Remote Desktop vs. Software KVM

Remote Desktop and KVM software can both control a remote computer.

However, there are some significant differences between these program types:

How Remote Desktop works

Remote Desktop applications log onto the remote computer and transmit the complete desktop contents of that PC over the network.

You see the desktop of the remote computer in a program window on your main computer:

How Remote Desktop works

The remote computer can then be controlled in this window.

The remote computer actually doesn't need any monitor as its desktop is displayed on the main computer anyway.

Benefits of Remote Desktop

Limitations of Remote Desktop

How a KVM Software works

With a Software KVM, you move the mouse into the direction of the remote computer you wish to control. Once, you reach the border of your main computer, the mouse cursor jumps onto the remote computer:

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The Software KVM only transmit the current mouse cursor position and keyboard input to the remote PC, which is very little data and won't affect the network bandwidth. No desktop contents is transmitted.

While you control the remote computer you look onto its monitor, so all computers need their own monitor.

Limitations of a Software KVM

Benefits of a Software KVM

Comparison

  Remote Desktop Software KVM
Internet support

Remote Desktop works over the internet.

All computer must be local.

Support for headless computer

Remote computers don't need a monitor.

Each computer needs its own monitor.

Network load

High network load

Almost no network load

Performance

The desktop is displayed with lag.

No lag.

Display quality

Compression artifacts, color variation due to image compression.

No compromise.

Switching speed

Slow. Requires retrieving the Remote Desktop window first.

Instantly by moving the mouse.

Desktop Real Estate

The main monitor is mostly occupied by the Remote Desktop window.

Each monitor shows the original desktop of each PC.

Multi Monitor support

Main monitor dimensions must exceed the remote computer's dimensions.

Unrestricted multi monitor support.

Support for multiple computers

Awkward. Remote Desktop has not been designed for quick access to multiple computers.

Seamless support for up to nine computers.

Conclusion

A Remote Desktop application is suitable if you want to remote control a computer which has no own monitor of if the remote computer is not near your desk. If this is what you are looking for, we recommend to check out uvnc.com.

A Software KVM is your ultimate choice if you have two or more computers with their own monitors on your desk.

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