Control Two Computers with a Single Keyboard and Mouse
Let’s say you have two computers on your desk and, in an effort to save space, you want to operate them using a single pair of keyboard and mouse.
There are two solutions here. If the computers are connected to the same network, you can use software programs like Input Director or Synergy to operate them with a common keyboard and mouse. In the other scenario where the machines aren’t connected, you can get a KVM switch to share one keyboard and mouse between them.
My work setup is quite similar to what you see in the illustration above and I have been using the Input Director software all this while to control the two Windows PCs with one keyboard and mouse. Input Director is reliable and (mostly) works without problems though it does require some understanding of the Master and Slave concept.
Last week, I switched to a new Windows utility called Mouse without Borders and find it so much better than my previous solution. Wondering why?
The best part about Mouse without Borders is how easy it is to set up. You install the utility on all your Windows computers, enter the security code provided by the software and your computers will get linked. This is almost as simple as pairing a set of Bluetooth devices.
Once installed, you can not only use the same keyboard and mouse across your computers in a seamless manner but you can also drag and drop files between them. This is so convenient. Earlier, I had to create shared network folders or had to use Dropbox to transfer files but now I can simple drag them from desktop A to desktop B as if they were on the same computer.
With the Mouse without Borders utility installed, you can also send screen capture of one desktop to another by pressing a hotkey or from the system tray menu. After having used the tool for about a week, I never experienced a crash though I did have problems sharing clipboard especially when the copy operation was done inside a Flash application.
Mouse without Borders can only be used to control Windows based computers. If your work environment involves a mix of Windows, Linux or Mac computers, Synergy could still be the only good choice for you.
Google Developer Expert, Google Cloud Champion
Amit Agarwal is a Google Developer Expert in Google Workspace and Google Apps Script. He holds an engineering degree in Computer Science (I.I.T.) and is the first professional blogger in India.