I have a laptop and a desktop computer at home. I want to be able to switch easily between using my laptop and using my desktop with the same mouse/monitor/keyboard without having to plug/unplug anything from my desktop each time i switch devices.

I suppose there is a device that lets you plugin a keyboard, mouse and monitor and connect that device to both the laptop and desktop. The device then decides which computer will be connected to the mouse/keyboard/monitor. For instance pressing a button on the device to switch between laptop and desktop. (an image that illustrates what I mean, I don't have enough reputation to post it directly yet).

I assume such a device or something similar exists but I can't find how its called and where I can buy it.

  • 1
    You mean a KVM Switch? Here is a better image. Pick your favorite computer parts store they all have one for sale. – Ramhound Apr 9 '15 at 17:02

What you're looking for is called KVM switch, and the range is big. What you need is one of the cheaper ones, which basically lets you connect VGA and/or DVI in addition to some USB devices and sometimes including sound. This shouldn't set you back too much, as it's a fairly basic device. In large environments, it is common for entire KVM systems that costs >10k USD, as these can run over ethernet instead of dedicated KVM cables, and often supports a massive amount of computers.

Alternatively, you can use Synergy or one of its equivalents for a software approach. It allows you to set up a server (the one with the actual mouse and keyboard) and a client that lets itself be controlled by said mouse and keyboard if the correct hotkey is pressed.

EDIT: It seems that Synergy is not free anymore, but I remember it as being good, and the price is fairly cheap. It does, however, have many free alternatives.

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  • Thanks, the KVM switch is what I was looking for. Synergy (and similar products) sounds cool too, but the drawback is that I will still need to work with a small laptop display rather than having the laptop system displayed on the bigger desktop monitor. – Stefan Apr 10 '15 at 13:17

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