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Nowadays, it’s not unusual to operate two (or even more) computers in parallel. There are a great many people using both a work laptop and a personal one on a daily basis, while also owning a desktop PC or a Mac. Switching between all those keyboards, mice and touchpads can be a bother, and, in addition to it, they tend to really clutter up the working space on a desk.
The good news is that there is a way to fix the said issue — you can just share a mouse and a keyboard between computers. For this article, we’ve collected some of the most convenient software- and hardware-based solutions. We're hoping at least one of them will be the optimal one for you.
Table of contents:
USB Network Gate (also known as USB over Ethernet) is a professional-grade software application with amazingly powerful capabilities. It can do much more than just share a keyboard and mouse between two computers.
Where other apps and gadgets fall to defeat, USB Network Gate never fails to provide you reliable and secure access to all kinds of USB devices from any spot on Earth.
With its help, you can easily share a USB device with your teammates so there’s no need to spend up on extra gadgets for all and sundry. Just think about cost-saving opportunities!
Now you can use the functionality of the keyboard and mouse you have connected, i.e. you can access them as if they were plugged into your machine.
One of the key advantages of using USB Network Gate is that you won’t have to get out of your chair and come up to a colleague’s machine every time you need to use it. Instead you can just share your mouse across computers (and keyboard, if need be). While some extra body movement is always welcome in sedentary office life, better not have it at the cost of someone’s destruction from their work.
Unlike some other apps, USB Network Gate will save you any trouble with cross-platform compatibility. Whatever OS is on a PC you choose to share a USB device, it will be accessible from all machines in your network, be it a Windows, Linux, Mac or Android PC.
Remote access to your keyboard and mouse is also required when you work in a virtual environment where USB ports are not always visible and reachable
Being able to manage devices remotely becomes of critical importance if you are using a ‘thin client’, i.e. a computer without a hard drive. These computers depend on other machines or rather servers to provide features such as hosting applications, sensitive data, memory, etc. The functionality of these servers may vary significantly. So-called ‘fat client’, on the contrary, performs all the tasks by itself.
Synergy is a software application designed specifically for mouse and keyboard sharing between several computers over Ethernet or WiFi networks. Works for Windows, Linux, and Mac PCs. Once you’ve installed the app, you can freely move your mouse between computers, copy/paste using a shared clipboard, and even customize some hotkeys for added convenience.
Another app that allows you to operate multiple computers with a single keyboard and mouse. Except, this one is for Windows only.
For further information refer here.
ShareMouse is one of the most hassle-free mouse sharing apps with basic functionality. It’s really simple-to-operate — once you’ve installed it on all the PCs you need to control, they'll be automatically recognized and connected. To switch between computers, just move your mouse pointer to another screen or use a hotkey.
Note, that all the computers must be connected to the same network. Put bluntly, ShareMouse is best suited for controlling two (or more) machines located right next to each other — preferably, on the same desk.
This device allows you to operate multiple computers not looped in a network via a single monitor, single keyboard, and single mouse. You only need to attach your keyboard and mouse to this device and connect it to the computers, the device would have a switch for USB ports and computers to activate one at a time.
You can use KVM switches to share not only keyboards and mice but other devices as well such as microphones and speakers. The switches work with both Windows and Mac machines.
The last but not least method of keyboard and mouse sharing between two computers is using a Remote Desktop. That’s either an operating system feature or a dedicated software application that helps you access any computer remotely through a local network or the Internet and get full control over all its resources and services.
Sure thing, “all resources” do include both keyboard and mouse. Though, it’s not the most common application for Remote Desktop. Presently in most cases, it’s used to access files and accounts on the work computer back in the office while staying at home or traveling.
To set up a Remote Desktop session, the Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) client uses the multichannel protocol called Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). By default, all the RDP connections are made through the TCP-port 3389, or the TCP-port 443 (HTTPS) for a remote desktop gateway.