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KVM basics
Welcome  Support  FAQ  KVM basics

FAQs KVM basics

Our general FAQs will answer your questions if you're new to the world of KVM.

Do you already know your way around KVM, or do you have any questions about one of our products? Then take a look at our Product FAQs or contact us - we will be pleased to advise you.

FAQs KVM basics

FAQs KVM basics


KVM is short for Keyboard, Video, and Mouse and refers to computer ports. KVM products are connected to these - and other - ports, from where they extend or switch computer signals. Hence, KVM is the group designation of a technology, and not a special brand or company.

KVM products can be applied by everyone who uses computers. KVM products are applied to...

  • Avoid noise | remove computers from the studios of a broadcast station
  • Save space | remove computers from the tower of air traffic control
  • Protect computers from damages | remove computers from the training room into an access-protected room
  • Create more ergonomic consoles | avoid wasted heat by removing computers
  • Save peripherals | operate multiple computers over one monitor, keyboard, and mouse
  • Facilitate administration | facilitate maintenance and administration by removing computers into a central server room
  • Create flexible working concepts | users can access their computer(s) from different consoles

Classic KVM uses dedicated connections and proprietary transmission. With KVM-over-IP, transmission is based on IP and runs on Gigabit Ethernet networks (OSI model layer 3).

The new IP systems do not generally replace original KVM systems since these systems have their own advantages and are still used in many projects. In our blog you find a detailed comparison.

No. KVM products establish a direct connection between computer and console - and not a data connection. This has the advantage that you can work directly at your computer and not only retrieve data from the computer connected to the KVM products. KVM-over-IP is an exception. Here the computer signals are transmitted over network and are turned into video, keyboard, and mouse information at the receiver. 

A KVM switch connects many computers that can be operated over one console (monitor, keyboard, mouse). Switching between computers is carried out over a button at the switch or via hotkey. Depending on size, KVM switches also provide an OSD to switch between computers. You also can use the OperatorPanel for switching.

G&D offers KVM switches for DisplayPort, DVI and VGA, which allow a user to operate 2 - 64 computers. With the TradeSwitch, we also offer you another way to save on peripheral devices (switching keyboard and mouse signals without a video signal). Thanks to CrossDisplay-Switching, hereby you can intuitively select the desired computer with the mouse.

A KVM extender extends keyboard, video and mouse signals to operate a computer from a great distance. An extender system consists of a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter (CPU) is connected to the computer's keyboard, video, and mouse interfaces, while the receiver (CON) is connected at the remote console. Both devices are connected with one or more cables.

G&D offers KVM extenders for DisplayPort, DVI and VGA, which use CAT cables or fibre optics for transmitting signals. Signals such as audio, RS232 or USB 2.0 can be transmitted as well. Beside classic KVM extenders G&D also offer KVM-over-IP extenders.

A KVM matrix switch is a combination of several extenders and switches in one device. Numerous consoles have access to numerous computers - even over long distances. The systems are mainly distinguished by the video signal (DisplayPort, DVI, VGA). G&D offers digital KVM matrix switches and analogue KVM matrix switches .

Furthermore, matrix switches are divided into compact devices (defined package contents, e.g. ControlCenter-Compact) and modular sytems (e.g. ControlCenter-Digital). With the ControlCenter-IP, G&D’s portfolio includes also a solution for KVM-over-IP-installations.

No. KVM products do not influence computers, but only use their external interfaces. If the computer provides the required interfaces, our KVM devices can extend, switch, or distribute the computer signals. Any installed software or operating system also remains unaffected by our solutions.

Generally, yes. Installing the devices requires no special knowledge, since the installation is limited to plugging cables (plug & play). Comprehensive installations in general could also be carried out by your IT department/your external service provider.

Installing complex, combined applications require a profound knowledge of our products. That way, installing and configuring the devices also takes less time. Getting help from a trained G&D partner or our service team ensures fast and safe installation.

Guntermann & Drunck was founded in 1985 and is now regarded as one of the foremost manufacturers of KVM solutions. Our systems are used whenever maximum reliability is essential. For more than 35 years we've been experts in control room applications and know exactly what you need when it comes to extending, switching and distributing computer signals.

Choosing a supplier or devices depends on your requirements. As supplier we combine high quality with best possible consulting and support. Our products are often deployed in air traffic control, industrial process control or broadcast. These industries require devices that guarantee long-time stability, failure safety, reliability, usability and availability. These features are not only required from individual products, but also from their interaction in complex installations - features that are reflected in the price of a product.

If you are looking for all of the above, you've come to the right place!

As a major German manufacturer, we distribute our products directly or through qualified system houses and specialty retailers. The choice is yours. Please ask your local dealer or contact our sales team. Just tell us what you need and together we will find a technical solution for your requirements.

Contact our sales staff. We look forward to providing you with a quote for your tailored application.
Feel free to ask for our price list.

Can't find the answer to your question?

We're constantly working on expanding our FAQs. If you didn't find the answer to your question, please use the contact form or call us. We will be pleased to help you!

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