KVM-2\4 PORT SWITCH

For people who are techjunkies or that work with a large number or computers is part of their job this would be a *must have* piece of electronics. Over all this product is very simple. It gives you the option of working with 2 computers , one at a time ,  with one set of interface hardware and that interface hardware is a mouse , a keyboard and a monitor.

Back in the day I have many machines (I think about 3-4) and each one of them had its own interface. It sucked badly because of many reasons; first of all all these monitors , keyboards and mice took up a lot of physical space around my room, it made the room look like a lab and not like an ordinary bedroom (a pretty uglIt sucked badly because of many reasons; first of all all these monitors , keyboards and mice took up a lot of physical space around my room, it made the room look like a lab and not like an ordinary bedroom (a pretty ugly and messy lab I might add) , I had to physically get up and move in order to work on a different machine , and of course the increased amount of CRT monitors in the room meant more heat dissipation and more power consumption.

I found the solution in this simple 2 machines switch. Using this simple instrument I saw an immediate impact on all the cons I mentioned in the previous paragraph;  my room was the same room minus a set of monitor , keyboard and a mouse, power consumption and heat were lower and I could simply sit next to a single set of hardware interface without moving to another location around the room in order to work on a different machine. I was so well impressed with this product I purchased another one, this time it could control 4 machines from 1 single set of interface hardware.

Now for some technical details.

The KVM 2-PORT SWITCH can control 2 computers from a single set of hardware interface which include - a mouse , a keyboard and a monitor. The bigger version mentioned above can control 4 machines.

The interface of the hardware is a bit old - PS\2 for both the mice and the keThe interface of the hardware is a bit old - PS\2 for both the mice and the keyboards and VGA interface for the monitor plug.

Yet , I was successful connecting wired USB mice and keyboards to this product by using a USB to PS\2 converter. Some USB hardware required more power , power which this product could not deliver. Luckily the inventor of this product had thought about it before marketing it and it comes with a 9V direct curret (DC) 500mA socket.

Using this I was able to connect a silicon LED illuminated keyboard and use it properly. However , I was unsuccessful connecting a wireless hardware to the switch, it just didn't work.

LCD monitors can definitely be connected to this switch , either via the VGA port of via a VGA to DVI converter. The poorer VGA quality would stay the same but it's a decent price for being able to control so many machines from 1 interface at a static position.

Control and indicators:

The switch has a button which is 1 CM in diameter right near the LED indicators. Clicking this button makes the product  switch from one hardware set to another , that is from one computer to the next in line. Switching machines makes the correct red LED light turn on and blinking for about 2 seconds before staying solid red - indicating all 3 hardware connectors

of the current computer are connected well. If not , the red LED green would still be blinking.

In addition , hardware sets can be switched by clicking the Scroll Lock button on the keyboard twice and fast. After doing so the red LED indicator would start blinking  , and a time frame of 5 seconds would be opened for the user to switch to the next computer in line by using the up and down arrow keys on the keyboard , going next or to the previous in line computer on the switch.

If during those 5 seconds none of the arrow keys is pushed - the red LED light would go back to be solid red again and pushing the arrow keys would not do any effect.

One piece of hardware like a mouse , not connected to the switch while the entire set is switched on - is enough to make the red LED indicator start blinking.

Overall I find this product very helpful for anyone who has to work with more than one computer for whatever reason.

Pros:

1.       Makes working with more than one computer very simple and easy

2.       Can support up to 4 computers ( and I believe there are bigger versions out there as well)

3.       Gives the freedom using 1 set of hardware (mouse , keyboard, monitor) to control computers that require 1 interface set each - saving physical space , time , power consumption and hassle.

4.       Computers can be switched by using the Scroll Lock key and up and down keys on the keyboard , adding to the ease of use

5.       Comes with a set of 2 or 4 VGA , mouse and keyboard wires ( that is 6 wires total in the 2 computer version and 12 in the 4 computer one)

Cons:

1.       Very ugly - once all 2 or all 4 computers are connected to the switch the nice blue switch turns into something similar to a wire spider monster and it looks bad… if you are concerned about appearance you would better hide it under or behind something. Personally I just put it on the floor so I will be able to see the red LED indicator

2.       Hardware recognition issues - I've had quite a lot of them, sometimes I had to turn all the computers off in order to find what set of interface causes the problem or error , sometimes an error in one hardware set influenced the others and sometimes I had to shut down power supply and connect computers one by one to make the switch work well again.

3.       Scroll Lock - it works but it has its share of erros. Sometimes the switch just didn't switch when needed to and sometimes it just didn't go to switching mode (red LED blinking).

4.       Obsolete connector interfaces - VGA and PS\2 (it's 2013 now)

5.       Wireless hardware cannot be used (at least from my experience)

Price:

I bought it for  17$ at a local computer shop , I believe I can found for a cheaper price on places like E-bay or any other online store.

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