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How To Share Keyboard And Mouse Between Two Computers

Olga Weis Olga Weis Oct 28, 2021

The landscape of the modern working world has changed in lieu of 2020. With remote work quickly becoming a widespread option for many organizations, unprecedented needs and hurdles are present like never before. For example, users working from home may require access to a USB mouse or keyboard connected to a remote workstation.

one keyboard two computers

If you’ve ever asked the question “How can I share my mouse and keyboard between computers?”... we’ve got good news!

There is a reliable and easy-to-use mouse and keyboard sharing software, and we’ll go over exactly how it helps you access your devices remotely.

Table of contents:

  1. The best mouse and keyboard sharing software
  2. Alternative USB Device sharing software options
  3. KVM Switch: the hardware option

Share mouse and keyboard between 2 computers with USB Network Gate

USB Network Gate uses a network connection that allows users to easily share, manage, and control multiple USB devices on remote machines. USB Network Gate is so effective that remotely accessed devices behave as if they were physically attached to the machine seeking remote access. That makes USB Network Gate an ideal mouse and keyboard sharing software solution.

Here are just some of the exciting advantages of USB Network Gate:

  • Share an infinite amount of USB devices (like one keyboard two computers capabilities)
  • Freely switch between USB devices since USB Network Gate shares the USB port, not the device itself
  • Give custom names to your USB devices for easy identification
  • Create authorization passwords
  • Enable encryption
  • Access remotely shared devices from virtual machines, remote desktops, and even blade servers

How to share keyboard and mouse: step-by-step tutorial

Follow the steps below to see just how easy mouse and keyboard sharing with USB Network Gate can be!
1
Download and install USB Network Gate on the server i.e. a computer to which your keyboard and mouse will be attached. Launch the application.
 Launch the application
2
In the app’s window you will see ‘Share local USB devices’ tab, where all your available devices are listed. Press ‘Share’ button for those devices you’d like to share.
 Share local USB devices
3
Download and install the app on the client, i.e. a computer that needs access to the shared keyboard and mouse. Launch the application.
4
In the app’s window in the “Remote USB devices” tab locate the required device and click ‘Connect’ to access the device.
5
That’s it!

Freely enjoy the full functionality of your keyboard and mouse, whether they’re in the office next door, or on the other side of the globe!

Most common USB Network Gate use cases

Let’s go over several scenarios where USB Network Gate’s features, reliability, and user-friendliness provide a plethora of solutions when it comes to keyboard and mouse sharing.

✔ How to share mouse and keyboard between 2 computers that aren’t located on the same desk (or even in the same building)

What makes USB Network Gate so advantageous is being able to access a keyboard and mouse connected to another computer without being physically present at the latter machine. Just perform the simple steps outlined above, and you can freely share USB devices between the two computers.

While it’s always a good idea to get up and take regular breaks (especially with modern work life becoming ever more sedentary), the benefits of remote access will save time, frustration, and unnecessary effort for all.

✔ Share mouse and keyboard between Windows and Mac

One key benefit that USB Network Gate holds over competitor software is its cross-compatibility. Regardless of the OS you’re sharing or requesting access from, it’s easily accessible by all computers sharing the network (be they MAC, Windows, Linux, or Android PC!)

✔ Access USB devices in a virtual machine session

USB Network Gate is also incredibly useful when you operate in virtual environments where USB ports may be inaccessible/invisible. This software makes it easy and fast to remotely access a mouse/keyboard via a virtual machine.

✔ Redirect USBs from a “Thin” client

Easily managing remote devices is especially important for those using a “thin client” (AKA a computer lacking a hard drive.) Such machines rely on other computers (instead of servers) to host applications, memory features, sensitive data, etc…
(Note: Server functionality will vary wildly.)

✔ Controlling apps and special hardware

Having full control over a remote mouse and keyboard can be used for more than just accessing admin-related work content. If you have specific programs or a home theatre system you’d like to manage without switching manually between multiple tools, USB Network Gate makes accessing the proper USB devices simple and fast.

Try USB Network Gate now
Free trial

Other USB device sharing software options

While USB Network Gate is a fantastic option, there’s still a wide variety of software to try when users want to switch keyboard and mouse between computers (as well as access additional/alternative devices remotely.)

Synergy by Symless

Synergy is the most popular entry in this industry, though currently transitioning into new territory with its software. While it has a fairly complex setup process, Synergy (and Barrier) works great once the setup is complete.

Synergy screenshot

icon pros Pros.

  • Unlimited number of machines you can share a keyboard and mouse between;
  • Offers a shared clipboard;
  • Runs on the background (Windows-only);
  • Customizable hotkeys.

icon cons Cons.

  • Challenging set up;
  • No longer open source.

Input Director by The OpenSSL Project

For Windows users interested in reliable sharing software, and aren’t afraid of a more time-consuming setup than USB Network Gate, Input Director is a great option. It provides a variety of helpful security, hotkey, and bonus features- but could be frustrating for novices.

Input Director GUI

icon pros Pros.

  • Great security features;
  • Customizable hotkeys;
  • Runs smoothly.

icon cons Cons.

  • Difficult set up (especially for anyone who isn’t tech-savvy);
  • Trouble finding other machines;
  • Only works for Windows.

ShareMouse by Bartels Media

ShareMouse is a fantastic option that offers cross-compatibility and virtually no setup. However, it can have somewhat spotty connectivity, and the drag and drop feature is only available with the paid Pro plan.

ShareMouse Monitor Manager

icon pros Pros.

  • Free version for personal use (2 PCs only);
  • Compatible with MS Windows and macOS;
  • Drag-and-Drop function;

icon cons Cons.

  • Drag and drop only offered with the Pro version;
  • Hotkeys only available for the paid version.
  • Not Linux or Android device compatible;
  • Can’t use it to operate a remote PC;

Mouse Without Borders

Mouse Without Borders offers an extremely beginner-friendly setup and reliable mouse and keyboard sharing. Once installed, just enter the appropriate codes and automatically connect. Unfortunately, it’s only compatible with Windows computers.

icon pros Pros.

  • Free;
  • Reliable;
  • ability to connect multiple accounts for one cloud;

icon cons Cons.

  • Windows only;
  • Still in an “experimental” stage.

Remote Desktop

Remote Desktop is built into most Windows 10 machines, and makes it super easy to access a remote mouse or keyboard on another PC. It works extremely well, but isn’t cross-platform compatible. Additionally, only computers with Windows Pro or Windows Enterprise can be accessed.

Remote Desktop Connection

icon pros Pros.

  • You can find a free solution;
  • No distance limitations;
  • Cross-platform-compatible.

icon cons Cons.

  • Multi-computer management can be confusing;
  • Requires a stable Internet connection to work;
  • Connections aren’t always safe and secure.

KVM Switch: the hardware option

Hardware like KVM switches used to be the main way to share mouse and keyboard access between computers (before software appeared and made it a much more streamlined process.)

Switches like the HDMI JideTech model (or DisplayPort IOGear model) behave as a basic A/B switch. Switching a keyboard/mouse between computers happens with just the press of a button.

It is strongly recommended to research which KVM switch will work best for your situation, as their functionality, features, and reliability can vary.

Black Box USB-C 4K KVM Switch

icon pros Pros.

  • Very very simple and straight-forward;
  • Compatible with other USB devices (microphones, speakers, etc);
  • Windows and Mac OS X compatible.

icon cons Cons.

  • Lacks the convenience of digital software;
  • Too many wires;
  • Not free;
  • Effectiveness depends on the distance between two computers and devices.

Conclusion

We hope this article has helped answer the questions:

  • How can I use one mouse for two laptops?
  • How do I share my mouse and keyboard between two computers (Windows 10)?
  • And beyond…

The task to share mouse and keyboard between computers is quite simple, and there are more than enough software options on the market to experiment with.

We like USB Network Gate because it’s reliable, easy-to-use, and offers a ton of flexibility since it shares USB ports instead of specific USB devices.

Regardless of which remote sharing software or hardware you choose to use, giving your workflow the added convenience of remotely accessing USB devices from a distance is a valuable asset.

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Also Available: USB Network Gate is a cross-platform solution compatible with Mac, Linux and Android OSes:

UNG for Mac

UNG for Linux

UNG for Android