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Last post Author Topic: Is it possible to work on two laptops from the screen of one of these laptops?  (Read 6896 times)

kalos

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Hello!

I have two laptops which I want to fully operate from one screen and this screen needs to be the screen of one of these laptops.

Is that possible?

Thanks!

x16wda

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So basically you want to know if there is remote control software for Windows?

Brynhildr
UltraVNC

and myriad other options. If something like this isn't what you mean, then you are going to have to explain what you want to do a little better.

FWIW, I like Brynhilder because it (so far) does not seem to be picked up as a PUP by most a/v. If I could make it write an event log entry when a connection is made or dropped that would be a welcome addition.
vi vi vi - editor of the beast

Shades

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You can use AnyDesk to work on two computers at once. At least that is what I understand from your request.

AnyDesk has a free and commercial license, but you can use it freely if the amount of computers you connect to is low. Never tested to see how much computers you can connect to before reaching the free/commercial tipping point, but there are 8 computers in my "address book" and AnyDesk doesn't complain.

You should install it on both machines. Remember the automatically generated AnyDesk ID (or an alias you created yourself) of the machine you want to connect to and fill that in the appropriate field on the machine you use to connect to the other machine. It usually takes only a few seconds to establish connection is established, you can enable the option 'full screen view' and you'll think you are working on the other laptop. Afterwards you switch instantly between machines.

It is a 3 or 4 MByte download, installing is done in a minute and it works wonderfully well. With AnyDesk it is also possible to control both your laptops on a computer outside your own home network. For ease and comfort, I do not know a better solution than AnyDesk.

kalos

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Thanks but I was thinking a direct connection via a cable instead of a connection over the wifi. I assume the wifi connection will have lags? I have terrible experience with remote desktop sofware, it is very laggy.

Ath

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I was thinking a direct connection via a cable

Well, assuming both laptops have an ethernet connector (though that's less and less common for consumer laptops these days), you can connect both to the same router using a cat5e or cat6 cable and have the benefit of the high speed connection for both the connection between the laptops, and the maximum internet speed attainable. The only connection available that's (potentially) faster than ethernet (assuming you have a router with 1 GBit/s ports) is a Wifi 6 connection using 4 antennas on all equipment, but there are not too many laptops providing that kind of wifi setup.

Shades

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As long as both laptops can connect to the internet, whether you use a wire to connect one or both laptops or just WiFi, AnyDesk will establish the connection between your laptops. There is very little, if any, lags between local computers. After AnyDesk confirms both local computers, no more traffic goes through the internet anymore, everything is directed through the local network.

If WiFi at your home is crap, you are likely using a channel that is occupied by other WiFi networks in your neighborhood. Better use a lesser used channel. The best channels to use are channels 1, 6 and 11. In your home WiFi network are, I hope, no WiFi repeaters? Or WiFi extenders (same thing as a repeater, just a different name)? Because those introduce all kinds of issues, like stealing 50% of your available bandwidth or more, extra latency etc. You call it lag, but the proper name for what you experience in your network is latency.

So, if you have the option to connect a network cable to one or both laptops, I would suggest you do that. That eliminates most, if not all, of your latency problems. Network Cables, also known as 'UTP' cable or 'Cat 5e' cable (or 'Cat 6'), may never be longer than 100 meters. But that length gives you more than enough opportunity to hide the cable in nooks and crannies of your house, out of sight of your partner/visitors.

Or do what I did, used an opening in the wall of an AC unit (split) to make the cable "travel" around the house and entered the cable back into the house using the hole in the wall from a different AC unit (split). I currently occupy a house that has 9 AC units installed (a 10 meter by 45 meter house with 2 floors, so 900 square meters). But no-one complains about the cable that runs outside the house and instead enjoy good WiFi throughout the whole house and garden with only 2 WiFi routers.

Because the cable is outside, I could place the WiFi routers optimally, which really makes a big difference. That and hard-coded channels, because the auto-configuration of channels of your WiFi equipment, while many other WiFi networks in the neighborhood are active, is always messy and everyone ends up with a sub-optimal selection of channels, so lots of cross-talk between devices, badly affecting range, bandwidth and latency.

WiFi 6 only comes in new (and not the cheapest models of) laptops. And it requires the routing device in your network to support WiFi 6 as well. So, you'll need to purchase that as well. And isn't the WiFi 6 standard still not completely ratified? You can get WiFi 6 equipment all right, but you'll get equipment where manufacturers have filled in the "gaps" of the WiFi 6 standard with what they themselves think fits. It is unlikely that you'll buy a dud for WiFi 6 equipment (from reputable manufacturers), but as far as I know the WiFi 6 standard isn't finished. They sure take their sweet time with that.

Shades

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Here is an example screenshot of my desktop (1920x1080p resolution) accessing my local server without a monitor (default resolution becomes 1024x768). All on the same monitor. It is a better experience when both systems make use of the same resolution, whatever that may be. But if that is not the case, AnyDesk will either scale or shrink, depending on how you will setup the connection between laptops.

AnyDesk.example.kalos.jpgIs it possible to work on two laptops from the screen of one of these laptops?
« Last Edit: January 19, 2021, 01:55 AM by Deozaan, Reason: fixed inline attachment »

ConstanceJill

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Hi,

Assuming that both laptops are running Windows, if the one you want to access remotely has a "Pro" or "better" version of Windows, you should be able to connect to it using Remote Desktop Protocol. The remote desktop client (mstsc.exe) is available on all Windows versions, so the client doesn't need to have a Pro licence.

Ath

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you should be able to connect to it using Remote Desktop Protocol
There are enough free software tools, already mentioned above, that don't need a Windows Pro license.

Assuming the OP hasn't responded for a couple of days, he may already have a solution in place, and just forgot to mention that here. :-\

wraith808

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There are enough free software tools, already mentioned above, that don't need a Windows Pro license.

I think that she was just offering an alternative.  If they have a pro license already, then this is the path of least resistance.

Stoic Joker

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There are enough free software tools, already mentioned above, that don't need a Windows Pro license.

I think that she was just offering an alternative.  If they have a pro license already, then this is the path of least resistance.

Amen to that! I love RDP … And spend most of my days using it on remote systems.

wraith808

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Same here.  It also gets me into my work systems from home without having to either (a) use their machine or (b) give them access to mine.  I set up a VM using VirtualBox, connect to VPN from there, and then RDP into my work box.  The other options are nice in a bind, and I've used them before.  But RDP is my choice when it's available.

40hz

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RDP through Remmina is my fav since my main machine is a Linux box.

Supports good security too.

Shades

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I have been playing with Apache Guacamole. Only available for Linux but runs happily in a VM.

With Apache Guacamole you can setup RDP, VNC and SSH type of connections. Furthermore you can make any set of these connections available per user (and/or user group) that is created within this software. But if you are already running a different solution for user management in your network, Guacamole has support for (a few of) those as well. You can also add 2FA to it. You can also link it to an RDP gateway. You can allow access only between a configurable set of hours per day. Or a period. Manually terminating open sessions from the session overview is easy. Sessions are logged as well.

After it is setup, the only thing you need to do is to point your (HTML5) browser to the Guacamole server, login and select which RDP, VNC and/or SSH connection made available to you and you'll be managing the selected system from within your browser, using HTTPS. So, no need to open up extra ports on your firewall, while having all the goodness of RDP at your fingertips.

If you run this in your own home network, you hardly need to learn much about it, while it would make using 2 (or more) computers with one screen, mouse and keyboard easy. However, it will act as a very nice step-stone server in a commercial environment. From what I have seen behind the link provided by 40hz (thanks for that, btw), the tools and configuration screens it showed, were very sparse with configuration options for RDP connections.

Guacamole comes with a boatload of options to configure most, if not all, features built into the RDP protocol. It is an open source project, so you can use it for free, even in commercial environments. All these features might not make it the most easy option out there, but it sure is mighty.

You can get a pre-configured Apache Guacamole VM on the Bitnami website to quickly test it out. On-premise or in the Cloud.

kalos

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I am a bit disappointed that no one suggested a KVM switch.

I think this is the cheapest and easiest solution with almost no latency. I am not sure why no one knew about that.

The local network solution is very unattractive. Too complex, requires an expensive router etc.

From little research, I think KVM switches basically do exactly what I want and much cheaper (some can cost $15).

Any comment?

Ath

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Please try to explain how or where you are going to connect a kvm switch here?

KodeZwerg

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Another idea might be Hdmi. (Connected to any Tv/Monitor)

kalos

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Please try to explain how or where you are going to connect a kvm switch here?

KVM switches have HDMI and USB input ports and HDMI and USB output ports.

I will connect my laptops to the input ports.

The output ports can be connected to a monitor and a keyboard but ideally, I would like to connect them to my laptop.


Ath

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So far you've been provided about 5 possible solutions, but you obviously haven't tried any of them yet.

Contro

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I have a logitech keyboard with three bluetooth signals I can attach to up three differents pc. So I can control two laptops and one desktop by example.
 :-* :P

Contro

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I remember even I can connect with my android mobile to write faster.
Then comes the web app for whatsapp and I have my keyboard forgotten.
It was an expensive keyboard....
 :-[

wraith808

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I am a bit disappointed that no one suggested a KVM switch.

I think this is the cheapest and easiest solution with almost no latency. I am not sure why no one knew about that.

This is the reason that you've been advised several times to do your research first on your own.  Only you will know the full parameters of what will work for you, and people are likely to dismiss things that might be perfect for you, simply because they're not you.

Shades

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Because a KVM switch was not asked for. And no, no expensive routers or anything were required with the software solutions provided here.

Sometimes I wonder why I even bother.

4wd

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So far you've been provided about 5 possible solutions, but you obviously haven't tried any of them yet.

Welcome to the Kalos Zone.

The output ports can be connected to a monitor and a keyboard but ideally, I would like to connect them to my laptop.

You want to connect the monitor output to your laptop, fine, add a HDMI->USB adapter so you can plug the KVM HDMI output back into your laptop ... laptop HDMI ports are rarely bidirectional.
Then you've also got to run a program that captures that input and displays it.

As for the USB, you want to connect a USB host to a USB host, do some research on why that won't work.

Sometimes I wonder why I even bother.

Trust me, you are not alone ... except I would drop the 'Sometimes'  ;)

I am a bit disappointed that no one suggested a KVM switch.

I think this is the cheapest and easiest solution with almost no latency. I am not sure why no one knew about that.

Don't assume no one knew about something because they kept to the constraints in your original post.

A KVM was not suggested because it requires extra hardware, (keyboard/monitor).

Another idea that doesn't meet your initial requirements, virtual KVM, eg. Synergy, Mouse Without Borders, Input Director.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2021, 05:51 AM by 4wd »

kalos

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Can someone suggest please a cheap ready to use solution?

E.g.:
I can buy a cheap wifi portable router or access point to use it as dedicated to interconnect my laptops.
I can then use a portable free for commercial use software to control my laptops from my main laptop.

Can you suggest a setup?

Ideally, I would like to have my laptops' lids closed and still fully operate them (e.g. video, audio, navigation etc), would that be possible?

Because I have limited space to have all laptops open and also I cannot install proprietary things in the laptops.