Huge IOGear KVM switch supports up to 256 systems

— 2:10 PM on November 19, 2008

Who needs Remote Desktop or VNC when you can use giant KVM switches to connect to all the systems in your office? That seems to be part of the idea behind IOGear's new 16-Port USB PS/2 Combo KVM Switch, which is the company's first KVM for small and medium businesses.

IOGear's 16-Port USB PS/2 Combo KVM Switch. Source: IOGear.

You can probably guess from the name alone that the product has 16 ports and supports both USB and PS/2 connections. What's less obvious is that you can actually get 17 of these switches and cascade them, allowing you to control a mind-boggling 256 systems with a single keyboard, mouse, and monitor. IOGear says users can switch between systems by pressing on front-panel LEDs, typing hot-key combinations, or using an "intuitive, multi-lingual on-screen display menu."

IOGear hasn't forgotten about the little extras, either, like a USB port at the front for sharing devices like external hard drives between connected system. The switch supports only VGA displays, however.

The 16-Port USB PS/2 Combo KVM Switch should be "available immediately" from major resellers and "select retail outlets" for $799.95. Each switch comes with a couple of custom KVM cable sets (one USB and one PS/2), but you'll need to purchase the rest yourself, since IOGear doesn't put USB and VGA ports on the physical switch. Oh, and you'll probably need to buy a few repeaters or CAT5 extenders if you plan to connect to far-away PCs.

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