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Port replicator and kvm switch combined functionality/ interoperability

Port replicator and kvm switch combined functionality/ interoperability

Port replicator and kvm switch combined functionality/ interoperability

(OP)
I have a port replicator, which connects via USB *only* to the laptop and terminates the mouse and keyboard via USB and the monitor via DVI or VGA. This works fine, but what if I also want an extra pc (or n computers) such that I can do KVM switching between the two or n pc's, without losing the (replicator provided) benefit of only having to disconnect/ connect a single USB input to break free the pc/ add it back in again?

1. USB KVM switches seem to have both USB and DVI connections to the pc. Why is this necessary, when a port replicator can transmit the video over USB?
2.What would happen if I put a usb switch between the replicator and the existing laptop + a new pc? Would this work as a switched replicator?
3. Can anyone recommend any good hardware (combined replicator and KVM switch) that would provide video/ keyboard/ mouse/ sound termination for multiple pc's (including mac/windows/ubuntu) with switching between them, and minimal cabling between it and the computers?


RE: Port replicator and kvm switch combined functionality/ interoperability

Not sure on combining the two, but I've had good results with KVMs between diff laptops/desktops. I've got one by Raritan at home right now that I've used between (that I know of):
1. at least a few versions of Windows
2. at least a few distros of Linux
3. FreeNas setup on one box

I've shared Screen, USB ports, Keyboard/Mouse (USB only), audio.

I've used it with and without power.

The only major issue with my current setup is that for video it uses VGA. So with newer machines, I have to use an adapter for the video connection.

All in all, I've gotten to where I RARELY use it anymore anyway, and have considered pulling it out of the loop. But I figure as soon as I pull it out, I'll actually need it again.

Haven't used a port replicator, to date, personally, so can't speak from that end.

The Raritan unit I have is for up to 4 computers.

I've also used a 2 KVM switches by IoGear if I remember correctly. They used PS/2 for keyboard/mouse, no USB, and one had audio, one did not. I also do not remember any major issues for those. They'd switch between 2 computers max (the models I have used).

At work, about 10 years ago now I guess... never thought I'd be saying that.. I used a couple of KVM switches and we had a few headaches with those at times. I have no idea what the names were, b/c never even thought to look.

The Raritan unit I have at home is 99% good. There are 2 issues I've had that I've been able to work around:
1. The keyboard or mouse port would suddenly just quit working / responding to commands. So in those cases, almost every time, I've been able to just switch it to one of the USB hub connections, and it would carry on without any issues.
2. With my unit, the unit you want to control/view/connect to has to be powered on at the moment. It's not a big deal, and may sound silly. The reason I'd want to be connected to a machine before turning it on is so that I could be sure I'd be ready to quickly hit a keyboard combination at boot-up, and SOME motherboards boot to the OS extremely fast while others are slow. Sometimes, it is difficult to switch to the device AND hit the correct keyboard combination(s) before it gets to loading the OS.

"But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 15:57

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