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In search of ... functional software kvm

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I'm pretty much stymied.  There were previous threads on this topic, but kinda old.

I've been using Input Director for quite a while, three (3) or four (4) years, I'd guess, maybe longer.  However, it has lately become very unreliable, and 'twould appear 'tis no longer supported by the developer.  

Recently bought Multiplicity, but after installation - apparently successful - it gives errors and quits.  The error messages flash so briefly that I cannot read them.  Product support seems non-existent, pretty shabby for a $40.00 product, methinks.

Synchronicity has never worked for me.

Windows without Borders seems questionable, from what I've read, too questionable to purchase a license for multiple machines.

Has anyone knowledge of a functional alternative?  I don't mind paying for it, but after being burned by Multiplicity, I'm loathe to buy a pig in a poke again.

I'm looking at three (3) laptops, each with a 2nd monitor attached.  Input Director worked well until about six (6) months ago, but has been losing connectivity more and more often.  Currently, two (2) boxes are Win7 Ultimate and one (1) is Win8.1.  (The problem existed prior to the Win8.1 box.)

Any recommendations?

In the Windows world I've pretty much given up on soft KVMs for the reasons you've mentioned and gone over to using TeamViewer to RDP into whatever I want to remotely manage.

Seems kinda silly to go out to the net and then back in just to control a laptop sitting next to you. But that was the only 100% reliable and affordable (TV is "free for personal use") method I've identified to date. 


List of open-source/free solutions:
Synergy - this one I have used on and off over the years and works for me (even the configuration made sense, but I know that people were put off by that).
Okvm - this seems to be fork of Synergy.
Microsoft Garage: Mouse without borders - this one sounds somewhat familiar, but never tried it because of my success with Synergy.
Input director - tried this one when XP and 2003 machines were king of the hill, never liked it as much as Synergy.

List of commercial priced solutions:
KaVoom - I don't know this one at all.
MultiPlicity - I don't know this one at all, but it looks like it is for 32-bit Windows only.
ShareMouse - seems interesting but never tried it.
MaxiVista - this one I did try and it was better than Synergy, but cost was a huge influence in my decision at the time.

What I did notice is that you have to take a good look at the versions of Windows you are using and the ones supported by the software solution of your choice, because each solutions has it's own limitations. Ones that may be the cause of your problems.

Besides this, when you are using encrypted connections between PC's, make very sure that you are using (self-signed) certificates that do not have anything related to MD5 anymore. If you do very strange behavior is introduced after MS patch Tuesday in August 2013. That happened to me (made self-signed certificates for my own stuff a year or two ago) and I needed to roll out new certificates to be able to communicate with anything server related.

Mouse without Borders works perfectly for me
I have a HP home server and a desktop - plug server into VGA cable - switch monitor source and share kb&m
Works with laptop on vga too - so long as all on same network (cable or wifi)
It's free so worth a go
Highly recommend ticking the box that makes mouse cursor stay on screen until you hold control key so no accidental slides off screen

I trialled several of those.
First try free Mouse without borders (MS Garage).
If it's not up to your expectations, try paid ShareMouse (Bartels; I can confirm it sets the standards here)

This being said, all such sw implies your pc's being connected, by network?
Or is there sw where there is no network connection, but some more "primitive" connection, perhaps even without the usual clipboard sharing (cs)?
Ok, cs is very helpful I agree, but...

These sw's (except for my asking if there might be alternative ones, doing it in another, more basic connection) prevent you from having a set-up in which NOT all your pc's  are connected to the web.

Hence my reminding you of the good old hardware kvm's, with physical relays; I suppose there is no way to access your private data on pc 2, from some web actor accessing pc 1?
And if you consider such a physical thing, let me tell you, before you buy, that those 30-40$ devices, often functionally identical to the 120$-and-up devices (speaking of 2-pc sets here, multi-pc sets can cost hundreds of dollars), have cheap relays which will quickly make you fear about the life time of the device in question, upon every switch.

Thus, there are several aspects to bear in mind, BEFORE deciding on your respective multi-pc set-up. Perhaps it's not that bad an idea to have 1 extra pc for the web, and then several pc's (if you really need them, concurrently), within a cable (not: air) network, with the (excellent) Bartels sw, not connected to other devices which might give web access.

Any multi-pc setup brings security considerations with it, and not even mentioning those doesn't seem that prof.


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