Top 10 Best KVM Switch Reviews For The Money 2020
As technology progresses, computers are becoming affordable. More and more consumers are investing in secondary computers or laptops for work and multimedia purposes. Similarly, there has been a steep increase in servers a company uses.
To control PCs, you need input peripherals such as a keyboard and mouse. The problem is, excess input peripherals lead to hardware clutter and additional costs. This is where KVM switches come into play.
KVM switches are simple hardware devices that allow you to control multiple computers with a single set of keyboard, mouse, and monitor locally. The device comes with a host of benefits. It improves your productivity, streamlines workflow, and cuts unnecessary costs. It is a dream device for multitaskers!
When looking for the best KVM switch, it is necessary that you perform your homework upfront. But don't worry, we have got you covered. We will explore some of the finest KVM switch options on the market that will meet your multitasking needs.
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What Is A KVM Switch And What Are The Benefits Of Using It?
A KVM switch also is known as a 'Keyboard Video Mouse' switch is a device that allows you to control and manage multiple computers with one set of keyboard, mouse, and monitor. Using KVM switches comes with a wide range of benefits. Here are some of them:
Ability To Control Multiple Computers
KVM switches give you control of multiple computers simultaneously. Every computer connected to the unit is controlled by a single set of input peripherals and a monitor. You don't have to go through the hassle of cable swapping and switching between multiple computers. Simply alternate between by pressing a button.
Using KVM eliminates the use of separate keyboards, mouse, and monitor for each PC. This saves costs as you don't have to invest in additional computer equipment.
As you simply need a keyboard, mouse, and monitor you don't require additional hardware to control multiple PCs. This saves office space, and much-needed server rack space. It also reduces cluttering as there are less hardware and wires to deal with.
Reduce Power Consumption
Computer hardware requires power to operate. As KVM switches help you cut down additional hardware, less power will be consumed. This results in low electrical costs.
Supports Multiple USB devices
Some KVM switches supports external storage and multimedia devices such as Blu-ray players and gaming consoles. It also eliminates the need for having separate USB hubs.
Our Reviews of Top 12 Best KVM Switch
1. IOGEAR 4-Port USB VGA Cable KVM Switch with Cables and Remote
The KVM switch from IOGEAR is an affordable and convenient solution for people who like to use multiple desktop configurations. With this device, you can switch up to 4 PCs with a simple press of a button.
The device is targeted more towards home users. It has a keyboard, mouse, and monitor input that allows you to share them across 4 different PCs or laptops.
What makes this device compelling is that it is very easy to set up. You will not require additional cables to connect with separate PCs as they are all built into the device.
You don't have to install any drivers to make it work. Simply plug the cables to your desktops and you're ready to go.
KVM devices have a button that allows you to switch between different PC. The button is built into the hardware itself. This device has a remote switch instead, which is separate from the main hardware.
This allows you to keep the hardware hidden from view by stashing everything under the desk. You can easily cycle between the PCs by a click of a button.
There is no restriction on what kind of OS the computers are running. It has support for most operating systems such as Windows, Mac, Linux, and more.
The compact unit supports a resolution of up to 2048x1536 pixels. Also, the 4-foot long molded-in cables make setting up the device quick and easy.
2. 4 Port VGA KVM with USB Hub
This KVM switch from JideTech is a great solution if you are looking to control multiple PCs without having input peripherals for each of them.
JideTech's simple plug and play solution is incredibly easy to use. The device has a high-quality chipset that reduces any chances of a computer crash. Furthermore, it prevents the keyboard and mouse from freezing.
You don't need any adapters to use the unit. It features USB 2.0 ports for your keyboard and mouse. You can also connect your printer with this device.
Additionally, there is a port that allows you to connect your speakers or microphone. The ports are located on the side, which makes it easy to connect the input peripherals.
It supports a max resolution of 2048x1536 pixels. It also features DDC and Automatic identification for high quality, distortion-free output.
The unit comes with 4 KVM cables that can be connected to 4 separate desktops. You can effortlessly cycle through them by a single press of a button.
The compact shape makes the device easy to store. You can hide all the cables by placing the unit under your desk.
Controlling multiple PCs from a single device has never been so easy. The device can be used for multiple purposes.
It is ideal for enterprise, multimedia, and office use. This 4-port KVM switch from JideTech is a dependable solution that is affordable and performs as well as some of the high-tier KVMs on the market.
3. TRENDnet 2-Port USB KVM Switch and Cable Kit
TRENDnet's 2-port KVM switch is an ideal choice for managing 2 PCs. The compact shape and affordable price tag make it perfect for personal use.
Setting up your PCs with this device is straightforward. You don't have to go through the daunting process of installing specialized software to make it work.
It includes two KVM cables that need to be connected to your PC. Simply connect your keyboard, mouse, and VGA monitor with the device and you're good to go.
The compact device doesn’t require an adapter to power it. The power is supplied by the cables that are connected to your PC. Also, the small size doesn’t take up much space on your desk.
Cycling between different computers requires a simple press of a button. The toggle switch is placed on the face of the device which makes it convenient for users to alternate between two different computers easily.
It also has an auto-scanning feature and you can use predefined hotkeys commands on your Windows PCs.
The device has ports that allow you to connect your microphone and speaker. This means that you don't need to use separate audio sets for each of the two PCs. You can effortlessly listen to music while working on the other PC.
The device is compatible with most operating systems. You can run different operating systems like Windows and Mac using the same input peripherals and monitor.
The TRENDnet 2-port KVM is a competitively priced device that is affordable and easy to use. If you are looking to manage 2 PCs at your home, this KVM switch is an excellent choice!
4. UGREEN USB KVM Switch Box 2 Port VGA Video Sharing Adapter
The KVM switch from UGREEN is a cost-effective solution that allows you to manage 2 computers. If you are looking for a device that allows you to multitask using two PCs, then this is the perfect product for the job!
The sleek and compact KVM is incredibly lightweight, making it portable. Setting up the device is a breeze. Simply connect your USB mouse, keyboard, and your VGA monitor to the device.
The two PCs are also connected to the device with KVM cables that need to be bought separately. The device has multiple ports. It features 2 USB Type A and Type B connectors, and 3 VGA connectors.
It doesn't require a separate power adapter as the device is powered by the connected PCs. The unit does not require any software to function.
Alternating between 2 different PCs is very easy. On the face of the device is a button that allows you to seamlessly switch between the PCs.
It supports high definition resolutions. The 1920x1440 pixel resolution provides clear images and video quality.
UGREEN’s KVM is compatible with most operating systems. You can easily use the device with computers running Windows XP and above. It can also be used with computers with MAC, Linux, Netware, WINNIT, Win3, and UNIX operating systems.
The switch is designed to boost your productivity at your home or office. The premium chipset provides high performance. The KVM switch from UGREEN is an effective solution for your multitasking needs!
5. IOGEAR GCS632U 2 Port VGA USB Compact KVM
With the IOGEAR GCS632U, you will be able to simultaneously switch and control 2 computers with ease!
To setup, the device, simply connect your keyboard, mouse, and VGA monitor on one end. From the other end, connect the included KVM cables with your desktop or laptop, and it is ready to be used.
It is a self-powered KVM switch that draws power from the connected components. The GCS6320 provides 32-bit color and supports resolutions of up to 2048x1536 pixels.
The GCS632U comes with two remarkable features. It has a USB sniffing feature that allows the device to seamlessly perform dual-console operation without any interruption.
It also has support for audio, so you can share multimedia output devices between the two computers.
The KVM switch is designed to support multiple platforms. Apart from windows PCs, you can use Sun Solaris Systems and Mac computers. The GCS632U makes platform extension a breeze. The device may require a driver install.
It comes with two 6 foot long molded-in cables that make setting up easy. The long cables give you sufficient space for connecting multiple computers.
Although the cables are built-in to the device, it is still portable. One of the advantages of having embedded cables is that you don't have to worry about losing them.
The device helps boost security by allowing users to switch between computers that are connected using an internet connection and an intranet connection. The GCS632U is an affordable and effective solution for controlling two computers.
6. Rosewill RKV-17001 2-Port USB Cable KVM Switch with Audio
Looking for a simple yet effective solution to control 2 PCs simultaneously? Then the Rosewill RKV-17001 is exactly what you are looking for!
In contrast to some of the high-tier KVM devices, the RKV-17001 is affordable and gets the job done. It has built-in KVM wires that can be easily connected to two different computers.
The device itself is small and compact. Although the wires are not detachable, it is still lightweight and portable.
The device supports multiple platforms. It can be used with the common windows-based machine, as well as Linux, Mac, and Sun supported systems. The RKV-17001 doesn't require any software to function.
It is a plug-n-play device that needs to be connected to your USB keyboard, mouse, VGA monitor, and two computers.
If you don't like using wired peripherals, no problem. The device can support a wireless keyboard and mouse without any issues.
The DynaSync technology helps eliminate any booting problems and also provides the optimum resolution when alternating different ports.
The RKV-17001 supports a maximum resolution of 2048x1536 pixels providing great quality images and videos.
It also features speaker support. If your speaker has a USB input connector, then you will be able to use the mini audio input.
Alternately, you can use a USB-to-Audio adapter and share sound between two different computers using this device.
Cycling between different computers is very simple. Although it doesn't support any keyboard hotkeys, you can easily switch between devices by a simple press of a button.
7. HDMI KVM Switch 16 Ports
The JideTech HDMI KVM switch can connect up to 16 different computers. It is a perfect solution for enterprise or large offices where multiple devices need to be monitored simultaneously.
The device is compatible with most operating systems. Apart from the commonly used windows-based systems, the KVM unit can also handle Linux, macOS, Sun MicroSystems, and more.
All computers are connected to the device via detachable KVM cables. The computers don't need to be turned off in order to detach the cable.
I can be plugged in and out at any time. This allows you to quickly connect or disconnect PCs from the KVM switch. This requires an external power source.
The device supports LED displays that have HDMI inputs. It also supports the commonly used VGA resolutions up to 1920x1440 pixels at a fresh rate of 60Hz. This makes the device an ideal solution for monitoring server rooms consisting of a large number of computers.
There are two ways to alternate between the connected devices. Users can change computer inputs using the push button located on the hardware itself or use the hot-keys on their keyboard. Switching between several PCs is quick, and easy.
It features an auto-scan function. This allows you to sequentially switch between the connected devices automatically in preset intervals. By using this feature, you don't have to manually alternate between the computers.
The device possesses all the qualities of the best KVM switch. It is extremely well built as the all-metal housing increases it durability and gives a premium feel to it. It also features a high tier chipset that prevents the connected computers and peripherals from crashing.
8. TESmart 4-Port HDMI KVM Switch
The TESmart 4-Port KVM is the right device to manage desktops, laptops, or video streaming devices.
It is compatible with just about any operating system. You can use Windows, macOS, Linux or any other OS. You can also connect your gaming consoles, AppleTV, and more. All the connected devices can be effortlessly switched in an instant.
The device has multiple features that stand out from other KVMs on the market. It provides a true ultra HD resolution at a refresh rate of 60 Hz. The device can be connected to any 4K display and provides a premium visual experience for the user.
There is no delay when switching between inputs, and the EDID technology maintains a correct resolution at all times.
The unit can also receive and transmit audio via HDMI connections. Alternatively, the user can access their external sound system through the audio mini-jack in order to get premium audio quality.
The KVM comes with remote control, power supply, and 2 high-quality KVM cables. The supplied KVM cables are capable of transmitting 18gbs, which allows for the full ultra HD experience with a capable 4k monitor.
For ease of use, the cables have both HDMI and USB ends that can be used independently of each other.
The device doesn’t require any software installation to operate, and the installation is simply plug-n-play. Simply connect the KVM cables with computers and the switch. Then connect your peripherals, LED monitor, and the included power supply.
Operating the device is simple. You can change the inputs using the remote control, built-in switch button on the hardware, or hot-keys on your keyboard.
9. ieGeek USB KVM Switch Box
The ieGeek USB KVM provides flawless performance at an affordable cost!
This KVM unit allows you to connect up to 4 computers. To use this device, simply connect your USB keyboard and mouse. Then connect your display via a VGA cable. The device does not require an external power supply as it draws power from the connected devices.
ieGeek's lightweight and portable KVM switch come with 4 KVM cables. The cables are 1.5m in length which is sufficient. It is a plug-n-play device that doesn't require any complicated software to function.
The switch button is located on the face of the device. This makes switching between different inputs quick and easy. Furthermore, the compact shape of the device won’t take up much space on our desk.
You can keep it nearby whenever you have to quickly change inputs. The unit supports a wide range of operating systems. You can use Netware, Windows, macOS, Linux without any issues.
The device supports resolutions of up to 1920 x 1440 pixels. The high resolution provides a clear and stable image quality.
For convenience, the unit comes with LED indicators that let you know which PC is currently being operated. The markings also are clearly labeled on the device.
The switch transition is great. Pressing the button instantly changes the inputs. It also has an auto-scan feature that switches inputs automatically at regular intervals.
ieGeek’s KVM switch is an excellent device for managing multiple computers. It is ideal for workstations, test benches, or anywhere where multitasking with several computers is required.
10. AV Access KVM Switch Switcher HDMI 2.0 4 Port
If you are looking for a good quality KVM switch, then this is the ideal product for you. This KVM device from AV Access is loaded with features that will meet the needs of a multitasking consumer.
The device can be connected with four different PCs. Installing the switch is very simple. Connect your USB keyboard, mouse, and monitor to the unit. Using KVM cables, connect your PCs, laptops, gaming consoles to the device, and you're ready to go.
It features 4 sets of HDMI and USB ports. You can seamlessly alternate between the inputs by pressing the switch button located on the hardware.
There are two ports for audio application. The mic and audio ports allow you to use one speaker and microphone that will work will all the connected devices.
Apart from computers, you can connect the unit with Apple TV, amazon fire, Blu-ray players, cable boxes and more. It supports 4K resolution and has a refresh rate of 60Hz.
The high resolution provides clear image quality and is perfect for watching 4K content. The unit has multiple LED indicators for user's convenience.
Also, the plug-n-play device requires no software installation so you don't have to deal with frequent driver updates. Switching between devices is very quick. It exhibits no delay or input lag from the peripherals.
It is a compact unit that has excellent build quality. You can keep the device on your desk for easy access or mount it on any vertical surface using the included mounting brackets.
11. Sea Wit 4 Port HDMI KVM Switch 4K with Remote Control
Sea Wit’s 4-port KVM switch is meant for users operating multiple computer systems simultaneously. It boosts productivity and provides seamless performance.
The unit is designed to handle 4 computers simultaneously. Simply connect your wired or wireless peripherals, monitor and the computers to the switch. It is a plug-n-play device that requires no driver installation.
The KVM supports multiple device types. Apart from PCs, you can connect servers, NVR, gaming consoles, Apple TV, and more. It also has two USB ports that allow you to share content via external hard drives, and output devices such as printers and scanners.
It supports HD video resolutions of up to 3840 x 2160 pixels. With a refresh rate of 30Hz, you can watch lag-free video content without compromising clarity. The HDMI 1.4A port also supports lower resolutions such as 1080p, and 1080i.
The device has four switching modes. You can alter between the four inputs by pressing the button located on the hardware. You can also change inputs by using customizable hot-key on your keyboard, mouse, or from the supplied remote control.
There is no delay when switching between the inputs. It also features an auto-scan that alternates between the inputs at fixed intervals.
The KVM is compatible with various commonly-used platforms. The EDID technology allows users to smoothly transition between systems that have Windows, Linux, and Mac operating systems.
It has incredible build quality. The full-metal enclosure increases the durability of the unit. The convenient features and the build quality of the product make it one of the best KVM switches on the market.
12. ULBRE Soho KVM Switch 4 Port Sharing Box Selector
If you are looking for a simple and portable KVM that fits in your pocket than this is the ideal product for you.
With this KVM, you can switch between two computers. The device features 4 USB 3.0 ports which allows you to connect peripheral devices such as a keyboard and mouse. You can also connect storage devices such as external hard drives or USB drives with the KVM.
The device features fast USB 3.0 ports. The data transfer speed rate up to 5GB/s, which is faster than the commonly found USB 2.0. The KVM comes packaged with two 1.5m USB 3.0 cables.
This is useful when transferring data between high-bandwidth devices such as external hard drives. Switching between two computers requires a simple press of a button.
The unit takes 1 second to switch between inputs. Although the device doesn’t have an HDMI or VGA port to connect a monitor, you can connect one by using a USB to HDMI adapter.
It doesn't require an external power source to work. It is powered from the connected devices. In case you need devices that require a lot of power such as a printer or scanner, then you have to power the KVM through a power adapter. It has a micro USB 5V power interface for external power sources.
It is a plug-n-play device that requires no driver installation. It is compatible with both 32 and 64-bit Windows operating systems. It also works with macOS, Linux, and Sun Solaris systems.
Things To Consider Before Buying KVM Switch
Number Of Sources
KVM switches come with multiple port options. The ports determine how many sources you can simultaneously use. For expandability reasons, it is safe to get a switch that has more ports than you initially require. This allows you to connect additional PCs in the future if needed.
Video Output Type
KVM switches support a wide range of video types. Some units are compatible with analog, digital, or both video connector types.
The most commonly supported connectors that KVMs support is VGA and HDMI. Some of the latest switches support USB-C and thunderbolt.
Depending on the type of switch, they can support Full HD or 4K resolution. The cheaper devices tend to offer lower resolution whereas the top-tier KVMs support 4K. Select the higher-end variants if the monitor you use supports 4K resolution.
Most KVMs these days contain speakers and microphone ports for audio applications. The audio from multiple PCs will have the same source. Consider the switch with audio ports as you may need to hook up your speaker system for media content.
Number Of USB Ports
Some KVM switch houses multiple USB ports that allow you to connect your keyboard and mouse. Some units come with additional ports for storage devices such as external hard drives and flash drives. You can also connect USB printers with them.
Additional ports are always better if you want to connect USB devices. Make sure you chose the switches that come with USB 3.0 ports as they transfer data much faster than the commonly used USB 2.0 ports.
The cable length is an important consideration to make. Some KVMs come with built-in cables that cannot be detached whereas others may require you to purchase them separately. Select bigger cables if the source is located far away from the switch.
Ways To Switch Inputs
Some KVM devices requires a press of a button to change inputs. There are other variants that supports hot key switching. This allows you to alternate between inputs by simply pressing a button combination on your keyboard.
The best KVM switch models sometimes come with a remote control. This allows you to remotely change inputs with pressing any buttons on the keyboard or the switch itself.
Remote comes in handy if the switch is placed is a location that is harder to reach, such as the top of a server rack.
How To Take Care And Maintain KVM Switch?
Like all electronic devices, KVM switches require proper care and maintenance to function properly. Here are some of the ways you can take care of the device:
Keeping the device cool is important. Most KVM switch doesn't have internal fans to blow the hot air off the device. It has a chip that can easily get hot if kept in hot and humid places. This may cause issues such as malfunctions and freezing. Place the device in a well-ventilated area.
2. Keep It Clean
Dust is one of the major factors that contribute to hardware failure. When dust accumulates, it heats the device causing it to malfunction. Always remember to brush off any coat of dust that forms over time. You can also use a blower to remove any dust from the internals of the hardware.
3. Avoid Keeping It In Congested Places
It is best to keep the device in an area where it won't be congested. As the device will be connected with multiple cables, sufficient room is required to keep it cool. Furthermore, the device should be easy to reach as you will be constantly changing PC inputs.
4. Avoid Eating Or Drinking Near The Switch.
Liquid spills damage the hardware. It is one of the most common reasons for hardware failure. If the switch is accidentally exposed to liquids, it may result in permanent damage rendering the hardware useless.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How Do I Set Up My KVM Switch?
Setting up a KVM switch doesn't require much effort. Anyone with little knowledge about KVMs will be able to set all the connections. Simply turn off all the devices that will be connected to the
KVM switch. If your unit comes with an external power source, then connect it. After that connect your monitor and input peripherals to the unit.
Then use the KVM cables to connect the PCs to the switch, and turn on all the devices. The switch button will allow you to alternate between the connected PCs.
2. Does KVM Switch Require A Power Source?
Small KVM units don't usually require an external power source. Such variants simply connect all your devices and peripherals. They draw power from the connected devices to work.
There are some KVM switches that have a DC input. In case you connect power-hungry devices such as printers, you would need to connect the supplied power adapter to the switch.
The enterprise-level KVMs do require power adapters as they handle a large number of computers. If you are looking for an affordable KVM for household use, you won't require an external power unit.
3. How Much Space Does A KVM Switch Require?
This depends on the KVM switch variant. These switches come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. If you are looking for a simple switch to control 2 or 4 computers, then they won't take up much desk space due to the small size.
Large KVM switches used for offices or enterprises will take up a considerable amount of space. You also have to account for the wires that are connected to the switch as it will require some room as well.
4. Does KVM Switch Support Audio?
Some KVM switches do support audio. They have built-in audio inputs for audio applications. You can easily hook up your speaker and microphone to the built-in ports. All the connected devices will share the same speaker that is connected to the switch.
5. What Is Hot Key Switching?
Hot Key switching is a way of altering between several inputs. Rather than pushing the switch button on the KVM, hotkey switching allows you to change inputs by pressing a combination of keys on your keyboard or hitting specific key multiple times.
Using Hot Keys, changing inputs between various connected devices is quick and easy.
6. What Are The Types Of KVM Switches?
There are multiple varieties of KVM switches available on the market. The device comes in a wide range of sizes and configurations. It usually comes in 4, 8, 16, and 32 port configurations.
The USB KVM switch allows you to hook up your input peripherals using USB cables. These generally plug and play switches that allow you to connect your hard drives, printers, scanners, etc. through USB.
The HDMI KVM switch is perfect if you have a high definition monitor. This variant provides high resolution. Monitors are connected via HDMI which is ideal for viewing high-quality multimedia.
The KVM over IP switches allow users to control all PCs or servers over the internet no from anywhere.
7. How Is The KVM Switch Controlled?
This varies from device to device. Their primary function is to switch between multiple computers. Normally this is done by pressing the switch button on the hardware itself.
Some devices also support hot hey switching. This allows you to alter between the connected PCs by pressing a combination of buttons. Other variants come with remote control that allows you to change inputs remotely.
8. What Is The Difference Between A Console Server And A KVM Switch?
A KVM switch allows you to control and manage two or more PCs simultaneously. Apart from PCs, these devices can be used to control servers such as print and domain servers.
An important distinction between them is that the KVM switch controls nearby devices such as those located in the next room or the same building.
Console servers allow users to control a wide range of network devices located both at local and remote locations. Console servers can control and manage servers, Firewalls, routers and more.
A decade ago if someone told you that you can manage your computer, laptop, Blu-Ray player, and gaming console through a single device, it would have been hard to believe. But now we know it is possible.
KVM switch is getting popular by the day as consumers are investing more in multimedia devices. The issue of cable swapping and switching is a thing of the past.
People love the idea of having a central station where they can control all their computers and other multimedia devices.
The best KVM switch can be hard to find if you don’t know what to look for, as there are so many variants in the market.
In this article, we have compiled a list of switches that we believe will be the best fit for your setup. We hope our article helped you to make an informed decision.