If you own multiple displays and computers that are connected through a network, you can use some tools to manage them. You can control computers remotely, share your keyboard and mouse, share and extend displays and more. Here is a list of useful free tools.
- Synergy: Share your mouse and keyboard between multiple computers, where each computer has it’s own display. Features include:
- Move your mouse easily between computers
- Requires nothing other than existing ethernet
- Copy and paste between your computers
- No need to press any buttons (unlike KVM)
- You can still use multiple monitors on the same computer
- Lock the mouse to one screen
- ZoneScreen: Extend your desktop workspace using displays of network connected computers. ZoneScreen uses a virtual display driver on the server machine to extend the display and transmit it over to the client machine. Like VNC, ZoneScreen is able to mirror local desktop to another computer in the network. The main difference is that it also allows extend desktop, just like the case when you have second monitor connected.
- Mouse without Borders: Microsoft’s Mouse Without Borders is a tool that allows you to use one mouse on multiple computers in the same computer network. This way you could use one mouse both on a desktop PC and a laptop, as long as both computers are connected and Mouse Without Borders is installed on all computers. The idea is similar to Synergy.
- TightVNC: Control networked computers remotely. You can see the desktop of a remote machine and control it with your local mouse and keyboard, just like you would do it sitting in the front of that computer. Features include:
- File transfers in versions for Windows. You can updload files from your local machine to the TightVNC Server, and download files from the server to your computer.
- Support for video mirror driver (Windows 2000 and above). TightVNC Server can use DFMirage mirror driver to detect screen updates and grab pixel data in a very efficient way, saving processor cycles for other applications.
- Scaling of the remote desktop (viewer for Windows and Java viewer). You can view the remote desktop in whole on a screen of smaller size, or you can zoom in the picture to see the remote screen in more details.
- Efficient “Tight” encoding with optional JPEG compression. New Tight encoding is optimized for slow and medium-speed connections and thus generates much less traffic as compared to traditional VNC encodings. Unlike other encodings, Tight encoding is configurable via compression levels and JPEG image quality setting.
- Enhanced Web browser access. TightVNC includes a greatly improved Java viewer with full support for Tight encoding, 24-bit color mode, and more. The Java viewer applet can be accessed via built-in HTTP server like in the standard VNC.
- Support for two passwords, full-control and read-only. The server allows or disallows remote keyboard and mouse events depending on which password was used for authentication.
- Automatic SSH tunneling on Unix. The Unix version of TightVNC Viewer can tunnel connections via SSH automatically using local SSH/OpenSSH client installation.
The above tools will help you manage multiple displays and computers through a network.