Easy to use KVM switch lets you use two computers with one monitor

By Divi Dude

Sometimes my clients come to me with computer problems that they think only I can solve. When that’s the case, I do what any rationale computer person does. I search Google and Amazon. And then pass on the answers as though they were my own.

A few years ago that happened and my client wanted to know how to run two computers, but with only one of each: monitor, keyboard and mouse. So I did a lot of research and discovered the wonderful world of KVM Switches. The computer setup we had to work with was a combination of Windows 7 and Windows XP, which have been updated to two Windows 10 computers. The monitor also posed a slight problem, as it was a 15 inch, VGA monitor, not one of these newer HDMI or Display Port monitors. So we had to go with a KVM Switch that was a bit old school.  The first one we chose has been discontinued, but today’s equivalent is TrendNet TK-207TK.  It was solid, and worked for many years.  Recently though, it was time for a change … because it stopped working. It lived a pretty long lifespan, so all is good. This time we went with a JideTech CKL-21UA. It’s a great choice.

Setting up the KVM Switch was pretty straight forward, although I errored in trying to reuse the cables from the old TrendNet that was already set up. Turns out you have to completely disconnect the old one and use the cables provided by JideTech. But after I squared that away, both computers easily turned on after I hooked up the single monitor, keyboard and mouse, and each computer via the provided VGA / USB cables (it’s a dual cord that has both connectors on it).

And my client, who is not tech saavy, has had no issues switching between the two computers.  It’s definitely been a real space saver for him and his employees, as they only have one desk, but need two computers (one is used only in morning to send out messages on an intranet, that has to be a stand alone machine; while the other is a everyday computer that is used the rest of the day).

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