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Best KVM Switches For Gaming and Office Use in 2021

Best KVM Switches For Gaming and Office Use in 2021

There is nothing more typical of a gaming geek’s room than stifled wires, poorly organized hardware, and multiple active computers that are ill managed. But not all gamers are alike – some do recognize the importance of managing their devices properly, and it doesn’t take much effort thanks to the best KVM switches.

Today, sharing devices is common, but it requires a reliable and stable KVM switch to do so efficiently. In this article, I will list the best KVM Switchers you should have even if your workspace is limited.

Best Overall
RIJER 8 Port KVM Switch
RIJER 8 Port KVM Switch

Features:

  • Nickel-plated connectors
  • Rackmount design – Ideal for professional settings
  • Air discharge (lightning protection) 15KV
Editor’s Choice
JideTech 4 Port VGA KVM Switch
JideTech 4 Port VGA KVM Switch

Features:

  • Device status indicating LED
  • Doesn’t need an external power supply
  • Doesn’t need drivers or additional software
  • Supports up to 2048 x 1536p 2K Video
Best Budget
UGREEN USB Switch Selector
UGREEN USB Switch Selector

Features:

  • User-friendly Plug & Play hardware
  • Competitive price
  • Compatible with All OS

What Exactly is a KVM Switch?

What Exactly is a KVM Switch?

KVM stands for Keyboard, Video and Mouse and is the contraction of those initials. KVM Switches are the hardware that facilitates the bridging between multiple PCs, while Input and Output devices can control any of them at any time. As the main controller, the switch has a button or dial, and the servers and PCs are the secondary devices.

Gaming geeks and anyone with multiple devices, such as Desktop gaming PCs, smartphones, gaming laptops, and tablets, may benefit from using one of these switches for multitasking without having to disconnect hardware from one device to use it with another. The most common example in offices and shops is the connection of one printer to multiple PCs so that wires do not need to be disconnected and reconnected repeatedly to make the printer serve multiple computers. You’ve probably seen this in banks!

Top 10 Best KVM Switches [2021]

1. JideTech 4 Port VGA KVM Switch

JideTech-4-Port-VGA-KVM-Switch

The JideTech VGA KVM Switch is a 4-Port device with good audio and video features that can be shared between 4 computers. Add a gaming monitor, keyboard, mouse, console, microphone, speakers, etc. Due to the transport mapper (USB) controlling the power input, the 4 KVM links do not require a power supply.

Mac and Windows operating systems are compatible with this device. As a Plug & Play switcher, it doesn’t require any additional software or drivers. Despite being a VGA switch, the dimensions of the box are still compact and attractive. The design is somewhat muscular, but it is not ugly. Looks like a plastic case, but it is actually a metal case that is more durable and secure than its competitors.

By using the coordinated USB Hub of the JideTech 4 Port VGA KVM Switch, you can switch between four computers while sharing devices between them. It is no longer necessary to arrange for the power supply to be fed to the switch, making things more convenient for the user.

The lack of compatibility with the multi-media keyboard is what I dislike about this device. In general, it is a competitive product with reasonable features, especially the ability to facilitate four computers instead of two.

Pros
  • Device status indicating LED
  • Doesn’t need an external power supply
  • Doesn’t need drivers or additional software
  • Supports up to 2048 x 1536p 2K Video
Cons
  • Not compatible with wireless peripherals
  • Multi-Media keyboards are not compatible

2. RYBOZEN USB 3.0 KVM Switch

RYBOZEN-USB-3.0-KVM-Switch

It’s a good choice if price vs. value is important to you. I added this switch to the list because it has USB 3.0 ports. At this price, you usually find switches with USB 2.0 ports. The box also includes a MicroUSB power port so that you can connect high-power-consumption devices to it using an external adapter.

Connect 4 USB devices to 2 computers and share them. The design is clean, and there is no unnecessary branding on top. It resembles a nicely sliced brick and is suitable for a small office. The good design feature is that all USB ports are along the single long side, so cable clearance becomes fairly easy. Let me remind you that the length of the USB cables is short, and you might have to arrange for longer cables depending on your need.

The box doesn’t have a fancy design or extraordinary features, but it’s decent at a reasonable price. For basic needs, this is one of the best KVM switches under 25$ available.

Pros
  • USB 3.0 ports
  • Compatible with all OS
Cons
  • Relatively shorter cables
  • Average build quality

3. CKLau 4Kx2K HDMI KVM Switch

CKLau-4Kx2K-HDMI-KVM-Switch

A long list of features makes this HDMI KVM switch a viable option if you’re looking for a switch that supports 4K displays. CKLAU 4Kx2K HDMI KVM Switch supports 4 computers and can be controlled by hotkeys or a remote control included in the box.

Since it supports Raspbian, Ubuntu, Fedora, and Debian, in addition to the conventional Operating Systems, I think this KVM Switch is best for open-source developers working with SBCs and microcontrollers. With this feature, you can multitask while working with sensors, AI devices, or even throw a small party at the office with your close friends.

The 4K and 2K compatibility is meant for displays at 30Hz. Although the box appears reliable and conventional, the build quality isn’t as good as expected for a KVM Switch at this price.

Two of the USB inputs are reserved for the gaming mouse, and the third is reserved for a keyboard. Apple Keyboards are also supported, which is a feature you won’t often find in most switches.

Nevertheless, a 12-Month warranty is welcome. This is a good option if you are looking for an HDMI 4K compatible KVM switch at a midrange price with some promising features.

Pros
  • HDMI 4K and 2K display support
  • Better device and OS compatibility
  • Configurable Hot-Keys
Cons
  • Moderate build quality

4. ieGeek USB KVM Switch Box

IeGeek-KVM-Switch-Box

The ieGeek USB KVM Switch Box can control up to four computers at once rather than just two. The price is competitive. The muscular design of the box is appealing, but the placement of the cable interfaces is a bit surprising since you have to provide space for the wires to run outward. Anyway, the features are impressive – it’s Plug & Play, it doesn’t require an external power supply, and it has decent video quality.

You don’t need to purchase additional accessories since the box includes 4x VGA USB cables. Switching speed is not bad. The best thing I noticed was its compatibility with Windows 98 up to 2007 versions, which you do not find with some KVM switches. Additionally, this box can integrate SBCs such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi with Linux, Mac OS, and Unix.

In terms of the scope, I consider the ieGEEK VGA USB Switch Box suitable for virtual meetings, interviews, conferencing, business, gaming, and office settings. The box’s design gives the impression that it is more suited to enthusiasts and gaming geeks.

Pros
  • Doesn’t require an external power supply
  • Compatible with various Operating Systems
  • Supports up to 1920 x 1440 resolution
Cons
  • Improper assembly of cables connectors is really annoying
  • Buttons are on the opposite side

5. RIJER 8 Port KVM Switch

RIJER-8-Port-Manual-KVM-Switch

A decent design for all professional settings. The cable connectors are positioned in a convenient clearance, which will avoid fuss. Consider Rijer 8 Port KVM Switch if you’re not satisfied with sharing between two or four computers. It lets you share hardware between up to eight computers.

The VGA interface supports resolutions up to 1920 x 1440 pixels, not what I expected at this price, but adequate for most professional settings. Rackmounting keeps things simple and efficient. The designers didn’t experiment outside the box, and sometimes this is the best strategy to avoid loopholes in the design of any electronic device.

In the case of high-voltage overflow, the box can handle it with 8KV discharge in addition to the air discharge (15KV) if necessary. The KVM switch does not require an external power source. It automatically feeds off of the power of one of the connected computers.

As a buyer, I don’t like the confusion between the manufacturer and the buyer, since no indication is given about the expected warranty, replacement, or money-back guarantee. Technical support is also unclear.

Pros
  • Nickel-plated connectors
  • Rackmount design – Ideal for professional settings
  • Air discharge (lightning protection) 15KV
Cons
  • Comparatively expensive
  • No specific warranty from the manufacturer

6. UGREEN USB Switch Selector

UGREEN-USB-Switch-Selector

This is an affordable, user-friendly USB switch from a reputable manufacturer. Its build quality appears more stable and compact than many of its competitors. The UGREEN USB Switch Selector lets you share USB devices between computers, including printers, card readers, and scanners.  One button switches between two computers, and it can entertain two computers at once.

Chrome, Linux, Mac, and Windows are compatible with UGREEN USB Switch Selector. Since it is Plug & Play, you do not need to install drivers. USB 2.0 ports can transfer data at speeds up to 480Mb/sec. LED indicators are included in the box. This product comes with two USB cables (each 1.5 meters long).

UGREEN USB Switch Selector does not come with a power supply. The device has a Micro USB Charging port, which is compatible with a 5V adapter. Generally, this is a nice and minimal KVM Switch that’s ideal for simple settings at a small office or home.

Pros
  • User-friendly Plug & Play hardware
  • Competitive price
  • Compatible with All OS
Cons
  • The box comes without a power supply

7. TESmart HDMI 4K Ultra HD KVM Switch

TESmart-HDMI-4K-Ultra-HD-4x1-HDMI-KVM-Switch

This is mainly due to the fact that TESmart HDMI KVM Switch features a 4K at 60Hz mode which makes it compatible with the 4K resolution.

Even with its drawbacks, this box is still worth considering since some of its advantages can’t be ignored. Choosing a color will be tricky, but I would suggest you avoid maroon or red and choose grey or black. Aluminum is used, and the shiny maroon surface looks a bit cheaper.

It is easy and convenient to switch between devices. Four systems can be used at the same time to share devices. Hotkey switching may not work if the USB 2.0 port is connected to this switch.

It supports most basic keyboards and mice, but it may not support some multimedia keyboards, lighting mice, or advanced mechanical keyboards. Gaming geeks in particular suffer from this drawback.

In terms of the warranty and technical support, I’d suggest you ignore post-purchase services and support since you won’t get any after you purchase the TESmart HDMI KVM Switch.

Pros
  • Better image sensor
  • Lightweight aluminum-alloy build
  • Anodic oxidation and multiple cooling systems
Cons
  • Lacks support for multimedia keyboards
  • Pricey

8. ULBRE Soho – Best for Office Use

ULBRE-Soho-KVM-Switch-Sharing-Box

The ULBRE Soho KVM Switch is also a good choice for beginners, especially hobbyists. It is compatible with up to two computers at once and comes with four USB 3.0 high-speed ports. If you have a mechanical keyboard, you may have to live with a bit of a buzzing sound.

ULBRE Soho KVM Switch is best known for its minimalist design that requires the least amount of space. Before, it was never so easy and quick to transfer files between computers. The data transfer speed is quite impressive compared to USB 2.0 ports.

Switching from one system to another is simple and quick. A one-press switch makes things extremely convenient, and the practice becomes instinctive within a few hours. You can use the power supply for a storage drive, mouse, and keyboard; however, if you would like to use a scanner, printer, or HD camera, please use the MicroUSB charging port.

Cable connection interfaces are positioned incorrectly. It is inappropriate to place the box anywhere where the cable will be visible to onlookers. The cable connectors must have been at the back of the box.

Pros
  • One-Push (One-Second) Switch is very convenient to use
  • Fast and shareable USB 3.0 ports
Cons
  • When using a mechanical keyboard, the box produces a buzzing sound

9. Rosewill RKV-2UC – 2Port USB KVM Switch

ROSEWILL-RKV-2UC-2-Port-USB-KVM-Switch

Normally, I don’t recommend anything with below-average quality, but I’ve noticed that sometimes readers want to start with the basics, so they want to spend too little first. Rosewill’s RKV-2UC is available at a shoestring budget and is an ideal choice for those looking for a practical overview of a KVM switch.

Anyway, this product only comes with a few basic features. With the built-in cables, the switch can be connected to up to two PCs. It has two USB ports and one VGA port for each connected PC. Input devices (mouse and keyboard) are connected to the USB ports. Up to 2048x1536p can be displayed on the monitor.

Rosewill RKV-2UC is compatible with Mac and Windows; however, with Linux, the maximum resolution drops to 1024x768p. With RKV-2UC being a Plug&Play switch, it is fairly simple and convenient for beginners.

You can’t expect advanced features at this price, so forget about USB3.0 or audio connection. Clearly, the quality is not comparable to high-end or even mid-range switches. Ultimately, you get your money’s worth out of this hardware.

Having said that, I should mention the remote selector; I hadn’t anticipated this feature. Rosewill RKV-2UC lets you switch ports via your desktop. Switching between PCs with a low-end Switch could cause display quality issues, but this is not the case with the RKV-2UC, which uses Video DynaSync technology.

This product also includes Power-On Detection, which monitors and detects if a computer is turned off. The system quickly identifies the problem and switches to the running system.

Pros
  • User-friendly and easy to handle
  • Plug-And-Play
Cons
  • Doesn’t have an audio connection
  • Poor quality build

10. IOGEAR GCS52DP KVM Switch

IOGEAR-GCS52DP-KVM-Switch

A KVM switch with the most basic features at a competitive price is the IOGEAR GCS52DP. The box is compact, aesthetically pleasing, and minimally-designed, and it is compatible with Unix, Mac, Linux, and Windows operating systems. The KVM Switch can even be used with SBCs, including Raspberry Pi and Arduino.

As GC52DP is a Plug&Play device, it is convenient for beginners. You don’t have to be a techie to use this product; you just need to press the remote button to switch between devices.

Two computers can be connected with the built-in 1.2-meter cables. HDCP-compliant DisplayPort is included in the box. Display supports 4K at 30Hz. Furthermore, there are two USB interfaces, one for the USB keyboard and the other for the USB mouse. Audio in/out jacks are compatible with 2.1 and 7.1 audio.

Beginners will find this DVI KVM switch more convenient to use at home or in your workshop. The box’s compact design allows it to fit into small spaces, and the build quality is delicate and robust.

Pros
  • Plug & Play Device
  • 3-Year Warranty
  • Lifetime Technical Support (FREE)
Cons
  • Average Customer Support
  • Inputs (Keyboard & Mouse) may freeze sometimes while switching between devices

KVM Switch Buyer’s Guide

KVM switches are no exception to technology’s rapid evolution. Keeping this in mind, you need to choose a KVM Switch that has the latest features, taking OS compatibility and device compatibility into account. Keep a realistic balance between your budget and features by limiting your needs. Shortlisting the best KVM switches becomes easier this way. Consider the following points when choosing the best KVM switch.

1. Features

Compatibility between your device and operating system is something you can’t ignore. Don’t forget to consider how convenient the switch is in the work environment you want it to be used in. Think about the type of input devices the switch supports or is compatible with, such as multi-media keyboards and gaming consoles.

When evaluating the functionality of a KVM switch, make sure to read the reviews on the most credible review sites and customers’ feedback on major eCom platforms. Since they come from actual buyers, these reviews highlight the cons of a device the best. It is the seller’s perspective and promotional description of the product you see on the internet. The reviews will help you anticipate what to expect if you use the KVM Switch.

2. Device Compatibility

If you’re an open-source developer, you’ll want to look for a KVM switch that supports Debian, Linux, and Raspbian. The ideal KVM Switch for office setups is one that not only supports Windows and Mac OS but also works with modern USB printers and scanners. For gaming, a KVM switch that supports a gaming keyboard, mouse, and an advanced game console is suggested. In a nutshell, it comes down to how you intend to use the KVM Switch.

3. Connectivity

Check that the cable connectors and communication interfaces are compatible with your existing setup. Many KVM switches are only compatible with PS/2 or DVI display ports, and you cannot use them with VGA or USB.

Rather than buying new accessories and connectors to make the KVM Switch work properly, you should verify that the switch supports the connections and equipment you are using.

4. Expansion Ports

Initially, you may need a KVM switch for two or four systems. If you have the budget, you should look for a switch that supports more computers than you need at the time. At setup expansion, you will not need to buy a new KVM switch to accommodate more computers. Even so, if you don’t expect your setup to expand in a few years, you don’t need to worry about the number of ports.

5. On-Screen Display

Visual help is essential, especially when using an online system. Customization and configuration are facilitated by the use of a graphical user interface (GUI). This functionality is particularly useful if your configuration necessitates frequent system swapping.

6. Miscellaneous Features

  • A KVM Switch that is suited for server racking will be required by a growing firm. For expanding your business, a switch that can quickly be converted to a rackmount is essential.
  • Over the years, I’ve discovered that a KVM Switch with its own power supply is more reliable than KVM Switches that draw power from the connected systems. An adapter is not included with some KVM switches. Check to see if the compatible adapter is available on the market in your area.
  • The cable length is an often-overlooked factor. It’s a good idea to double-check the cable length because it’s possible that the cable length delivered in the package is substantially shorter than what you want.

Conclusion

Make sure to shortlist your needs realistically, keeping your budget in mind, before selecting the best KVM Switch. If you have a simple setup and fewer computers, there is no need for a high-end, expensive KVM switch. Nonetheless, if you can afford it and anticipate expansion in the near future, consider a KVM switch that can support more computers than you currently have.


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