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Windows and Mac USB switcher

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Trojan Horse, 28 Jul 2016.

  1. Trojan Horse

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 27 Jul 2012

    Posts: 1,710

    Are there any USB hub-type devices that can plug into my Windows or my Mac so that I can keep my keyboard and mouse on my desktop and be able to seemlessly switch from using it for my PC to my Mac whenever I turn on my Macbook Pro?

    Cheers
     
  2. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 13 Oct 2006

    Posts: 74,073

    Not sure if it was you are looking for but I find the Aten US224 pretty good.
     
  3. Trojan Horse

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 27 Jul 2012

    Posts: 1,710

    It shares a keyboard and mouse to two computers using 2 male USB cables?

    Exactly what I was looking for! Just bought one. Does it work well? ;)
     
  4. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 13 Oct 2006

    Posts: 74,073

    Yup - I've found it works well - the best out of any cheaper options I've tried for compatibility with a wide range of keyboards/mice and different OSes.

    Doesn't switch quite as fast as my more expensive 4 port KVM which is instant - but it switches the devices between the machines in less than 2 seconds when pressing the button and so far it has just worked seamlessly for me.
     
  5. Trojan Horse

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 27 Jul 2012

    Posts: 1,710

    Is there any lag once it has switched?
     
  6. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 13 Oct 2006

    Posts: 74,073

    None - just like a direct connection.
     
  7. GeX

    Soldato

    Joined: 17 Dec 2002

    Posts: 6,482

    Location: Manchester

  8. Trojan Horse

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 27 Jul 2012

    Posts: 1,710

    This looks good. Any videos on the installation before I purchase? I can't find a trial anywhere.

    If synergy has no lag then I think I might just refund the 2 port USB kvm and go with the software as it means less plugging in etc.
     
  9. Steveocee

    Soldato

    Joined: 5 Nov 2011

    Posts: 5,177

    Location: Derbyshire

    I use an Aten USB KVM, it has an extra little remote button to switch. Neat little box that was about £20.

    I use it to switch between a Windows and Linux machine
     
  10. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 13 Oct 2006

    Posts: 74,073

    Personally I had 1-2 minor compatibility issues when gaming with synergy and you have the downsides that the host PC needs to be on to use the input with the 2nd PC and if the main PC crashes or is very busy, etc. then you are down until it is back up as well.
     
  11. Trojan Horse

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 27 Jul 2012

    Posts: 1,710

    Synergy has too many issues. USB is the only way! It still has one slight set back which is that when my PC is in sleep if I switch to my Mac then switch back, my PC wont recognize that as the software needs to activate the KVM. It means I cant wake my PC using KB/M and that it takes about 10s to register my input first.
     
  12. Skeeter

    Caporegime

    Joined: 8 Mar 2007

    Posts: 37,148

    Location: Surrey

    I use one of these as its USB3.0:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00JX3Q28Y/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Plug the single end into my monitor which has a USB hub and has my mouse, keyboard and a spare Micro USB plugged in, then have one cable going to my PC and another tucked out the way which I plug into my laptop when needed, and then a press of a button swaps keyboard, mouse and Micro USB between the machines.

    I want to combine it with a ThunderBolt 3 dock so that I can also connect my monitor to the laptops USB3.1, but they are silly expensive at the moment so I use a separate HDMI cable.
     
  13. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 13 Oct 2006

    Posts: 74,073

    Hmm think the only way around that is the higher end KVMs that constantly emulate a hub device on each port.
     
  14. FredFlint

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 1 Feb 2006

    Posts: 2,288

    I use Synergy for 3 PC's and a Mac and it does have some issues. The one that gets me the most is when a Windows program needs admin and the popup loads, I have to use the keyboard that’s connected to the pc where the popup is to click ok. Also some games don’t like Synergy so I need to stop it to play them (Doom is one). Overall it’s really good, been able to copy and paste from one pc to the other is greate but I have not tried a hardware KVM.
     
    Last edited: 1 Aug 2016