Before You Buy
What do I need to know about KVM switch cables?
It can be difficult to tell which ones are right for the KVM switch you are interested in. How can you tell which KVM cables you require? How can you tell if a KVM switch requires proprietary cables? How do these cables work?
Standard KVM Switches and Cables
Note: You will need one bundle of KVM cables per computer you want to connect to the KVM switch.
Standard KVM switches have no special cable requirements. If you have spare video and PS/2 or USB cables, you can use them to hook up the KVM switch to your computers. StarTech.com still sells KVM cable packages, but they are just for the convenience of buying them in bundles and usually involve some savings. Keep in mind that even if you have some of the cables you need, it still might be advantageous to buy the bundle.
KVM Switches with Opposite Gender Video Connections
Some KVM switches use male video connections for the computers and female video connections for the console ports. In this case you simply need a video extension cable, or a KVM cable package appropriate to the KVM switch. This is so you cannot accidentally plug cables from your computer into the console ports.
KVM Switches Requiring Proprietary Cables
KVM switches can also use proprietary KVM cables to connect to the individual computers. This is often done with larger KVM switches and KVM switches intended for a server environment. These cables use a proprietary pinout which does not conform to the video standard in use, as the cable carries both the video and PS/2 or USB data along a single cable.
If you are unsure whether or not you need special cables, complete the following:
- Check the Technical Specifications tab on the individual product pages for What's in the Box. This section lists everything that comes with your purchase, and your KVM switch might come with the cables.
- Check the Accessories tab. This section lists potential accessories for the product you are looking at. StarTech.com will list the appropriate KVM cables for the KVM switch here.
- Check the Gallery and look at a picture of the back of the KVM switch.
Note: If there are no PS/2 or USB ports on the back of the KVM switch other than for the console, you will require proprietary cables.
If at this point you require further assistance in deciding which cables to purchase with your StarTech.com KVM switch, contact our technical support team.