ShareMouse – Use One Mouse & One Keyboard Across Multiple Computers

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one keyboard two computersBetter even than a multiple monitor set-up, is the multiple computer set-up. A familiar phenomenon for the geek with a laptop for on the go and a desktop computer at home or at work. Instead of splitting your computing power over several displays, you’re putting several disjunct systems in parallel.

Then again, it’s almost comical how you have to juggle your computer mice and keyboards. An awkward factor that only increases with the number of devices on your desk. The most obvious way out would be to use KVM switch; a hardware device that connects one set of input devices to multiple computers. Better yet would be to use a software KVM solution, like ShareMouse.

ShareMouse (Mac + Windows)

ShareMouse does exactly what you would expect from a KVM switch, and more. After installing the application on two computers (or more, after purchasing a license), ShareMouse will automatically spot other computers running ShareMouse on the same network and connect with them. ShareMouse is available for Mac OS X and Windows computers, and will work in both directions.

ShareMouse works very similar to Synergy, an application we reviewed on MakeUseOf in the past, but is much easier to get up and running.

one keyboard two computers

When your mouse hits the edge of your display, it will jump over to the display of the other computer. You can use either keyboard to type on whatever computer where the mouse is currently located. With ShareMouse, you can use one keyboard and one mouse to control all devices on your desk, or you can use the computer you’re currently working on to pull up information on any of the other computers.

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Responsiveness

The main concern for KVM software is the overal responsiveness of the mouse and keyboard while you’re working on a different computer. In this aspect, ShareMouse has hit a home run. Mouse movement is fluid, and there’s no noticeable keyboard delay. Even while using your average Wi-Fi to connect both computers, you could be fooled into thinking you were using the primary mouse and keyboard.

Clipboard & File Sharing

On top of sharing your mouse and keyboard, ShareMouse will also share your files across computers using drag-and-drop file sharing and clipboard sharing.

Drag and drop lets you select a files on one computer, and drag it over to another computer. While this worked as advertised on my Windows set-up, it didn’t on my Mac OS X set-up. You shouldn’t expect to rely on these features; there’s no harm in trying, but performance clearly depends on your computer set-up. Rather, you could use Dropbox or a simple LAN connection to share your files across computers.

one keyboard two computers

When enabled, ShareMouse will also try to keep your clipboard contents in sync. Of course you shouldn’t expect to copy a multiple gigabyte file, but text, image clippings and smaller files are fair game. Again, sharing files worked haphazardly between Mac OS X Leopard and Mac OS X Lion. Sharing text clippings on the other hand, worked like a charm.

In conclusion, ShareMouse works great to share your mouse and keyboard; easy to set up and incredibly responsive. However, there are better and more reliable ways to share files locally.

What do you use to tweak your computer set-up? Let us know in the comments!

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Comments (22)
  • colleen

    hi simon, oops! i thought i was writing to someone who works for ShareMouse — i was referring to them and their website.
    sorry for the confusion.
    c

  • colleen

    hi simon, i just downloaded the windows 7 version from cnet (the one on your site didn’t work), and i was able to install it easily. i can’t install it on my mac, however, i tried downloading from both your site and cnet, and the “box” ShareMouseSetup.pkg shows up on my desktop, but nothing happens when i click on it. can you please help me? i can’t find any information on the web about troubleshooting problems with the install on a mac (10.6 snow leopard). i also tried your forum but found nothing. ALSO your website is extremely slow — very very very slow — disturbing from a tech company! thanks in advance for your help.

  • Philip

    I tried ShareMouse and it works really well except for swipe gestures on the Magic Mouse. The mouse cursor would be on one mac and the swipe gestures would control the other one. If they could fix that it would be great. Teleport works with swipe gestures but can often take a few seconds switching from one mac to another.

  • Gian Singh

    i used input director and i liked it a lot

  • Andysnat

    Very disappointing that the initial pleasure that my netbook, (on the left), my desktop, (in the middle), and my lappy, (on the right), all worked well with the desktop keyboard and mouse.

    For five minutes – when the desktop decided it shouldn’t be working as it is a commercial machine for some reason unfathomable to me, and it stopped working with the other two.

    Note that all three PCs are on the desk next to my bed, in my bedroom, for personal use only.

    • Simon Slangen

      Hi,

      I’m sorry you felt that way. There are two ways this could’ve happened.

      1 – Using ShareMouse on more than two computers requires a license.
      2 – ShareMouse can spot some professional-grade software, like Adobe CS and CAD software. If it does, it decides you may not be telling the truth about “personal use”.

    • colleen

      hi simon,
      i just downloaded the windows 7 version from cnet (the one on your site didn’t work), and i was able to install it easily.

      i can’t install it on my mac, however, i tried downloading from both your site and cnet, and the “box” ShareMouseSetup.pkg shows up on my desktop, but nothing happens when i click on it.

      can you please help me? i can’t find any information on the web about troubleshooting problems with the install on a mac (10.6 snow leopard). i also tried your forum but found nothing. ALSO your website is extremely slow — very very very slow — disturbing from a tech company!

      thanks in advance for your help.

    • colleen

      sorry, i didn’t mean your site, i meant sharemouse’s site.
      thanks again for your help.

    • Simon Slangen

      Hi Colleen,

      The Mac version can be downloaded from the ShareMouse website as well. It’s indeed a .pkg file, and should start installation when you open it.

      If you previously downloaded the 64 Bit installation file, you might want to try the 32 Bit installation file instead. If that doesn’t solve your issues, you can contact Sharemouse support directly.

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.