The 6 Best KVM Switches on Earth Today

A KVM (Keyboard Video Mouse) switch is a must-have device for anyone juggling multiple computers and looking to reduce desktop clutter. By allowing you to control two, four or even eight computers from a single keyboard, mouse and monitor, a KVM switch maximizes efficiency and eliminates the need for duplicate peripherals.

But with so many KVM switch options on the market, how do you determine which model best fits your needs and budget? This definitive guide breaks down the six best KVM switches available today based on performance, features and value. We‘ll compare and contrast the pros and cons of each pick so you can find your ideal match.

How Do KVM Switches Work?

Before diving into the top KVM switch recommendations, let‘s quickly review how these clever devices function.

A KVM switch allows you to connect multiple computers to shared input and output devices. This means several PCs can utilize one keyboard, mouse and monitor.

The switch itself enables you to toggle which computer‘s video feed gets displayed on the monitor. It also channels the keyboard and mouse input to control the active machine.

This allows seamless switching between multiple connected PCs without having to swap cables around. It‘s an efficient and clutter-free way to operate multiple computers from a single workstation.

Most KVM switches handle two to four PCs, but specialty models can accommodate up to 64 machines!

Key Benefits of Using a KVM Switch

Saves Money – Reduces costs by eliminating duplicate peripherals for each computer

Saves Time – Swift switching between PCs improves workflow speed

Saves Desk Space – Consolidates equipment into a compact hardware configuration

Enables Collaboration – Allows coworkers to share access to a PC from one keyboard and screen

Allows Remote Access – Manage networked machines from a central console

Increases Security – Isolates secure networks and controls access between machines

Now let‘s explore the highest-rated KVM switches available today across a range of budgets and use cases.

1. Best Overall: KinAnio 4K HDMI KVM Switch

The KinAnio 4K HDMI KVM Switch is our top overall pick thanks to its stellar performance, premium construction and reasonable price point.

Key Features:

  • 4K UHD and 1080p support
  • 2 port design for connecting 2 PCs
  • Plug-and-play operation
  • Solid metal housing
  • Push button and hotkey switching

This versatile unit offers simple operation and flexible control options. The sturdy metal chassis provides durability while the compact size conserves space.

It‘s compatible with the latest HDMI 2.0 standards, delivering fluid 4K 60Hz video. You can share a keyboard, mouse, audio devices and transfer files between the two connected machines with ease.

The manual push button allows quick switching between PCs. But more conveniently, you can toggle devices using keyboard hotkeys without having to reach around to the switch box itself.

With outstanding performance, great connectivity and a reasonable price tag, the KinAnio 4K HDMI KVM Switch hits the sweet spot for most users. It provides excellent value without breaking the bank.

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  • Great value
  • 4K and 1080p video support
  • Keyboard hotkey functionality
  • Compact, durable metal construction


  • Fixed 2 port design limits expandability
  • Lacks mic input

2. Best for Business: IOGEAR Secure KVM Switch

With robust security capabilities, the IOGEAR Secure KVM Switch is an excellent choice for connecting business computers in banking, government or military environments.

Key Features:

  • Protects confidential data
  • 2 or 4 port options
  • Virtual Media support
  • 2048-bit RSA authentication
  • Tamper-resistant design

This hardened KVM switch features extensive protection measures to prevent unauthorized access between secured machines.

It safeguards confidential data by electronically isolating networks. For example, it allows toggling between an internet-facing PC and an isolated offline workstation while blocking any migration of data between the two.

Advanced security provisions include smart card/CAC authentication, tamper-proof anti-snooping enclosures and hardware data diodes to inhibit network contamination.

With rigorous encryption shielding your workstations and sensitive documents, the IOGEAR Secure KVM provides robust real-world protection for defense agencies, corporations and other privacy-focused organizations.

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  • Bank-grade security features
  • Prevents data migration between isolated networks
  • Rugged metal construction


  • Expensive
  • Overkill for home and small office uses

3. Best Budget: Huacan Long Computer Monitor KVM Switch

If you‘re looking for basic KVM functionality on a budget, the Huacan Long Computer Monitor model fits the bill.

Key Features:

  • Wallet-friendly price
  • 1080p video
  • 2 port design
  • Low-profile durable casing
  • Plug-and-play setup

This compact and affordable unit lets you toggle between two HDMI computers using shared USB mouse/keyboard and an HDMI monitor.

The streamlined Huacan Long KVM doesn‘t have extra bells and whistles. But it provides reliable 1080p video and USB 2.0 peripheral sharing at an entry-level cost.

If no-fuss HDMI switching is all you need, this budget-friendly pick delivers good-enough performance for thrifty shoppers and casual users.

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  • Very inexpensive
  • Slim, durable plastic housing
  • Easy plug-and-play installation


  • Lacks 4K or dual monitor support
  • No USB 3.0

4. Best for Mac: ConnectPRO Thunderbolt 3 Dual Display KVM

The ConnectPRO Dual Display KVM switch offers premium performance for new Macs and PCs via Thunderbolt 3 support.

Key Features:

  • 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3
  • Supports dual 4K monitors
  • 2 computer connections
  • 85W power delivery
  • Metal aluminum construction

This high-end Thunderbolt 3 KVM delivers sensational speed thanks to cutting-edge connectivity. It harnesses the 40 Gbps bandwidth of USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 to prevent lag and enable smooth UHD 4K x 2 operation.

The ConnectPRO handles two computers via Thunderbolt 3 as well as DisplayPort. The Thunderbolt 3 ports even provide up to 85W of host power to your connected machines.

With speedy performance, seamless dual monitor output and stylish metal housing, it‘s a top-tier choice for use with new Thunderbolt 3-equipped Windows PCs or Macs.

Just keep in mind this elite-level unit comes at a premium price. But for media creators and power users wanting the pinnacle of KVM capability, it delivers the goods.

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  • Lightning 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 standard
  • Flawless dual 4K screen performance
  • Sleek and durable aluminum exterior


  • Extremely expensive
  • Overkill unless you have Thunderbolt 3 devices

5. Best 4K Video: IOGEAR 4K HDMI KVM Switch

The IOGEAR 4K HDMI KVM lives up to its name by offering superb 3840×2160 4K video for high-resolution dual monitor setups.

Key Features:

  • Gorgeous 4K 60Hz video
  • 2 monitor extended desktop
  • 2 computer connections
  • Mouse/keyboard emulation
  • Pushbutton and hotkey switching

This IOGEAR unit shines thanks to flawless 4K performance at 60Hz across two displays. It allows lag-free gaming, video editing and content creation using Ultra HD monitors.

The extended desktop function enables using a second display for expanded screen real estate. And the mouse/keyboard emulation delivers smooth switching between the two connected PCs.

With stellar UHD video handling and multi-monitor capabilities, it‘s a terrific choice for graphics, engineering and creative pros needing pixel-perfect 4K quality.

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  • Beautiful dual 4K monitor support
  • Lag-free 60Hz video for gaming
  • Supports HDR10 video
  • Extended desktop functionality


  • No Thunderbolt 3 option

6. Best 8 Port: ATEN CS22U 8-Port KVM Switch

For those with an array of computers up to 8 strong, the ATEN CS22U 8-Port KVM Switch is a standout choice for handling a fleet of PCs and servers.

Key Features:

  • 8 computer connections
  • Daisy chain capable
  • 4K resolution
  • Redundant power supply
  • Infrared and hotkey switching

This brawny switch offers ample capacity to manage a sizable collection of devices from one station. And it can even scale up to control 64 PCs when daisy-chained to other compatible KVM switches.

Despite its expandability, the space-saving housing maintains a slim 1U rack-mountable profile. It also offers redundant power inputs to avoid interruptions.

With robust construction, ultra-high 4K video and almost unlimited expandability via daisy chaining, this mighty multitasker effortlessly conquers huge hardware arrays.

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  • Generous 8 port capacity
  • Scales up via daisy chaining
  • Industrial-grade durability
  • Non-blocking operation supports concurrent access


  • Overpowered for home and small office
  • Expensive due to robust feature set

KVM Switch Buying Considerations

Keep the following key criteria in mind when selecting your KVM switch:

Number of Computers

Consider current needs and likely future growth. For home use, a 2 or 4 port KVM is generally sufficient. But power users can utilize switches supporting 8, 16 or even 64 devices.

Video Resolution

Lower-end KVM switches max out at 1920×1080 (1080p) while higher-end models offer 3840×2160 (4K UHD) for the latest Multi-HD and UHD monitors. Bear in mind cables like HDMI 2.0 are required to handle huge resolutions exceeding 1080p.

Peripheral Compatibility

Look for appropriate peripheral ports (USB, Thunderbolt etc.) to match your computer hardware. Also confirm that your KVM supports necessary peripheral data rates, like USB 3.0 for high-speed external storage drives.

Display Support

For multi-screen setups, choose an extended desktop KVM switch specifically supporting dual or even quad monitor configurations.

Console Type

Desktop KVM switches allow operation next to the connected PCs using screen, keyboard and mouse. Rack mountable switches with separate console allow control from a switch hub installed remotely in a data center.

Security Features

For sensitive applications, secure government and military KVM switches prevent data flows between isolated networks via encryption, authentication and physical chassis protections.

By keeping these criteria in mind and matching technical capabilities to your needs, you‘re sure to locate just the right flavor of KVM switch.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I setup a KVM switch step-by-step?

  1. Turn off all devices you are connecting to the KVM switch.
  2. Connect each computer to the KVM using designated cables for video input/output and keyboard/mouse input.
  3. Connect your monitor, mouse and keyboard to the shared KVM outputs.
  4. Power up connected computers and toggle KVM to confirm operation.
  5. Install drivers/software as needed for advanced functionality like mouse synchronization or hotkeys.

What cables will I need for my KVM switch?

  • Monitor Cable (HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI, VGA etc.)
  • USB Cable for keyboard/mouse connectivity
  • Additional Video and USB cables to link computers to KVM switch ports

How do you switch between computers on a KVM?

  • Toggle front panel pushbutton on KVM switch box.
  • Invoke keyboard hotkey sequence (for models with hotkey support).
  • Toggle remote switch on end of cable leading from KVM (for remote controlled units).

Can you use a KVM switch for gaming?

Absolutely! Higher-performance KVM switches support very high resolutions and refresh rates essential for gaming, allowing convenient switching between gaming rigs.

Do KVM switches work with Macs?

Many KVM switches support USB connectivity for interfacing with Macs. But for newer Macs with Thunderbolt 3 ports, choose a KVM switch specifically supporting Thunderbolt for maximum compatibility.

Can I connect a KVM to multiple monitors?

Yes, select an "extended desktop" KVM switch specifically designed for dual, triple or quad monitor installations. This allows using twin monitors to double your screen real estate.

No matter your use case – gaming, content creation, business computing or just basic home office desktop management – equipping yourself with a KVM switch vastly improves workflow. Hopefully this guide has helped match you to your perfect KVM soulmate!

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