Strangled wires, badly organized hardware, and ill management of multiple active computers are some of the usual spectacles of the room of a gaming geek in general. However, all gaming enthusiasts aren’t alike – some of them do understand the importance of proper management of devices and it doesn’t take much effort, thanks to the best KVM switches.
Device sharing is common these days but doing it efficiently requires the use of a reliable and stable KVM Switch. Today, I am going to list the best KVM Switchers in 2021 you must have for gaming or to organize things even if you have little space available.
What Exactly is a KVM Switch?
The term KVM is the contraction of Keyboard, Video, and Mouse taking the initials of each. Technically, the KVM Switch is the hardware that facilitates bridging between multiple PCs while the Input and Output devices can control any of them at any given time. The switch features a button or a dial and works as the main controller whereas the connected servers and PCs serve as the secondary devices.
Not only the gaming geeks but anybody with multiple devices, Desktop gaming PCs, smartphones, gaming laptops, and tabs may at times need one of these switches for multitasking without having to disconnect hardware from a system in order to use it with a different device. A common example in offices and shops is the connection of just one printer to multiple PCs so that there remains no need to disconnect and connect wires repeatedly to make the printer serve multiple desks. You must have seen this in banks!
The IOGEAR KVM Switch GCS52DP is what we like the most based on the price to performance ratio. However, We’ve listed a total of 10 best KVM Switches available for gaming in 2021 at different prices based on their cutting-edge features. You may select the one that meets your requirements as well as budget.
List of 10 Best KVM Switches
- IOGEAR GCS52DP KVM Switch – Best for regular use
- Rosewill RKV-2UC – Best 2 Port USB KVM Switch
- ULBRE Soho – Best for Office Use
- UGREEN USB Switch Selector – Best for Gaming
- JideTech 4 Port – Best 4 Port VGA KVM Switch
- ieGeek USB KVM Switch Box – Perfect for multiple monitors
- RIJER 8 Port KVM Switch – Great for datacenter
- CKLau 4Kx2K – Best HDMI KVM Switch
- RYBOZEN USB 3.0 KVM Switch – Best for 4K Gaming @60Hz
- TESmart HDMI – Best 4K Ultra HD KVM Switch
1. IOGEAR GCS52DP KVM Switch
- HDCP Compliant DisplayPort1. 1
- Supports up to 4096×2160 @ 30Hz 4K Quality
- DisplayPort Switch
- Remote switch button
- Compatible with the wired USB Keyboard (Standard 104-Key)
- Compatible with the wired USB Mouse (2 and 3 buttons)
- Supports Optional Microphone and Speaker
- Lifetime technical support (FREE)
- 3-Year IOGEAR Warranty
- Compatible with Windows (7, 8.1, 10), Linus, Oracle Solaris, UNIX, and Mac OS X 9.0+
If you are looking for a KVM Switch with most of the basic features at a competitive price then you need to consider IOGEAR GCS52DP. The design and finishing of the box are compact, aesthetically appealing, and minimal and it is compatible with Unix, Mac, Linux, and Windows Operating Systems. It means that you can even use this KVM Switch with SBCs including Raspberry Pi and Arduino.
Since GC52DP is a Plug&Play hardware, it is convenient for most beginners. Simply press the remote button to switch between devices so you don’t have to be a tech-geek to use this product.
1.2-meter built-in cables let you connect maximum of two computers. The box comes with the HDCP compliant DisplayPort. The display supports 4K at 30Hz. In addition, there are 2x USB interfaces, one for the USB mouse, and the other for the USB keyboard. The audio in/out jacks is compatible with 2.1 and 7.1 audio.
For beginners, this DVI KVM switch is more convenient for casual use at your workshop or home. Build quality is delicate and robust at the same time and the box doesn’t require much space thanks to its compact design.
2. Rosewill RKV-2UC – 2Port USB KVM Switch
- VGA connector (Built-in)
- 2-Port USB interfaces
- Compatible with up to 2048 x 1536 resolution
- Compatible with Windows and Mac Operating Systems
- Compatible with Sun Solaris workstations
- DynaSync technology to avoid display resolution issues when switching
I don’t, normally, recommend anything with below-average quality but I’ve noticed that sometimes readers want something just to get into the basics of hardware so they want to give it a try by spending too little. Rosewill RKV-2UC is available at a shoestring budget and is best for those looking to have a practical overview of a KVM Switch.
Anyways, this product only comes with some basic features. You can connect the switch with up to two PCs via the built-in cables. It serves each connected PC with 2x USB and 1x VGA interfaces. The USB ports are reserved for the input (mouse and keyboard). The monitor can support up to 2048x1536p.
Rosewill RKV-2UC supports Mac and Windows however you can use it with Linux but in that case, the maximum resolution drops to 1024x768p. Since RKV-2UC is a Plu&Play switch, it is fairly simple and convenient for the newbies.
You can’t expect advanced features at this price so forget about audio connection or USB3.0 Port. Obviously, the quality is not what you find with high-end switches or even with mid-range switches. At the end of the day, you get the most of what you spend on this hardware.
Having said that, I mustn’t forget the remote selector, honestly, I didn’t anticipate this feature. With this feature, Rosewill RKV-2UC lets you switch ports via desktop. Switching between PCs using a low-end Switch could cause issues with the display quality but this isn’t the case with the RKV-2UC since it uses the Video DynaSync technology.
Another notable feature of this product is Power-ON Detection that allows the switch to monitor and detect if a computer turns OFF. It quickly identifies the problem and switches to the system that is running.
3. ULBRE Soho – Best for Office Use
- 4x USB 3.0 fast and shareable ports (max. 5 Gbps that is 10x faster as compared to the data transfer rate of USB 2.0 ports)
- One-Second USB switcher is convenient since there is no need to plug and unplug cables
- One-Key (One-Push) switch
- 2x USB Cables (1.5-meter each) make the device compatible with high-bandwidth devices such as webcams, external Hard Disks, and digital cameras
- PC selector box lets you select two systems to share a scanner or a printer
- MicroUSB Port (built-in) supports power supply in case if it needs when connecting high-power-consumption devices
- Plug & Play, user-friendly, and easy-to-operate hardware that doesn’t require additional software or drives
- 1-Year Warranty
The ULBRE Soho KVM Switch is also good for beginners, especially hobbyists. It is compatible with 2 computers at a time and serves with 4x USB 3.0 high-data-rate ports. This product also works with mechanical keyboards but in that case, you may have to live with a somewhat frustrating buzzing sound.
The best part about the ULBRE Soho KVM Switch is its minimal design that requires the least space. Swapping files between computers was never that simple and quick before. I find the data transfer speed fairly impressive as compared to that of USB 2.0 ports.
Switching from one system to the other is simple and quick. The one-press switch makes things extremely convenient and the practice becomes instinctive within a few hours. The power supply is sufficient for a storage drive, mouse, and keyboard, however, if you want to use a scanner, printer, or an HD camera, please make sure to use the MicroUSB charging port.
The problem is with the positioning of the interfaces for cable connection since wherever you place the box, the cable will be much visible to the onlookers and this is not appropriate in any setting. The cable connectors must have been to the back of the box.
4. UGREEN USB Switch Selector
- One-Button Switch
- 4x USB 2.0 Ports
- Can share flash drive, printer, keyboard, mouse, card reader, scanner, and more
- Driver free for Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, and Chrome
- LED indicators
- Supports Female Micro-USB Port for optional power supply
- The optional Micro-USB Port is best suited for the standard 5V adapter
This is an affordable user-friendly USB Switch from a credible maker. The build quality looks more stable and compact than many of its competitors. UGREEN USB Switch Selector lets you share various USB compatible devices between computers, including printers, card readers, and scanners. It can entertain two computers and one-press switching makes things pretty simple.
UGREEN USB Switch Selector is compatible with Chrome, Linux, Mac, and Windows Operating Systems. Since it is Plug & Play, you don’t really have to arrange for the drivers. The USB 2.0 Ports can transfer data at up to 480Mb/sec. The box features indication LEDs. You get a couple of USB cables (1.5-meter each) with this product.
The downside is that UGREEN USB Switch Selector comes without a power supply unit. However, it has a Micro USB Charging port that is compatible with a 5V adapter. Overall, this is a nice and minimal KVM Switch most suitable for simple settings at a small office or home.
5. JideTech 4 Port VGA KVM Switch
- Inexpensive, Plug & Play, and time-saving USB-Powered design
- Features upgraded chipset to reduce device crash and freezing issues
- Adapter-Less Plug & Play Box
- USB 2.0 port and USB 2.0 HUB for USB compatible devices including a printer
- Auto-Detect DDC and 2K video quality compatible supports up to 2048×1536 pixels
- The box includes 4x KVM cables suitable for Home Theater, Gaming Room, Meeting Room, Office, Enterprise, and Multimedia Teaching
JideTech VGA KVM Switch is a 4-Port box with good audio/video features shareable between 4 computers. You can add a display screen, keyboard, mouse, gaming console, microphone, and speakers, etc. The 4 KVM link arrangement doesn’t need a power supply since the transport mapper (USB) controls power input.
This device is compatible with Mac and Windows Operating Systems. Being a Plug & Play box, it doesn’t need additional software or drivers. Considering a VGA Switch, the dimensions of the box are still compact and pleasing to the eye. The design is somewhat muscular but not ugly. Apparently, it looks like a plastic case but actually, it is a metal case, that is more durable and secure than its competitors.
The coordinated USB Hub of the JideTech 4 Port VGA KVM Switch lets you use to switch between 4 computers while sharing the devices between them through convenient mapping. There is no need to arrange for the power supply to feed the switch which makes things more convenient for the user.
The lack of compatibility with the multi-media keyboard is what I personally don’t like about this device. Overall, it is a competitive product with reasonable features, especially the capacity to facilitate 4x computers instead of two at a time.
6. ieGeek USB KVM Switch Box
- Facilitates 4x computers at a time
- 4x VGA Cables, the power supply is not required since the USB cable from the PC supplies power to the box
- Plug & Play, no need for drivers and additional software
- LED Indicators
- Compatible with All Windows versions since Windows 98
- Compatible with Unix, Linux, Netware, and Mac OS
- Supports stable 1920 x 1440 pixels (max.) display quality
- USB 2.0 ports to support USB devices including scanners and printers
- 30-Day Free Return from ieGeek
- 12-Month Warranty (Money-Back)
- Lifetime Technical Support
If you need a KVM Switch that supports 4 computers rather than 2 at a time then consider ieGeek USB KVM Switch Box. It is available at a competitive price. The muscular design of the box looks appealing but the positioning of cable interfaces is a bit surprising since you will have to arrange for space from where the wires can spread in all directions. Anyways, features are convincing – it is Plug & Play, it doesn’t require an external power supply, and it supports decent video quality.
4x VGA USB cables come with the box so you don’t have to arrange for additional accessories. The switching speed is not bad. The best thing I noticed is the compatibility with Windows 98 up to 2007 versions which you don’t find with some KVM switches. In addition, this box works with Linux, Mac OS, and Unix to let you integrate SBC such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi.
As far as the scope is concerned, I find ieGEEK VGA USB Switch Box suitable for virtual meetings, interviews, conferencing, business, gaming, and office settings. However, the design of the box gives the impression that it is meant more for enthusiasts and gaming geeks.
7. RIJER 8 Port KVM Switch
- Supports both, Button-Press and Remote Switch (Keyboard Switch is not compatible)
- Supports sharing between 8 computers
- Supports 1920 x 1440p (max.) display quality
- DOS Compatible
- Works with Windows, Novell, and Linux Operating Systems
- Features unique protection feature against lightening which protects systems and device through 15KV air discharge
- Simple assembly and operation
- 8x KVM cables in the box
- Suitable for internet café, telecom paging, information control, security system, trading system, data center, industrial control, test center, power plant monitoring, video surveillance, school/college laboratories, and more
This is a decent design for all professional settings. What I like the most is the positioning of the cable connectors because it is best for convenient clearance to avoid the fuss. If you are not satisfied with sharing between two or four computers then consider Rijer 8 Port KVM Switch as it lets you share hardware between up to 8 computers.
The VGA interface supports up to 1920 x 1440 pixels, not what I expected at this price, but good for most professional settings. The rackmount design keeps things simple and efficient. The designers didn’t try anything out of the box and sometimes this is the best idea to avoid loopholes in the design of any electronic gadget.
In the case of high-voltage overflow, the box can handle it easily with 8KV discharge in addition to the air discharge (15KV) if needed. This KVM Switch doesn’t need an external power source. It automatically feeds on the power of one of the connected computers.
What I don’t like is the confusion between the buyer and the manufacturer since there is no hint about the expected warranty, replacement, or a money-back guarantee. Neither is there anything clear about the technical support.
8. CKLau 4Kx2K HDMI KVM Switch
- 4x HDMI SUB Switches
- Supports Computers, NVRs, and DVRs
- Supports microphone and speakers
- USB 2.0 Hub
- 4x KVM Cables (5-feet each)
- Remote Push-Button Switch
- 4K and 2K Compatible (@30Hz)
- Single Wireless Keyboard and Mouse compatibility
- 12-Month warranty
- Hot-Keys support (configurable)
- Apple Keyboard is also compatible
- Supports OLED and Touch Display
- Compatible with Windows, Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu, Mac, Linux, and Raspbian Operating Systems
- Independent Switching via Keyboard and Mouse
- Direct access to BIOS
Well, a long list of features makes this HDMI KVM Switch a considerable option if you are looking for a switch compatible with 4K display quality. CKLau 4Kx2K HDMI KVM Switch can facilitate 4 computers and you can control the switch using configurable hotkeys or the remote that is included in the box.
I consider this KVM Switch best for most open-source developers working with SBCs and microcontrollers since it supports Raspbian, Ubuntu, Fedora, and Debian, in addition to the conventional Operating Systems. This feature makes this board more convenient for multitasking while working with sensors, AI devices, and even if you are just trying to throw a small party at your workplace with your close friends.
It is important to note that the 4K and 2K compatibility is meant for display quality at 30Hz. Apparently, the box looks reliable and conventional to modern standards but in reality, the build is not as good as expected from the KVM Switches at this price.
There are 3 USB inputs, two of them are reserved for mouse and the remaining is reserved for a keyboard. The box also supports Apple Keyboards which is a good feature you don’t often find in most switches.
Nonetheless, a 12-Month warranty is good to see. Overall, this is a good option if you want an HDMI 4K compatible KVM switch at a mid-range budget with a number of promising features.
9. RYBOZEN USB 3.0 KVM Switch – Best for 4K Gaming @60Hz
- Sharing between 2x Computers
- 4x Fast data transfer ports (USB 3.0) good for flash drives, printers, card readers, and scanners
- Not need to look for the Drivers since it is a Plug & Play device
- Compatible with Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, and Chrome Operating Systems without requiring drivers
- Multiport Connection and One-Button Switch
- LED indicators
- MicroUSB Power Supply input compatible with an external 5V adapter (Adapter is not included)
If you want a considerable price vs value ratio then Rybozen USB 3.0 KVM switch is an option. I added this switch to the list for its USB 3.0 ports. Normally, at this price, you find switches with USB 2.0 ports. In addition, it comes with a MicroUSB power supply port so that you can use an external adapter to support high-power-consumption devices if connected to the box.
Connect 4x USB devices and share them across 2x computers. The design is clean and there is nothing unnecessary on top in terms of branding. It looks similar to a nicely sliced brick and is very 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.
Not a fancy design or extraordinary features but a decent box at a decent price. I think this is one of the best KVM switches under 25$ available for basic needs.
10. TESmart HDMI 4K Ultra HD KVM Switch
- Sharing between 4 computers
- Supports Ultra HD 4K at 60Hz
- Lightweight aluminum-alloy design with anodic oxidation and multiple cooling features
- Compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, and Unix
- Remote switch (DOES NOT include the battery)
The purpose of including TESmart HDMI KVM Switch, despite some of its major drawbacks, is that it features HDMI KVM Switch compatible with 4K at 60Hz display quality.
Accepting the drawbacks, this box still is considerable since you can’t ignore some of its prime features. It will be a bit tricky to select the best color variant but I’d recommend you avoid maroon ore red, go for either grey or black. It is made of aluminum allows and the shiny maroon surface looks a bit cheaper.
Switching between devices is simple and convenient. You can use 4 systems at a time to share devices between them. Hot switching is supported by this switch but please note that hotkey switching may not work if the USB 2.0 port is connected.
All basic functions of keyboard and mouse work nice and quick with this box but it may not support some of the multimedia keyboards, lighting mouses, or advanced mechanical keyboards. This is a major drawback for gaming geeks in particular.
As long as the warranty and technical support are concerned, I’d ask you to forget post-purchase services or support since you aren’t going to get any after buying TESmart HDMI KVM Switch.
Other than the KVM switchers, you may also need:
- Best HDMI switches
- Best RTX 2060, RTX 2070 Super, RTX 2080 Super or 2080 Ti
- Best Curved Gaming Monitors, and 4K Gaming TVs
KVM Switch Buyer’s Guide
Technology evolves quickly and KVM Switches are no exception. Keeping this in mind, you need to consider the latest features in a KVM Switch considering the OS and device compatibility. Shortlist your needs and try to maintain a realistic balance between your budget and features. This way, shortlisting the best KVM Switches becomes easier. The following are the important points you must consider when selecting the best KVM Switch.
Device and OS compatibility is something you mustn’t ignore and at the same time don’t forget to consider how convenient the functionality of the switch is in the work environment you want to use it in. Consider the type of input devices the switch supports or if it is compatible with multi-media keyboards and gaming consoles with the latest features.
To judge the functionality of a KVM Switch, make sure to go through the most credible review sites and customers’ feedback on major eCom platforms. These reviews best highlight the cons of a device since they come from actual buyers. What you see on the internet is the seller’s perspective and promotional description of the product. What you can find in the reviews is the thing you need to anticipate what to expect while using the KVM Switch.
2. Device Compatibility
If you are an open-source developer, you must go for a KVM Switch that supports Debian, Linux, and Raspbian Operating Systems. For office setups, the best KVM Switch is the one that not only supports Windows and Mac OS but is also compatible with contemporary USB printers and scanners. For gaming, a KVM Switch that supports keyboard, mouse, and gaming console with advanced features is recommended. In short, it comes down to your anticipated use of the KVM Switch.
Carefully go through the cable connectors and communication interfaces to see if they are compatible with your existing setup. For instance, some KVM Switches are compatible with PS/2 or DVI display ports and you can’t use them with VGA or USB exclusive interfaces.
You need to see if the KVM Switch supports the connection and equipment you are using instead of having to buy a new set of accessories and connectors to make the KVM Switch work properly.
4. Expansion Ports
You might need a KVM Switch for 2 or 4 systems for the time being. But if your budget allows, it is better to look for the switch that supports more computers than you need at the time of the purchase. The reason is, at setup expansion, you will not have to buy a new KVM switch to support more computers. However, if you don’t anticipate setup expansion in a couple of years, there is no real need to worry about the number of ports.
5. On-Screen Display
Visual assistance is important especially when the system is online. GUI makes customization and configuration more convenient. This feature is more desirable if your setup needs frequent switching between systems.
6. Miscellaneous Features
- A growing business will need a KVM Switch that is suitable for server racking. A switch that you can easily convert to a rackmount is ideal for expanding business.
- I’ve found over the years that a KVM Switch with its power supply is more consistent as compared to the KVM Switches that feed on power from the connected systems. Some KVM Switches don’t come with an adapter. Make sure to check if the compatible adapter is available on the local market.
- An often-overlooked consideration is the cable length. It is better to check the length of the cables because occasionally the cable length shipped in the box is significantly shorter than you need.
What is the function of a KVM Switch?
Primarily, the function of a KVM Switch is to connect a single set of devices to multiple computers facilitating the user with switching between computers without having to unplug and connect cables from one computer to the other.
How many computers can you connect to a KVM Switch?
The Switch itself is a simple box with connector and interfaces and comes with a set of compatible KVM Cables or Cat5 Cables. Most KVM Switches can connect from 2 to 8 computers but some can even facilitate 32 computers. For enterprises, KVM Switches support cascading or daisy-chaining to support 500 computers or even more.
What are the major categories of KVM Switches?
You can categorize KVM Switches into 4 major categories depending upon control perspective and system access.
- Single User KVM Switch
Best for newbies and suitable for a remote office or small setup. These switches can normally support from 4 to 8 systems.
- Multi-User KVM Switch
Best for data centers and large installations in a professional setup. These switches support from 16 to 64 servers.
- Analog KVM Switch
Based on the application perspective, the analog switch supports Cat5 or Coax cable connection between the server and the console through the KVM box.
- Digital KVM Switch
Digital KVM Switch aka KVM over IP is the switches that still need a direct connection between KVM and computers but you can control the switch over the global network of LAN over IP address.
Before shortlisting the best KVM Switch, make sure to shortlist your needs realistically keeping your budget in mind. There is no need to look for a high-end expensive KVM Switch if your setup is simple and has fewer computers. However, if you can afford and you anticipate setup expansion in the coming months, go for a KVM Switch that can support more computers than you currently have.