Frequently Asked Questions

Technical Questions

  • What is a KVM Switch?

    A KVM Switch is a device that allows someone to use more than 1 computer from only 1 keyboard, monitor and mouse. Anyone can literally manage all of the computers in their office/server room from their desk without getting up. The limits to what you can do with KVM Switches are few. You can manage anywhere from 2 computers to thousands of servers using a KVM Switch.

  • What do I need to operate a KVM Switch?

    Different KVM Switches require different things. In most cases, all you will need is the KVM Switch, enough cables to go to all of your computers, your Keyboard, Monitor and Mouse, and the computers themselves. That is the basic configuration and more advanced systems may require more components. If you have any questions about a specific configuration, fill out this form.

  • What is the best KVM Switch for my configuration?

    The answer depends on your specific situation and cannot be answered in a paragraph. Each configuration is unique and each user has specific needs.  To help narrow the search for the best KVM, try our KVM selector. If you have further questions regarding your specific KVM solution needs, please fill out our Project Evaluation form or Contact Us

  • Will I have to install any software on my computers?

    No. KVM Switches are a hardware-only solution to server management. They are designed to not intrude on server performance thus are plug and play.

  • Why are some KVM Switches so much cheaper than other ones?

    As in all products, some have more options. Some switches offer USB sharing, On Screen Display (OSD), audio support, port emulation, multi-platform capability, built in conversion, come with cables, and have power supplies. Whether or not you will need or want these features is up to you.

  • What is OSD?

    OSD Stands for On Screen Display. This is a graphical representation of which computers are connected to the KVM Switch and allows you to select them without pushing the button on the KVM Switch or using Hot Key Switching. If you have a multi-user switch, this can also show you who is accessing which computer.

  • What is Hot Key Switching?

    Hot key switching allows you to switch between computers without pushing the buttons on the actual switch. It can be a combination of keys or hitting a button a couple of times, each switch is different and the instructions are in the manual.

  • Why are some of the cables so expensive?

    KVM cables are heavier than most computer cables; they are shielded and allow for better transmission of the signal. Some manufacturers also decide to use proprietary cabling for their switches. This allows them to eliminate 1 source of error when troubleshooting. Since all switches are different it is hard to know how a generic KVM cable will work with every switch. When a KVM Switch has a lot of ports it is also to use cables with special connectors to eliminate a cabling nightmare on the KVM Switch.

  • What is a KVM Extender?

    A KVM Extender allows you to send the Keyboard, Monitor, and Mouse signal over a long distance using Cat5 or Fiber. This can be for a single computer or can be connected to a KVM Switch to control multiple computers. The cable can not be running over a network or through a hub, it must be connected directly from the computer or KVM to your Keyboard, Monitor, and Mouse.

  • What is a Video Splitter?

    A video splitter allows you to split a VGA signal and display it on multiple monitors. Within this category there are some options as well. You can send these signals over Cat5 or standard VGA Cables. You also have the option of sending audio for multimedia applications.

  • What is Remote Reboot?

    Remote Reboot allows to you reboot your servers from anywhere in the world using the internet. You can do this using a simple web browser. For more detailed information about this product fill out this form, or contact us with your requirements.

  • What is a USB KVM Switch and whey are they different?

    A USB KVM Switch is a KVM Switch that uses USB Peripherals instead of the standard PS/2 keyboard and mouse. USB KVM Switches also allow you to share USB Peripherals such as scanners, printers, etc. among the connected computers. Since they are USB they are 100% plug and play and you don't have to power down the computer to plug in the cables.

  • What is KVM Over IP?

    KVM Over IP Technology allows you to access your servers from anywhere in the world using the internet. There are a couple manufacturers that support this type of technology and each has their benefit. For more information on KVM Over IP Technology, fill out this form with your configurations requirements and a KVM Switches Online Technical Sales Representative will contact your shortly.

  • What is port emulation?

    Port emulation is important with KVM Switches. Port emulation makes sure that the computer still thinks the mouse is connected directly to the computer. Many people know that if you unplug the mouse while the computer is running, the mouse stops to work. If you have a KVM Switch without emulation the computer may think the mouse is unplugged.

  • Why do some computers use different cables?

    Different computers have different cabling connections. Due to this, the can not use the same cable. The standard cable connection for computers is a PS/2 Mouse, PS/2 Keyboard, and a HD15 VGA Monitor. SUN computers can have a Mini-Din 8 Connection that works for their mouse and Keyboard or a USB plug for both as well. They can also use HD15 VGA or also a 13W3 video connection. Mac has specific cables as well. As you can see, it is important to make sure you get the right cables to ensure proper operation of your KVM Switch. If you have any questions, please contact us.

  • Will my wireless peripherals work with KVM Switches?

    Unfortunately wireless peripherals do not work with KVM Switches right now. Manufacturers have not been able to map the key sequences since there is not a standard placed on wireless peripherals.

  • Can I use a 5 button mouse on a KVM Switch?

    KVM Manufacturers will only support up to a 3 button mouse. Difference peripheral manufacturers do things differently and therefore they have not created a standard to work with. It is possible your mouse will work but the manufacturers nor KVM Switches Online can say that it will work.