Control Multiple PCs Using the Same Keyboard and Mouse Without Special Hardware

   
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You don't need KVM switches or other special hardware to share a keyboard and mouse on more PCs, If you spend a lot of time working on the computer, you may be one of those people who use at least two machines to improve their productivity. However, constantly switching between PCs can be tedious unless you have a KVM switch that allows you to work on multiple workstations using just one keyboard and mouse.

In this guide, we're going to show you how to install and configure three Windows programs that give you the possibility of using the same keyboard and mouse for working on two or more computers on the same local network without resorting to KVM switches or other special hardware: Mouse without Borders, Synergy and Multiplicity.

Mouse without Borders

When launching Mouse without Borders for the first time, it asks you if you have already installed the application on another PC. Click No to reach another panel with your PC's Security Code and Name. Keep this window open while you install Mouse without Borders on the second PC, click Yes when you're asked the same question, enter the Security Code and Name of the first PC, and click Link.

The synchronization is done in both ways, meaning that you can use the mouse and keyboard from the first PC to control the second or vice versa. Compared to the next two utilities, it's not necessary to tell Mouse without Borders which one is the server and which is the client.

Synergy

When you come across the Server or Client? dialog of Synergy, select Server to make the PC primary (control another computer) and install Synergy on another workstation in your local network to make it the Client (will be controlled by the Server). The roles of the computers (server and client) can be swapped from the main window.

If prompted by a Windows Security Alert, make sure to Allow access for Synergy.

On the Server PC, all you have to do is click Start; the PC will wait for clients to connect. On the Client PC, click the empty box next to Server IP, enter the local or public IP address of the Server PC (they are both next to IP addresses, under the Server box), and click Start.

Once the Client identifies the Server in the local network, the Server PC gets an incoming message where you can drag and drop the Client PC in the grid to point out the direction (the margin where the mouse cursor will enter the Client PC). Click Ok.

 

Multiplicity

After installation, you can set your PC to Be a Primary computer, the one that you will use for controlling others. Next, set up Multiplicity on another workstation in your local network and set it to Be a Secondary computer so that you can control it from the primary PC.

Once you reach the main window, click Add computer from the Seamless tab to open a new panel and Enter the computer name here (of the secondary PC) Or select from the following computers (click a PC name from the list of detected computers in your local network that have Multiplicity installed).

Click Add to open the Configure panel, enter the Passcode of the secondary PC, change its Display name to something recognizable, and click Save. The main window now has the secondary PC displayed in the grid, and Multiplicity establishes the connection.

Settings made in the Seamless tab are different from the ones in the KVM tab. Seamless mode means that the mouse will continuously go to the monitor of the secondary computers, without having to activate any switch. If you want to prevent the cursor from accidentally doing this, however, go to the KVM tab, click Add computer from the bottom side of the window and assign the second PC's name (same procedure as in the Seamless tab).

Next, click the box next to Enter KVM mode and specify a key combination that you will use for switching to the secondary computer. Trigger this hotkey while you're working on the PC to bring up a large Multiplicity panel and click on the PC you wish to Connect to. Alternatively, click Open sidebar next to the hotkey to view a sidebar of computers and choose the one you want to connect to. Its monitor will appear in a large window on the primary computer, so it's similar to working in Teamviewer.

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