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Can I use a KVM switch to share a USB printer?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by SanduneCC, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. SanduneCC

    SanduneCC Senior Member

    Sep 10, 2001
    Boondocks, USA
    If yes, can you help me find one please?

    Basically, I have 2 PCs that I want to share a 22" monitor (1920x1080) D-Sub or DVI connection, usb mouse, usb keyboard and usb printer. Audio support is a bonus but not necessary.

    Is there a good reliable one that can do that? I looked on Newegg but there are so many of them and it's baffling to find the one with the right specs.

  2. JimmyN


    Sep 29, 2006
    Sort of, since you could share the printer on one system so it could be used by both. No matter which system you have selected with the KVM you'd be able to print on the same printer. Or set the printer up as a network printer so either system could use it.

    Actually if you don't mind an extra monitor on your desk a program like Synergy works much, much better than a KVM switch. Synergy is an open source software solution that gives you the K and M, but not the V. You'll eliminate the hardware and all that cabling for a KVM, and you'll be able to use both systems at the same time, and even cut and paste from one system to another. Synergy is cross platform and you can run it on a NIX system or Windows. I can copy text from an email on the far left monitor (FreeBSD) then move the mouse over to the far right monitor and paste it into Word (Windows) on another system. Plus with Synergy you're not limited to two systems or even two monitors.

    At my desk here I have three systems and four monitors all using the same keyboard and mouse. One FreeBSD system, one Win2K system, and one XP system with dual monitors. The mouse just moves back and forth across the 4 screens, the keyboard follows the mouse, all 3 systems share the same clipboard, and the screensavers are even linked together across all three.

  3. An HP JetDirect device might be cheaper than a USB KVM.:wavey:
  4. bigez


    Feb 9, 2007
    OR just get a router/switch for 39.99 and share the printer out on one of the PCs.....
  5. SanduneCC

    SanduneCC Senior Member

    Sep 10, 2001
    Boondocks, USA
  6. I would simply network the two computers with a crossover cable. I presume both computers have Ethernet cards? They come as standard equipment these days.