Question Setup advice or KVM recommendation ?

darybrain

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I'm starting a new job in a few days where I can work fully remote so I will have my old personal laptop and a new work laptop. I'm technically blind so I currently have to plug the personal laptop into a large monitor and use an external USB keyboard and mouse for easier readability/use. Since I stare at the monitor instead of the laptop I use a separate webcam and USB headset for videocalls instead of the laptop built in camera and I also have to use a USB wifi extender as my reception is rubbish. I would also like to do this with the work laptop, but ideally don't want to keep moving cables so I could use both machines easily.

I use a single old Dell monitor which does have both HDMI and DVI ports so I could plug in both laptops and change channels when needed. The monitor also has 4 x USB A and 1 x USB B, but I don't know if I plug in the keyboard, mouse, webcam, headset, or wifi extender into the monitor will they automatically become available to the relevant laptop as I change channels. Is a better solution to get a KVM or USB switch? I started looking for KVMs, but the specs started getting confusing, hence the call for advice here. Some KVM devices suggested that the display resolution needed to be the same on both laptops while other made no mention of this. Some suggested that the image quality was not great. Some suggested that the transmission of keystrokes and clicks wasn't great - I'm not worried about gaming anyway.

What would be your setup suggestion or device recommendation? If I have to buy new kit then I'd like to do it before I start work. I'm not sure if all the cables will come with any new device or if I have to buy the separately. Thanks in advance for any help.
 

darybrain

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IMO, KVM switches are outdated and/or extremely expensive.

I use a USB switch:
https://www.amazon.com/Selector-ABLEWE-Switcher-Peripheral-One-Button/dp/B07TS5JNT3

And I plug both PCs into each of my monitors. When I want to work on a different PC, I just switch the input on my monitor OSD and push the button on my USB switch.
Thanks. Your particular model doesn't seem to appear in the Amazon UK list, but I could look for something similar. The USB switch specs seems more simple than any advertised KVM. Would the USB switch handle the wifi extender and webcam okay? Does the switch you suggested require it's own power?
 
Thanks. Your particular model doesn't seem to appear in the Amazon UK list, but I could look for something similar. The USB switch specs seems more simple than any advertised KVM. Would the USB switch handle the wifi extender and webcam okay? Does the switch you suggested require it's own power?
As far as the wifi extender gos, have you considered getting the type that plugs into the wall and strengthens the wifi in that area? This would eliminate it having to be attached to a specific laptop as both would be connected to it wirelessly. This would also eliminate the possibility of the wifi extender not working properly if at all attached to a USB switch. Examples:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N8ROH7G/ref=emc_b_5_t

https://www.amazon.com/TP-LINK-TL-WA860RE-Universal-Wireless-Pass-Through/dp/B00PEW7V7E?th=1
 

tennis2

Judicious
Would the USB switch handle the wifi extender and webcam okay?
Can't think of any reason why it wouldn't as long as the devices are capable of hot-swapping (they should be). USB3.0 should have plenty of bandwidth for a M&K, wifi, and webcam I'd think.

Does the switch you suggested require it's own power?
Powered via the USB cable(s). It gets power from both/either.
 

darybrain

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As far as the wifi extender gos, have you considered getting the type that plugs into the wall and strengthens the wifi in that area? This would eliminate it having to be attached to a specific laptop as both would be connected to it wirelessly. This would also eliminate the possibility of the wifi extender not working properly if at all attached to a USB switch. Examples:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N8ROH7G/ref=emc_b_5_t

https://www.amazon.com/TP-LINK-TL-WA860RE-Universal-Wireless-Pass-Through/dp/B00PEW7V7E?th=1
Unfortunately no bueno. I tried a couple of different brands and a powerline connection before getting the USB adapter. The plug in wifi extenders barely improved my connection (no idea why) and the powerline didn't work at all as my study appears to be on a different ring to the router. Ideal solution for the connection would be to have a ethernet cable for speed, reliability, and ease, but the router/ISP hub is the opposite end of the house and it's too pricey to wire up the house. The router can't be run in modem mode only either so I can't sort out a mesh network. The USB wifi extender seems to work a treat though. Ethernet outlets, like power outlets, should be in every room as part of a house build I say.
 
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