Like many others during this pandemic, I have been working from home in my study to minimize the potential of spreading the SARS-COV-2 virus. This has meant that I have been using my home monitors which I share between my work laptop and my home desktop.

This works well, but there is a level of frustration with switching cables between my work laptop and my desktop. If it was only for a week I would probobly just out up with it but, as my city is into a six week lockdowm I thought it was worth looking at ways I could improve my setup.

There are lots of different ways this can be approached, but by far the easiest is to use a device known as a KVM. This stands for Keyboard, Video, Mouse and let's you have one set of input devices (E.g. Keyboard / mouse / usb device), and one output (E.g. Monitor) which run into the KVM which contains a button that switches between the two computers.

There are no drivers to install, and the KVM simply acts as a switch, when the device is set to computer 1, they keyboard, video and mouse are passed through to that device, when it is set to computer 2, it is switched from computer 1 to computer 2.

The bonus of a KVM is that if you are using multiple devices, it allows you to cable manage, neaten the desk and then have the monitor easily switch between the devices. It should be noted there are many types of KVm's, and some only support two computers whilst others support more.

The device I have been using is the UGREEN HDMI KVM, this device uses HDMI as the video source so there are two HDMI cables that run into the KVM in addition to a keyboard, Mouse and other USB2.0 devices. There is then one HDMI out which runs to the display / monitor and two USB cables which run to each computer.

This device has been perfect for my needs, it easily allows me to switch between laptop and desktop at the push of a button. Without having to worry about unp,ugging and replugging in multiple things. It is worth noting that the KVM only comes with the two USB cables which run from the KVM to the two computers, so you will have to make sure you have / get enough HDMI cables.

Hope you found this useful, I have only had the UGREEN HDMI KVM for a week or so but have loved it to date, I also have the UGREEN USB3 switch I will talk about in another post.

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