If you own multiple computers, setting up a separate keyboard and mouse for each one can be expensive and occupy desk space as well. The overall computer setup will also look untidy with poor cable management. And switching the keyboard and mouse cables on different computers over and over again can be a hassle.
To overcome this, you can simultaneously share a single peripheral, i.e., your mouse and keyboard, over multiple computers. USB/KVM switches and software applications that support seamless sharing of your keyboard, mouse, and monitors on up to four computers.
Using KVM/USB Switches
The hardware solution for sharing your peripherals with multiple computers is to use KVM or USB switches. The KVM switches have Input/Output ports where you can plug in your peripherals and use them over different computers.
The switches can offer connectivity to up to four computers. This lets you share your mouse and keyboard with all of the computers connected to the KVM. You can switch the peripherals over different computers by just pressing a button.
Here’s how to set up the KVM switch for the keyboards and mouse to work on multiple devices.
- Connect the keyboard and mouse to the USB input port of the KVM switch.
- Connect each of the computers to a port group of the switch using the USB cables.
- Switch the keyboard and mouse over the computer by pressing the push button.
The downside of using this switch is that it is not suitable for sharing a wireless mouse and keyboard. Also, for the wired mouse and keyboard, the transition while switching between the computers is not seamless.
There are different software alternatives to use your keyboard and mouse over multiple computers. If you want to share these peripherals over multiple Windows-based computers, Microsoft’s mouse without border will be the right option to choose.
It supports up to four devices at a time. However, for this application to work, all of the devices must be connected to the same network.
- Download Microsoft Garage Mouse without Borders and install it on all of your Windows devices.
- Once the installation is complete, open the application.
- On your primary computer, select option No. This will generate a security code for the main computer.
- Head on to your other computer and open the application.
- Select Yes and enter the security code and the computer’s name of the primary device. The application will establish a connection between all of your computers.
- Finally, you will be able to use your mouse and keyboard on different computers.
Other than this, you can drag and drop files or copy text or images from one computer to another using this app. However, if your internet connection is slow or not stable you may experience latency issues and also frequent stuttering.
Moreover, If you want to share the keyboard and mouse with multiple computers running on different OS platforms, an application like Synergy would be the best option. Synergy is compatible with macOS, Windows, Linux, and even Raspberry Pi platform.
Using Multi-Device Keyboard and Mouse
There are some keyboards and Mouse available in the market that can operate on multiple computers at the same time. The Logitech K780 keyboard and the MX Master 3 mice are some examples of such multidevice peripherals.
The prerequisite for this kind of mouse and keyboard is that you need to get the computers on the same network. Once configured, the multi-device mouse and keyboard can support up to 3 computers and make transitions between them.
Here are the steps you can use to set up a multi-device Mouse and Keyboard. This process is totally based on Logitech’s multidevice peripherals. However, these steps will be similar for the mouse and keyboard from other manufacturers.
- Ensure that the mouse and the keyboard are turned on.
- Go to the Bluetooth Options on the computer.
- Click on Add device and pair the peripherals to the computer.
- Follow the same steps to pair the mouse and keyboard on other systems as well.
- Now, download the Logitech options and install it. Users with multi-device mice and keyboards from other brands can download control software that is compatible with their devices.
- Run the software and enable the Logitech Flow on all of your computers.
- Configure the other settings such as the monitor arrangement.
- Finally, check if you are able to control multiple systems with a single mouse and a keyboard.