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Aten CS661 USB KVM Switch – join your PCs at the hip

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The Aten CS661 is what’s known as a KVM switch or a keyboard, video and mouse sharing device. The CS661 simplifies the whole idea and shares KVM via a USB cable without requiring any kind of network. Aimed squarely at professional on-the-go people and home users, the KVM can only be used between two Windows PCs, running anything from 2k to Vista.

Getting connected is simple, plug the local end of the switch into the local PC and the remote end into the remote PC and you can control and see both desktops from the local PC. You can also perform file transfers between the two computers and you can oversee the whole thing via a GUI interface. The switch even has a USB port so you can plug in your peripherals for use by the local PC. There’s plenty of other uses too, check the applications page and see where you fit in.

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I don’t know, it’s pretty nifty and all but the lack of cross platform support kinda breaks it for me as a home user. Might be a great idea for using your netbook for long stints without inducing a bout of carpal paralysis though. Shop around, it retails for a little over $US100.

The CS661 is a breakthrough product, as it allows the user to control two computers at once in a similar way to a KVM switch. The screen of the remote computer is displayed on the local computer so the user can control both the local and remote computer at the same time. However, the CS661 is not a conventional KVM switch because it allows a laptop to replace the traditional keyboard, mouse and monitor of a second computer. Furthermore, unlike a conventional KVM switch, the CS661 also supports file transfers between computers without the need for a costly network.

Tags: gadget, aten+cs661, kvm+usb+switch, keyboard+video+mouse+sharing

Dan Ferris is the Red Ferret’s Oceanic correspondent and Associate Editor based in Sydney, Australia. Despite not knowing Russell Crowe or Nicole Kidman, Dan has risen above adversity and now scours the world for interesting tidbits to write about. He spends far too much time photographing stuff and tinkering with computers.

Dan – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.


  • It is nice to be able to control your 2nd pc using the keyboard of another laptop.

    However, this is with the advantage of being in the same place with both pc. Aside from this device, is there another device that would allow you to control the 2nd pc with a longer distance?

    I am yet to hear of a wireless KVM.

    For the mean time, personally, i would prefer KVM over IP as it will give me longer connections.

  • Mike

    Here is link to review of a Wireless KVM — http://www.crn.com/networking/163105094

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