Networked computers - Soft Switch

I have two computers sitting right next to each other connected over a network. I’d like to be able to use both of them with the same keyboard and mouse - I specifically don’t want a remote control program like vnc or remote admin, since I can easily see both monitors this is not really helpful. Just the keyboard/mouse functionality. I’ve found this application called Soft Switch. It works, but seems rather buggy and I’d like to find something else.

I just assumed that there should be many applications made for this scenario, but all I can find are remote control programs, anyone know of anything I could use?

Probably not the solution that you’re looking for, but you can use an inexpensive hardware KVM switch and just not connect/use the video functionality.

The advantage of this over a software solution is that the keyboard and mouse would work with either machine when the other was turned off.

Does it have to be a software solution or are you willing to buy some hardware?

As Mangetout said, a Keyboard, Video & Mouse switch is probably the easiest solution. I didn’t even realise that a software solution existsed until now!

$60 would be a typical price for such a piece of equipment

Desktop Rover seems to be what you want. Hope it works better than Soft Switch !

BTW, if you do plump for the hardware solution, I’d recommend making sure that the one you buy includes cables - some have them built in, others have separate cables that are included in the box and others (yes, Belkin, I’m talking to YOU) make you buy the cables at an additional cost.

Are the cables standard for all switches?

I have a bunch, about 35 KVM cables, 20 feet long, that I’m throwing out today if anyone needs them…

This is exactly the setup I use. I have my laptop and workstation side-by-side on a stand and use a small two-port Belkin switch to share a keyboard and trackball between them. I don’t use the monitor port on the switch because I want to see both monitors individually. The Belkin switch responds to both a manual button on the switch box or to a keystroke combination, so it’s quite fast and convenient to switch back and forth. I’ve used Belkin switches in several situations and been pleased with their quality.

Note that this switch and many of their products come with cables, so they’ve already heard Mangetout’s gripe. Either way, you’re paying for the cables, but it is more convenient to get them in the same package.

Desktop Rover seems to be a good solution for me. It even has a great feature I noticed just now using it - when using a scrollbar, it won’t switch focus to the other monitor until you’ve released the scrollbar, makes things much easier.


Thank you! This is just what I needed. I’ve been klunking around for a year with two keyboards and mice looking for a solution like this.