Multitask With KVM Switch

Stephen Yagielowicz
Do you work on multiple computers? Do you have a desk that looks like it came out of the latest sci-fi flick? Do you have to clear a space to even write a Post-It note?

Then you might be interested in a KVM switch. KVM — short for keyboard, video, mouse — switches will let you use two, three, four or more computers with only one mouse, keyboard and monitor. Ranging in price from $150- $500, these devices can be space- and life-savers.

KVM switches are popular among users who have upgraded their home computer systems but still want to use their old computers without buying a bunch of new hardware. Businesses use them to save money, and server farms — businesses that house large numbers of servers in one place — use them when they only need to access one server at a time.

The downside? If you're an avid instant messenger, it's easy to miss a new message when it arrives on the monitor you're not using. (Hint: If you have speakers, keep them on and enable the audio alerts for your IM programs.)

Other than that, the KVM switch is a great benefit for those with too many computers. Add a wireless mouse and keyboard and you're really getting somewhere. KVM switches are available on-line or at any computer outlet.