KVM Cable

Computers are cheap and plentiful these days, unlike in the past when owning one was considered a status symbol. Some people have a need to use many computers at the same time, either for their work or hobbies. To avoid being overwhelmed by peripheral devices, they use a KVM switch to control the computers with just one keyboard, video monitor, and mouse. Each computer is connected to the switch by a KVM cable. There are many different types of KVM cable, some of which have a custom plug that can only be used with certain switches.

One set of peripheral devices takes up a lot of desk space, so you quickly run out of room when you have two or three computers running side by side. The problem only gets worse in service centers and server rooms which have many desktop computers. A lot of money can be saved by connecting them to a KVM switch with a KVM cable. Fewer peripheral devices need to be purchased and less floor area is needed for the computers. A cost effective way of building a supercomputer today is to connect thousands of small desktop computers together. Just imagine the space required if each of those needed its own keyboard, video monitor, and mouse.

The term KVM stands for keyboard, video, and mouse. A KVM cable has a lead for each of these peripherals, and even if it has audio leads it is still called a KVM cable. A KVM switch is a small box that has lots of sockets on the back for the cables. The active computer is changed by simply pressing a button on the switch or by pressing a hotkey on the keyboard. The change of computers happens instantly, with little more than a flicker on the monitor. The smallest models can only handle two computers but the largest ones can handle more than eight. Some models have a KVM cable for each computer but many have no cables included.

Notebook computers are great for working away from the office but their portability comes a cost. Many people dislike using the small keyboard and touchpad, and those with poor eyesight find it hard to read the small screen. A KVM switch allows a notebook to be quickly connected to a set of desktop peripherals. A full-size keyboard is more comfortable to use because the keys are not bunched together and they have better tactile response, and a mouse is much easier and faster to use than a touchpad. This setup is also more productive because fewer errors are made when using a full-size keyboard and mouse.

There is sure to be a KVM cable to suit every desktop and notebook computer, even those with older connectors. Before choosing a KVM cable, check what type of plug is on the monitor cable. Flat panel monitors have a DVI plug but the old CRT monitors have a VGA plug. Also, check the keyboard and mouse to see if they have a USB or PS/2 plug. It is possible to get a KVM cable that connects USB to PS/2 without an adapter, allowing old peripherals to be used with a new computer. Some cables even have a custom DB15 plug for both the VGA and PS/2 leads, but they can only be used with certain KVM switches.

A typical KVM cable is six feet long and costs under twenty dollars, but longer cables up to thirty feet in length are also available. To ensure the best quality signal, a KVM cable should use thick wires that have low resistance. Shielding is important when there are many computers and other electrical equipment in the room. A KVM cable should have double shielding to protect it from electrical interference. It is good idea to check the gender of the plugs to make sure they can be plugged into the KVM switch. Usually, everything will be fine but in some cases a gender adapter may be required.

This KVM Cable Review is Written/Updated on Oct 16th, 2010 and filed under Computer Hardware. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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