I can understand the hustle as I’m a gamer myself. To me, proper cable management means a lot, and especially if my PC has RGB lighting, I don’t want any odd sight to be diminishing the looks of it. I agree that many people don’t really bother as far as cable management is concerned. But at times, this can lead to sparks and wire meltdown; ultimately, destroying the cables and the PC itself. That’s where the best KVM switches come into the picture.
If you are asking what exactly is a KVM switch, and how the best KVM switch works, then I have a detailed answer for you.
The work function of KVM switches
First things first, the KVM word stands for “Keyboard, Video, Mouse.” This term was coined to infer that with the help of this particular switch, you can plug and play any type of game. By this I mean, is that KVM switches are there to connect multiple output devices with only a single Input device. In simpler terms, let’s say you have connected two monitors. It’s natural and understandable that you won’t plug-in two mice and two keyboards to navigate on each screen. That’s where the use of KVM comes in. You connect a single mouse and keyboard with the switch and use them to navigate on both screens.
For what it’s worth, the KVM switch also features a dial and controller for proper navigational input. Do you know what’s surprising about a KVM switch? It’s just not about connecting multiple PCs or monitors. Its usage can span from gaming laptops to smartphones and anything as long as it’s an output device. The KVM switch is best used for office and gaming purposes since in offices, you do need to maneuver enough output gain, and similarly for gaming systems where you might need to expand on different monitors.
The best overall KVM Switch (IOGEAR 4-port HDMI Multimedia KVM switch)
If you are in a hurry and don’t want to read extra products, then worry not. You can root for the IOGEAR 4-port HDMI multimedia KVM switch, which focuses on USB 2.0 Hub and multiple output devices. For example, with this switch, you can share the input between 2 x USB 2.0 peripherals and run the switch itself on MacOS. This shows the versatility of the switch in terms of connecting across multiple platforms.
Prime 10 Best KVM Switches
IOGEAR 4-port HDMI multimedia KVM switch best overall KVM switch
IOGEAR 4-port HDMI multimedia KVM switch is a little expensive switch on the list. Why? It’s because you are getting everything there is to a KVM switch. You are getting converters, HDTV and HDMI support, and a plethora of different things. For what it’s worth, the KVM switch comes with 2 x USB 2.0 peripherals sharing ports, Dolby True HD, and DTS HD Master Audio support.
Apart from this, this KVM switch has resounding multi-platform OS support, including Windows, Sun Solaris, Linux, and Windows. To top it off, you get hold of keyboard and mouse emulation and real-time switching configuration for enhanced performance.
It’s worth mentioning that the IOGEAR 4-port HDMI has a 3-year warranty and a size of 10.2 x 3 x 1.6 inches. Last but not least, the switch has a 19-pin HDMI type A female, 1 x USB 4 pin USB type A female, and a mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm female. These are value-added features to skyrocket your gaming experience.
IOGEAR 2-port USB DisplayPort Cable KVM switch best functional KVM switch
You must be wondering why I chose two IOGEAR products. Let me be as crystal clear as possible! It’s because IOGEAR products are unparalleled and offer withstanding customer support. To be honest, I never faced any issues as far as IOGEAR is concerned, and I would always recommend rooting for the IOGEAR. Well, enough of this chit-chat. The core properties for this KVM switch, it comes with the support of DisplayPort. This means that now you can power on multiple displays at higher resolutions, probably 4k.
Apart from this, the IOGEAR 2-port USB DisplayPort offers a switch between 2 displays with a single mouse and keyboard. It’s worth mentioning that with this switch, the monitor’s refresh rate will be capped at 30Hz, so do bear that in mind. Not to mention, you also get hold of built-in cables, plug-and-play option, and expandable USB cables.
Last but not least, the cable is bus-powered, you may require external power support.
USB 3.0 Switch Selector, ABLEWE KVM Switcher budget-friendly KVM switch
The next product brings us to something that we call an absolute budget-friendly entity. USB 3.0 switch selector is a worthwhile candidate if you are looking forward to slotting in up to 4 devices. First things first, it’s a switch adapter and works like a charm on any system.
Moreover, the switch is earned with the capability of working flawlessly with devices like keyboard, mouse, scanner, printer, and Pcs. But do bear that in mind that whatever devices you have should be implemented with the USB 3.0 support; otherwise, the switch might not work with it. For example, if you are connecting USB 1.0 to the USB 3.0 port. How on Earth will it work?
However, do keep in mind that you are pretty much covered for the majority of value-added features. For example, you can use a keyboard, mouse, scanner, card reader, flash drive, and anything as long as it is connectable to the switch. On top of that, the switch works flawlessly with MacOS and all the variants of windows. Last but not least, the switch comes with buttons and LED lights to make things easier for you.
If you are looking forward to having a complete KVM switch hub/kit, then SGEYR is a perfect product to root for. With this switch, you get hold of USB 2.0 compatibility (excluding wireless). On top of that, this switch is perfect for running games at 4k since there is an option of turning the switch’s signals to 4k. What else does one want? However, do bear in mind that you can only connect up to 2 output devices, and this is where the switch fell short. In today’s world, people are looking for a lot of ports for enhanced connectivity, and this switch doesn’t provide that.
Apart from this, the switch has a slim body and is built from a durable material which means it will last longer and function for an extended period of time. It’s worth mentioning that the reviews of this product are largely positive and entails decent recommendation; thus, I will definitely recommend you to look for personal anecdotes of the users.
KVM Switch HDMI 4 port box best office-use KVM switch
I personally like KVM HDMI Switch because of two reasons. Number one, it’s a versatile switch that basically can run off in any given environment. For example, office; this the reason for it earning the title of being the best office-use KVM switch. For what it’s worth, it hardly costs you $50, and in that price range, you are basically getting every feature. For enumeration, the switch offers 4k compatibility, keyboard and mouse support, and basically everything.
On top of that, the switch also comes with buttons, power cables for required assets. The switch has an HDMI 2.0 KVM compatible, which basically means that you can connect any device with the HDMI 2.0 version. Moreover, the switch offers a 2-year warranty lifetime and constant customer support if you encounter any issues. This way, you are saved for a good deal of time. Last but not least, you can also use the same switch with Xbox and PlayStation without any known issues.
TESmart KVM switch 4 port HDMI best KVM switch for 4k gaming
TESmart KVM switch is a living marvel, and believe me, by using this specific KVM switch, you won’t be disappointed. For features enumeration, the switch offers [email protected] compatibility with 18Gbps HDR10 bandwidth. Apart from this, the TESmart KVM switch also offers Dolby Vision, Dolby/DTS, HDCP 2.2, and support for 2 computers to a single monitor.
It’s worth mentioning that it’s a 4 x 1 KVM switch. The term “4 x 1” stands for 4 output devices from a single input device. That’s the best you can get in 2021. Moreover, the switch offers a worthwhile experience in gaming which means you don’t have to worry about doing everything manually. There’s an IR remote which you can use to toggle things On and Off without having to move from your beloved seat.
New gofanco prophecy 2-port best workable KVM switch
If you are looking forward to something extraordinary, then I would suggest having a look at the New Gofanco prophecy 2-port. It’s a marvelous entry with all the required features for seamless gaming. To begin with, this KVM switch has 2 ports which means that you can only connect up to 2 output devices. However, to cover up for the flaws, the switch has compatibility with DisplayPort 1.2 and runs wonderfully on [email protected]
Apart from this, you also get hold of 21.6Gbps speed, HDCP 1.3, and a connection to the keyboard and mouse. On top of that, this KVM switch has a keen eye for USB 3.0, so it’s recommended to slot in only those devices with USB 3.0 specifications; otherwise, you might experience degrading performance. Last but not least, this KVM switch has high-quality components, which makes it durable, resistant, and versatile in every possible way.
GREATHTEK HDMI KVM switch best alternative cheap KVM switch
The next product on our list of best KVM switch is the GREATHTEK HDMI KVM switch which works flawlessly on any system. For what it’s worth, the switch entails 2 ports, 4k accessibility @ 30Hz (that’s a bummer for me), 2 Pcs on one monitor, and many other value-added features. For example, the switch also offers an Ultra HD display and 2 HDMI cables for the user’s ease.
Apart from this, the reviews are solid positive, which means you can completely rely on this switch for an unparalleled gaming experience. Not to mention, the switch company offers an extended period of customer support, which basically is a plus point for those who don’t know how exactly to use the switch. Last but not least, this KVM switch also curtails a tremendous amount of support for different output devices, including scanners, printers, laptops, etc.
TESmart 8×1 HDMI KVM Switch best day-to-day KVM switch
Beware before finalizing this switch because it might take a toll on your savings. It’s very expensive but works the best in terms of daily usage. If you are one of those kinds, who love to connect multiple output devices to a single hub, then the TESmart 8×1 HDMI KVM switch is just for you. For figures, you can connect PCs, monitors, keyboards, mice, printers, scanners, and probably anything that acts as an output device. Apart from this, TESmart 8×1 offers versatility which means you can mostly rely on its skills for years to come.
Notwithstanding, this KVM switch also supports 4k functionality @ 60Hz, a perfect feature for hardcore gamers. Not to mention, the switch comes with a MOTO known as “Simple plug and play installation,” which basically indicates that there are no intricacies regarding setting up the switch.
ABLEWE USB 3.0 switch best robust KVM switch
The last switch on our list is ABLEWE USB 3.0, which offers enhanced functionality to the users. First things first, you can connect anything to the switch as long as it’s an output device. The only drawback to having this switch is that it comes with 2 ports. In today’s usage, 2 ports are nothing, but again the choice largely depends on you. Apart from this, the switch has a lot to offer in terms of connectivity, usability, and compatibility. All in all, it’s a wonderful switch that can connect to any system, including macOS, and runs like a charm.
What things to consider before buying any KVM switch?
The reason for implementing this new heading is due to the evolving nature of KVM switches. There are tons of them with a lot of variants, and if you don’t have a decent buyer’s guide to it, then you are done for good. That’s why do make sure to look out for these qualities in KVM switches before finalizing any.
This is the most important thing to consider because, at times, some KVM switches don’t even work. You need to ensure that whatever KVM switch you root for should have compatibility with Linux, Windows, Raspbian operating systems, and Mac. For what it’s worth, some of the KVM switches are also compatible with devices like scanners and printers, and that’s a plus point if your switch has it.
Always make sure that you are well versed regarding your needs. If you are looking forward to slotting in 4 different output devices, then what’s the use of having a 2-port KVM switch? That’s a blunder, and please avoid it. It’s always better to go for those switches which have more available ports as it expands availability.
It goes without saying that OS compatibility is the main issue when you are buying a KVM switch. You need to be aware of what type of devices you would connect. If the devices are largely windows-orientated, then what’s the point of having a KVM switch that’s only compatible with macOS.
Apart from this, look out for sub-features like controllers, buttons, expansion ports, and whatever you must to get the best out of the KVM switch. For that, it’s best if you give a thoughtful read to the product reviews and users’ personal anecdotes regarding the use of that particular device. This will enhance and expand on your thinking horizons and end up as a plus point for your future KVM switch usage.
Not to mention, it’s always better to look out for cable lengths, power supply requirements, rackmount, and other miscellaneous features that might aid you in setting up a KVM switch. Last but not least, it’s always better to have an eye on the type of USB keyboard you have. This will ensure that the cross-compatibility ratio is at an all-time high.
Types of KVM switches
In general, there are four types of KVM switches.
- Single User KVM switch targets new candidates and offers up to 4-8 system connections.
- The Multi-User KVM switch is for professional setup and can run up to 64 systems/servers.
- Analog KVM switch focuses more on Cat5 support and is rather application restrictive.
- Digital KVM switches can be used over a range of different IP addresses across the globe.