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I'm a fan of Synergy, but it's too buggy for me to seriously use. It breaks highlighting on the server side, and it breaks the AutoType features in KeePass, among other stability problems (i.e. sometimes it makes a shift key be stuck down...).

I'm curious if there are tools that do anything similar out there.

However, unlike Synergy, cross platform usability isn't a requirement. I rarely use anything other than my Windows boxes; and those are all I need something to work for.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I recomend Input Director.

Here are some of the features:

Manage all your computers at once

  • Simultaneously lock all computers
  • Synchronise the screensavers across your computers
  • Synchronise shutdown of your system (or individually configure whether a computer goes to standby, hibernate or shuts down)


  • Encrypt network data between Input Director controlled computers using AES with a 128, 192 or 256bit key
  • Lock down the Input Director configuration so that only Administrators may make changes
  • Systems can limit which master systems can control them by host name, ip address or network subnet

Transition Features

  • Ripples surround the cursor for a few seconds after transitioning to help the eye follow the cursor from one computer to another:
  • Transitioning using the mouse can be setup to occur:
    • Immediately when the cursor hits the edge of the screen
    • If the screen edge is double tapped by the cursor
  • If the cursor momentarily pauses at the edge of the screen
  • Can be configured to limit transitions near the corners of computer monitors to avoid accidental slippage between systems
  • Can also set a key (or keys) that must be held down to permit transitions between systems
  • Hotkeys can be setup to switch control to a specific computer or move to the next computer to the left or right

More features...

  • A semi-transparent information window that can be overlaid on any (or all) systems, pointing to the system currently being controlled.
  • With the click of a check box a slave can temporarily be skipped
  • On startup slave systems will inform the master system that they are available
  • Slave systems inform the master system when they're about to be shutdown or rebooted and the master will automatically skip them when navigating between computers
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Initial review of this looks really good -- this might just do the trick. +1. – Billy ONeal Mar 5 '11 at 10:09

It's worth mentioning Mouse Without Borders.

Mouse without borders is Microsoft's answer to Synergy. It allows you to have multiple (windows) machines side by side and have them controlled by one mouse and keyboard. Pretty much like Synergy does but admittedly in a Microsoft-closed fashion. If you're working on the Microsoft stack then it may be worth considering.

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ZoneScreen may be an alternative to Synergy.

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I love zone screen. It works great but it does not use your systems power natural resources. it just turns old system in to an estra moniter. But still awsome when you just need to have the extra screen space. – jamason1983 Mar 5 '11 at 9:46
Interesting concept though -- both systems in this case are reasonably speedy and should be independent, but it's a neat idea. Doesn't exactly answer this question though. – Billy ONeal Mar 5 '11 at 10:09

synergy-foss is a better implementation of synergy2 without so many bugs and with a nice gui to configure. For Macs you could use Teleport but it only works between macs :_S

good luck!

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Synergy-foss is synergy. Both the Synergy and Synergy Plus pages redirect there at this point. – Billy ONeal Mar 5 '11 at 10:05
sure about that, but maybe the synergy version that you're running is not up to date, it happens to me a few months ago, an update of synergy to synergy-foss make it works perfect! :_D – n00b Mar 5 '11 at 10:17

If it's just for Windows and you don't mind paying for it then I recommend Desktop Rover.


  • Proxies the clipboard protocol so that you can paste files, folders, Word fragments, Excel ranges, etc.
  • Built-in encryption.
  • Supports mouse/keyboard control of Pocket PC devices.


  • Only get support and software updates for one year.
  • Sliding purchase model that restricts the number of computers you can connect together.

The first con is actually severe as you may need to repurchase to continue using the product on later versions of Windows.

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Share Mouse

Supports Windows XP/Vista/7 and Mac OSX "Snow Leopard" or "Lion"

  • Portable USB thumb-drive mode;
  • Drag & drop of files;
  • Clipboard transfer;
  • Optional network traffic encryption.

Free for non-commercial / not power-user (limited to 2 computers). or US$ 24.95 for each computer used.

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I recommend:

It's from Microsoft and it's free and I've tried sharemouse, synergy, and a few others whose names have escaped my memory and this one from microsoft is by far the best.

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