KVM Switch Selection Guide

KVM Switches. How to choose the best one?

Keyboard, Video and Mouse Switches are used to connect users to their computers. There are many types of  switches to meet a wide variety of customer needs, but choosing the best  kvm switches can be a challenge. Here are the major questions to consider:

  1. How many users and computers are there?
  2. What are the distances between the users and the computers?
  3. What type of cabling will connect the users and computers?

Here’s some quick advice to find the best kvm switch. If you want point-to-point access to a single computer, then look into KVM Extension. If you have a few computers in close proximity, then a Desktop Switch may be right for you. If you have a small server room or lab within 1000 feet of the users, then look into Analog Matrix Switches. KVM-over-IP Switches provide flexible, local and multi-user IP access of 8 to 64 computers, that scales to thousands of computers via Raritan’s Centralized Access and Management System.

The table below summarizes the types of KVM switches, from enterprise wide IP access to the extension of a single computer. Look at the Typical Applications column for the type that best matches your application.

Switch Type Table

The table below further explains the types of remote access available with the corresponding Raritan products. Click on a Raritan product for more information. 

Type  Overview Typical Applications User to Computer Distance Raritan Products
Centralized Access & Management System Centralized IP access to hundreds or thousands of servers across multiple locations Scales to world-wide, enterprise access for hundreds of users and tens of thousands of servers Unlimited distances via LAN, WAN, Internet CommandCenter Secure Gateway
Dominion Switches
KVM-over-IP Scalable family of KVM-over-IP switches from 1 user/8 ports to 8 users/64 ports. IP-based remote access for small labs to the largest, enterprise data centers via CommandCenter At-the-rack access plus unlimited distances via LAN, WAN, Internet Dominion KX III
Dominion LX
Dominion KX2-101-V2
Analog Matrix Scalable family of analog matrix switches from 1 to 8 users and 32 to 64 ports Supports local access for small labs, server rooms and data centers Up to 1000 foot distances Paragon II MasterConsole® Digital*
*supports both analog and digital devices
Desktop Supports a single user accessing 2 to 16 servers per switch Desktop or lab use. Can cascade switches to access hundreds of servers 5 to 50 foot distances CompuSwitch
expreZo Ezswitch
KVM Extension Point-to-point access of a single computer. Scales to access from multiple locations. Extended access to a single computer from one or more locations. Up to 500 feet. Can daisy chain via Ethernet switches for longer distances Cat5 Reach DVI

Characteristics Table

The final table provides detailed information on each Raritan product family, specifying the distances, cabling and the number of users/computers supported. Click on the Raritan product to view the product spec sheet.

Type Characteristics Raritan Products
Centralized Access & Management System
  • Centralized IP access to thousands of computers
  • Provides enterprise level access
  • Manages Raritan KVM devices
  • Provides multiple types of access
  • Flexible, web-based IP access from PC/Laptop
  • LAN, WAN and Internet Access
  • Supports 1 to 8 remote users per switch
  • Supports 8 to 64 computers per switch
  • Enterprise access via CommandCenter
Analog Matrix
  • High speed Analog Matrix access up to 1000 feet
  • Labs, server rooms and small data centers
  • Supports 1 to 8 users per switch
  • Supports 32 to 64 computers per switch
  • Scales via switch tiering/stacking
*supports both analog and digital devices
  • Supports a user in close proximity to computers
  • Supports 2 to 16 servers per switch
  • High speed analog access
  • Scales via switch tiering/cascading
  • Economical and simple solution
KVM Extension
  • Point-to-point extension of a single computer
  • Scales to access from multiple locations
  • 500 feet distance
  • Daisy chain via Ethernet switches
  • DVI or VGA with USB, IR and audio


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