Like me, are you also having multiple computers for different purposes and you go to each of them to run required application? This scenario is very much familiar for those who needs to test things on different platforms or required to provide technical support to other employees. Sometimes you may also need to move files from one computer to another on the same network and at the same time organize the files properly. For system administrators in small or medium size companies where 20+ computers are running on the same network, you may need to lock all computers at once. If your answer is yes, then do you want to share your main computer’s keyboard and mouse with others so that you don’t need to go to each of them to input something or give instructions or do things using their keyboard and mouse.
Earlier we had discussed the use of KVM switches but that option is of limited use KVM switches comes with limited number of PC connection. Here are some software for accessing different computers from single keyboard and mouse.
Synergy for Seamless Sharing of Mouse and Keyboard
[su_note]Synergy is a paid solution with pricing of $19 for Basic pack and $29 for Pro pack. If you are looking for a free software to allow sharing one mouse and keyboard to multiple computers, some alternatives are mentioned at the end of the article.[/su_note]
You will have to install Synergy on each computer and then use the tool to share that computer on Synergy. Now your main computer will work as a server to its keyboard and mouse will be available for other computers as well. That means, you can access them without leaving your own place.
I tried Synergy on computers with different operating systems as well. For example, one of my PC is running Windows 7 and other is on Ubuntu Linux, Synergy worked really well and I am able to access my Ubuntu System using Windows 7 keyboard and mouse. Synergy is available to download for OS like Windows (XP/Vista/7), Ubuntu, Mac, Debian, Fedora, Red Hat.
How to setup Synergy on Multiple Computers
– Once you will install Synergy on your computer, you will see this window. Make your own computer as server by selecting “Share this computer’s keyboard and mouse (server)”.
– Install Synergy on other computers and select “Use another computer’s shared keyboard and mouse (client)” from the above like window.
– Click on “Hot Keys” to set a keyboard shortcut to swap between multiple computers connected on LAN and having Synergy client setup.
– You need to use “Screen Name” i.e. Computer’s name or Local IP address to add and access them.
– Click on “Start” and and then click on the Synergy Icon in system tray to see the status of other computers connected thru server. If they are connected, you can use the Hot Key set by you to swap between them. This way you can use same keyboard and mouse with all your computers connected thru LAN.
Checkout the demo of Synergy to understand it better
Important Note: Synergy Basic version doesn’t encrypt any data and that’s why it is not suggested to use Synergy on un-trusted network. That means, you should use Synergy on your Home / Trusted LAN network only where you are sure that outside people can’t connect to your network without permission. If you are running any Internet Security software on your computer, you may get warning message as “Synergy working as keylogger”. Just ignore that message as the purpose of this tool is related with keyboard and mouse only and that’s why security software may doubt the behavior of Synergy.
Synergy Pro comes with data encryption and is more secured.
Synergy can be installed on Windows, Mac and Ubuntu Systems and can be shared between these seamlessly.
Free Alternatives to Share Keyboard and Mouse over LAN
- Input Director
- Mouse without Borders
Input Director is a free software that allows you to share a mouse and keyboard connected to one computer with other computers on the network. With the help of IP address, host name and network subnet one can control other computers from Master computer. Such setup helps system administrator to take a look at remotely located system and make certain changes without moving from his place.
All the data between Master and Client computer is encrypted for security purpose, so that’s a boost.
Input Director is only available for Windows machines and is compatible with Windows 10, Windows 8/8.1, Windows 7, Windows 2008, XP (SP2), Vista.
Mouse without Borders is a side project by one of the employee of Microsoft to help you access multiple Windows computers with same mouse. You can easily share the mouse with other computers by connecting the computers with the help of security code and computer’s name.
Here is the demo of Microsoft’s Mouse without Borders:
Also read: Use multiple mouse on Single Computer