Control Multiple PCs With A Single Set Of Keyboard & Mouse

If you use more than a PC at a time to do separate tasks, then you have already faced problem accommodating more than one pair of keyboard and mouse on your desk. Along with that, you can’t comfortably access all of them from your sitting position. One solution is use Multiplicity if you don’t want to spend a penny.

To start with, you need to install that software on all your computers. The free version lets you use two computers with same keyboard and mouse whereas the paid variant allows maximum 9 systems. Visit their site, enter your email address and download it. You need to choose a primary computer that is connected with a keyboard and mouse and denote another one as the secondary. Secondary computer is which can be controlled from your primary computer. After installing Multiplicity on both computers, you need to connect them together. If a scan for secondary machines doesn’t start automatically, click the “Add Computer” button and enter the name of your secondary computer. You will be instructed to give a password to ensure a secured connection to control another PC.

multiplicity-config-position

Multiplicity provides 3×3 grid structure where at the center you will find your primary machine. Place another machine in any other grid of your choice. If you move the mouse cursor in that directions from your primary machine you will see the cursor on the screen of another computer. This way you can control up to nine systems. Place other eight on the empty places on the grid while the primary stays at the center, it is as simple as that.

multiplicity-settings

Under the “Settings” tab, you can set hot-keys to quickly switch between computers if you don’t want to scroll to the edge of the screen every time. Also, if you want more customization and control, just click on the button named “Control switching based on mouse movement” and you will find more useful mouse based controls.

multiplicity-mouse-switching

The pricing for paid version is $39.95 for controlling a maximum of 9 PCs. Paid version has some more benefits like drop files and folders, send keyboard input to all PCs at once, locking all PCs with a single command etc. Also you can centralize audio from all your systems to one PC with the paid version.

multiplicity-pricing

This product is very easy to use and very useful for anyone who uses multiple computers like gamers, financial professionals, developers etc and the paid version seems a good fit for them. However, if you are just a normal user and happen to own a laptop and a desktop at home, this app can be used in multitude of ways like using your laptop as a remote control to watch movies on the bigger screen(desktop) while you sit back on a couch/bed which otherwise would have needed you a wireless mouse. So comfort at zero price is the most essential USP for the app and I recommend it for anyone who happens to own more than one PC.

7 comments

  1. Have a look at Synergy. It works with Windows, Linux, Mac and is Open source. IIRC the featureset is close to the paid version of Multiplicity.

  2. I agree with @ol… The configuration can sometimes be hard to do but the result is almost exactly the same.

  3. Synergy is free (donations are good though), works with as many PCs as you like and unlike Windows-only Multiplicity works with Mac, Windows and Linux: http://synergy-foss.org/

    I use it all the time for my Windows/Linux work station set up, it does the job very well.

  4. I used Synergy for a while, and stopped using it because of a secutiry issue: the communication between computers is not encrypted. So, whatever you type can be sniffed. This is very critical for me.

  5. @Paulo: right – work, an intranet or LAN I would assume, unless for some bizarre reason your LAN is open to the public. No one at your place of work would be likely to sniffing your data (unless you have very poor sysadmins). Regardless, if you just hooked up the network connections for each machine to a switch before connecting back out to the intranet no packets would get farther than your Synergy machines and said switch.

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