner, or HD camera, do not forget to utilize the MicroUSB charging port.
One drawback is the location of the interfaces for making cable connections. This is because anywhere you put the box, the cable will be visible and may not present a neat and appealing look. It would be great if the cable connectors were placed at the rear of the box.
Belonging from an accredited manufacturer, this USB switch selector comes at a reasonable price. It boasts a user-friendly interface, and all its features are easy to use. Compared to its competitors, the build quality is durable, stable, and the design is compact. With this switch, you can easily share different USB-compatible devices amongst computers, printers, scanners, and card readers. At a time, it can connect two computers. With one-press switching, the operation is quite easy.
Names of operating systems it supports are Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome. Due to the Plug & Play interface, there is no need to set up the drivers. Moreover, the available USB 2.0 ports support data transfer at speed up to 480Mb/sec. With the available LEDs, you can know the status of the device connection.
One limitation is that it does not include a power supply unit. But a Micro USB Charging port is available. It can work with a standard 5V adapter. Generally, for normal settings at home or small offices, this KVM switch is a perfect choice.
When it comes to sharing audio and video at a great quality and acceptable rate, you can consider this VGA KVM switch. It comes with 4 ports included in the box design. They facilitate easy sharing of audio and video amongst the 4 PCs.
If you want, you can add a mouse, keyboard, display screen, microphone, speakers, and gaming console, etc. There is no need for a power supply for the 4 KVM link configuration. This is because the USB interface regulates the power input.
You can use this switch with devices supporting Windows and Mac OS. Owing to the Plug & Play interface, there is no need for drivers or additional software. Overall dimensions are such that the design is compact and aesthetically appealing. At first glance, it seems like a plastic case; however, it is a metal case. So, the durability is outstanding.
The synchronized USB Hub facilitates switching amongst the 4 PCs when sharing the devices. You do not need a power supply, so the entire operation seems convenient to the users.
What I dislike is that it is not compatible with the multi-media keyboard. The included features seem reasonable considering that of the competitors. Instead of 2 computers, you can connect 4 at once.
Occasionally, you may need to connect 4 computers at once instead of 2. For such needs, you can use this USB KVM switch box from ieGeek. It comes in a well-built and appealing design. However, the cable interface placement is slightly astonishing because you need to think about how the wires can protrude in every direction properly. With the Plug & Play setup, there is no need to use any external power supply.
The box contains 4 VGA USB cables, so you do not need to organize extra accessories. Moreover, the switching speed is satisfactory. In certain KVM switches, you may not find compatibility with Windows versions 98 to 2007. But the same is found in this ieGeek product. Also, this box is compatible with Mac OS, Linux, and Unix. So, it is easy to integrate SBC like Raspberry Pi and Arduino.
When the matter comes to application, this switch box can be used for conferencing, interviews, virtual meetings, gaming, and office use. But the overall design implies that it is suitable for gaming geeks. Because the USB cable from the PC delivers power to the box, there is no need for an extra power supply. You can determine the working status through the LED indicators.
For connecting computers in professional settings, this 8-port KVM switch is suitable. One of the most admirable features is the placement of the cable connectors. This is since it is highly suitable for expedient clearance to prevent the fuss. In case you need sharing a greater number of computers than 2 or 4, this switch helps.
The VGA interface supports max. 1920 x 1440 pixels resolution. At this price, it may be hard to find. It is decent enough for professional use. Due to the rackmount design, it is quite easy to use the switch. There are no advanced features from a design viewpoint. Therefore, it is best to prevent ambiguity.
This box can easily handle the high-voltage input with an 8KV discharge apart from the air discharge (15KV) if required—no need for any external power supply. The switch automatically delivers the power to the connected PCs.
There is no detail on the anticipated warranty, money-back guarantee, or replacement. Also, it is vague about what the technical support is. Moreover, this switch is DOS compatible. The cable connectors come with nickel plating.
The applications for which this switch is suitable are security systems, information control, data center, video surveillance, laboratories, educational premises, and more.
If you want a switch compatible with the 4K display, then go for this one from CKLau. It comes packed with plenty of useful features that are hard to find in other KVM switches. Well, a long list of features makes this HDMI KVM Switch a viable option if you are looking for a switch compatible with 4K display quality.
At once, you can connect 4 PCs. Also, you can regulate the switch through the configurable hotkeys. Alternatively, you can use a remote present in the box.
For those open-source developers who work with microcontrollers and SBCs, this switch works well. It supports Fedora, Ubuntu, Raspbian, and Debian, apart from the usual OS. With this feature, the board feels very suitable for multitasking when you want to work with AI devices and sensors.
Compared to other KVM switches, this one appears conventional. The build quality is average and not as per the expectation considering the price.
It comes with 3 USB inputs. Of them, 2 are dedicated to a mouse, and one is for a keyboard. Furthermore, the box supports Apple Keyboards. This feature is not found in the majority of the KVM switches. The control of this switch is easy with a remote push-button switch. You can use this switch for OLED and touch display.
If you need a 4K HDMI compatible KVM switch at a not so high price, then the included 12-month warranty is great.
To obtain great value for the money spent, you can consider this USB 3.0 KVM switch. At this price, you will usually get switches equipped with USB 2.0 ports. With the available MicroUSB port that delivers a power supply, this switch eliminates the extra adapter’s need.
Simply connect to 4 USB devices and then share those among the 2 PCs. The corresponding USB 3.0 ports are best for printers, scanners, flash drives, and card readers.
The overall design seems neat and clean. It appears identical to a neat segment brick. For small offices, this switch is extremely suitable. One great design feature is that every USB port is across the long side. Hence, the cable clearance turns quite simple. Keep in mind that the USB cables’ length is short. You may have to take the help of longer cables.
At a decent cost, there are no outstanding features; the design is simple. For fundamental needs, at a price below $25, this is one of the best KVM switches.
The compatibility with 4K resolution @ 60 Hz is the prime feature of this switch. Though the switch comes with a few drawbacks, this feature makes it practical. You cannot neglect its prominent features. It becomes difficult to choose a suitable color variant. It is better to go for black or grey; avoid red or maroon. The aluminum is used in the build quality, and the glittery maroon surface appears slightly cheaper.
It is hassle-free to switch between devices. Simultaneously, you can use 4 systems for sharing devices. The switch supports hot switching. But keep in mind that this feature does not function if there is a USB 2.0 port connected.
The fundamental functions of the mouse and keyboard work great. But it might not support a few of the lighting mice, multimedia keyboards, or advanced mechanical keyboards. For gaming geeks, this is a prominent drawback.
When it comes to technical support and warranty, forget about support or services after purchase. This is because you would not get these benefits after purchasing this HDMIKWM switch.
The KVM switches are recently implemented with the new technology. When you made your mind buy a KVM switch, you need to consider the cutting-edge feature and compatibility with the device and operating system. Prioritize your requirements and properly weigh the features you need and your budget. By doing this, you can end up picking the top-notch KVM switches as per your needs. The below section highlights the important factors you need to consider for choosing KVM switches:
Your money spent on a KVM switch is useless if it cannot work with your devices. For those who are open-source developers, a KVM switch compatible with Linux, Debian, and Raspbian Operating Systems will be fine. On the other hand, for use in offices, it is better to buy a KVM switch that supports Windows and Mac operating systems. Also, it needs to be compatible with the latest USB scanners and printers.
To use for gaming, look for a KVM switch supporting mouse, keyboard, and gaming console along with some advanced features. In most cases, KVM switches can work with most operating systems. However, to avoid a problem, later, go carefully through the specifications.
Along with compatibility with OS and device, keep in mind the functionalities of the KVM switch considering your work environment. Look at what input devices it supports. Also, find out whether it works with the gaming consoles and multimedia keyboards with the advanced features.
To make sure all the basic functionalities are included, review the highly reliable review sites and the customers’ feedback on the leading e-commerce platforms. This is because such reviews emphasize best the drawbacks of the device from the perspective of genuine buyers. On the Internet, what is you see are the promotional product descriptions from the seller’s viewpoint? Go through the reviews properly to get an idea of the exact functionalities.
Meticulously look at the cable connectors as well as communication interfaces to ascertain that they will work with your setup or not. For example, certain KVM switches can work with DVI display ports or PS/2. However, you cannot use them with USB or VGA interfaces.
Check whether the KVM switch supports the device and connection you are already using. Otherwise, you need to buy the new connectors and accessories separately. Make sure the KVM switch supports connections as it is. To ensure flawless connection, you can perform a rapid audit of the existing equipment. This is chiefly helpful when the devices from different locations are combined in one set.
Currently, you may require a KVM switch for 2 or 4 systems. If your budget is higher, find out the switch that can support more computers than your need. This is because, at setup expansion, there is no need for purchasing a new switch for supporting more computers.
Suppose you feel that you will not need setup expansion in the coming years, then no need to worry about the port’s quantity. It is a recommended approach to buy KVM switches with extra capacity, i.e., extra ports.
For these switches, the menus and on-screen displays are some of the most vital components. They provide visual signals of the systems that are connected. So, it becomes simple to switch among the systems and configure settings.
If you are familiar with GUI assistance, choose a KVM switch that supports an on-screen display. This display helps if you wish to switch between various systems frequently. With this display, the GUI facilitates easy configuration and customization.
Certain environments need the availability of the system audio from the systems in which the KVM switch works. Not all KVM switches come with audio support but carefully go through the specifications before purchase if you need it. With a lack of audio support, you may face hassles with complex loops that result in random noise.
For a growing business, it is desirable to buy a KVM switch that is appropriate for server racking. It should be easily convertible to a rackmount.
Generally, KVM switches with built-in power supplies are more reliable than those that use connected systems to intake power. Certain KVM switches are devoid of an adapter. Confirm that if there is a compatible adapter available on the market.
Another extra consideration is the cable length. If the length is insufficient, it becomes difficult to make connections.
1. What is the key purpose of a KVM Switch?
A KVM Switch aims to establish connections between a single set of devices and multiple computers. As a result, it lets the users switch between computers without needing to unplug and join cables from one PC to the other.
2. A KVM switch can connect how many computers?
A KVM switch is a box with interfaces and a connector. It is available in the form of a set of compatible KVM Cables or the Cat5 Cables. The majority of the KVM switches can connect 2-8 computers. Some KVM switches can connect up to 32 computers. For businesses, KVM switches support daisy-chaining or cascading to support 500 computers or more.
3. What are the key categories of KVM Switches?
Based on the system access and control perspective, there are 4 categories of KVM switches:
a) Single User KVM Switch:
This type is the most suitable for beginners. It is suitable for a small business or remote office. Generally, these switches support 4-8 systems.
b) Multi-User KVM Switch:
At a time, these switches can connect 16-64 servers. They are suitable for the data centers as well as professional setup.
c) Analog KVM Switch:
Depending on the application, the analog KVM switches support Cat5 or Coax cable connection amongst the console and the server via the KVM box.
d) Digital KVM Switch:
An alternate name for the digital KVM switches is the KVM over IP. They require a direct connection to be established between the computers and KVM. However, you can control the switch on the worldwide network of LAN over the IP address.
4. What is the maximum distance between the KVM switch and the connected computers?
To operate within a short distance spanning up to 25 feet, it is recommended to go for a KVM switch that utilizes standard cable kits. But for a distance exceeding 25 feet, go for a KVM switch that utilizes Cat5 cabling.
5. What is the importance of the reset button in a KVM switch?
Situations may arise in which the KVM memory gets corrupted. The KVM switches often obtain power from a discrete power adapter and the systems to which the KVM switch is already connected to. Therefore, it can be difficult to resolve a KVM switch that is corrupted. There is no need to reach a server rack to disconnect 4, 8, or 16 systems simply to resolve a corrupted KVM. So, it is best to buy a KVM switch with a reset button.
To streamline the choice for KVM switches, first, prioritize your needs. Make a wise choice while also considering your budget. For simple setups with fewer computers, it is useless to buy high-end KVM switches at high prices. But if you expect setup expansion soon in the forthcoming months, choose a KVM switch that can support more computers than those you have.
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