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Belkin Omni View SE 2-Port KVM Switch

Revised on

Originally posted on March 21st, 2002

What the heck is a KVM switch?

A KVM switch is a device that enables a computer user to use two (or more) computer systems with one monitor, keyboard or mouse put simply.

Techs use them with Servers and tech rooms for switching between several computers they need to work on at once. They are the most handy thing to have in a fast passed computer room or war room as the MIS/IT guys call it.

But don't think that the average computer user doesn't need one. Myself, I have a Server at home (I know, nerdish) and a laptop computer. I use it so I can switch between my laptop and my server. Why do I have a Server? My wife like ALL her music from her CD collection in one place... So, I got a NT server. I know I know...

Anyways, the Belkin switch is just the ticket. I've always loved Belkin products. Whenever I setup a network for clients I go and buy a ton of their cables for the job. But Belkin has been getting their feet wet with other products like mice, keyboards and home network hubs, routers and firewalls. They are a direct competitor to Linksys and Netgear in this department.

Maybe James (the PR guy at Belkin) will send over one of those Firewalls they are pushing for a review here at MH... hint hint nudge nudge...

The Belkin is a snap to setup. You have to buy a set of cables for each computer (not included with the box) you want to setup. In my case, one set for the laptop and one set for the server. That'll set you back a couple of dollars. Once you have everything setup, there's no software to load or anything, just make sure you have the cables in the right places on the back of the box.

As you can above, (yeah right) you have your main monitor, keyboard and mouse cables, and the extensions that run to the laptop and the server. The empty connections pictured above are for people with a serial mouse.

Once connected, according to Craig at Belkin's tech support, you turn one computer and wait for it to finish booting up. Then you turn on the other computer. Then tap the channel switch to switch to that computer.

When I first connected everything I was having trouble with my mouse. My mouse was a Logitech TrackMan Marble with a wheel for scrolling websites and documents up and down. When I switched channels on the Belkin, I would lose the ability to scroll using the wheel on the mouse in Internet Explorer, Microsoft Word or any other scrollable window. After called and talking to Craig in tech support Belkin he admits that some Logitech mice do have problems with the Belkin but those were quickly remedied by unloading the Logitech drivers from both computers and using the standard mouse drivers that come installed when you first load Windows OS (98, 2000 or XP).

Once you unloaded the Logitech drivers, you then shutdown each computer and reboot, first one, and let the standard mouse drivers take hold. Then bootup the second computer and let those settings set in. Now, Craig said I should download the Belkin drivers from their website at [] and download the drivers for their mouse the Optical Mouse(tm) F8E850-OPT. If you are going to or are attempting this, you should consult the dudes over at Belkin tech support first as I think they provide excellent tech support and can better provide you with a solution that may be different then mine because I may have a different mouse than you do.

Well, after the very short phone call, Craig got me up and running in a snap. Now only is this a great product, but they have an excellent support staff to back it up, a rarity these days in the computing arena, take it from me.

I give this product and their tech support .





Omni View SE 2 Port
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