Stardock Multiplicity KVM revisited: control multiple PCs with one keyboard, mouse and monitor

Back in 2012, Stardock released the initial version of its Multiplicity software for Windows. Designed to give users control of multiple PCs with a single mouse and keyboard, it was an excellent tool to work on two machines, e.g. a desktop PC and a laptop, with one mouse and keyboard connected to the main PC.

Stardock's solution was not the first program of its kind, there was Microsoft's Mouse without Borders, which users could use.

More than ten years later, a lot has changed. Stardock's Multiplicity is no longer available as a free version, and there are now three commercial versions to choose one. Multiplicity KVM was launched on Steam recently, reason enough to take a closer look at the application and find out how it performs and differs from Stardock's initial tool.

The main use scenario has not changed: you may use the software to control multiple systems using just one mouse and keyboard. Multiplicity KVM supports the controlling of up to nine PCs with one keyboard and mouse. The program is compatible with Windows 7 and newer versions of Microsoft's Windows operating system, and uses AES-256 encryption for all data that is transferred between PCs.

stardock multiplicity

You need to install the software on a main PC and on all devices that you want to control. The PC with the mouse and keyboard is the primary device, all other devices are secondary devices as they get controlled by the primary PC. Stardock recommends setting up the secondary PCs first as Multiplicity KVM running on the primary PC will detect these automatically then.

Multiplicity displays all connected devices in a grid in its interface. The software supports two main modes of operation: seamless and full KVM.

Seamless functions similarly to how multi-monitor systems operate. Just move the mouse across the screen border to control the secondary device at that side (based on the grid). It works with devices that are on the same local network and with devices with displays.

KVM mode extends the functionality to true remote sessions. Devices without a monitor can be controlled in KVM mode, and it is possible to establish connections using a VPN connection.

Multiplicity KVM supports drag & drop operations to copy files between devices. Copy & paste is also supported to copy clipboard content from one machine to another. Next to that, it is possible to share audio to listen to audio from multiple PCs on a single device.

Some of the features can be turned off. If you don't want to share clipboard content, you may disable that feature in the settings. Another handy feature is the ability to configure hotkeys to position the mouse cursor at a specific position on one of the linked devices.

Closing Words

Stardock's Multiplicity KVM worked well during tests to control multiple devices from a single PC. It is a great option to control one or multiple laptops from a main PC, as you don't need to rely on using the laptop's touchpad or connect a mouse to each laptop to get better control functionality.

The ability to control a device remotely, or in the case of Multiplicity KVM Pro multiple devices, makes it an interesting tool for professional usage.

If you just need to control one other device, you may use Multiplicity KM, which is available for about €20. If you prefer free, Microsoft's Mouse without Borders may be an alternative as the original Multiplicity is no longer available.

Now You: how many devices do you use, and how do you control them?

Summary
Stardock Multiplicity KVM revisited: control multiple PCs with one keyboard, mouse and monitor
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Stardock Multiplicity KVM revisited: control multiple PCs with one keyboard, mouse and monitor
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Stardocks' Multiplicity KVM software for Windows enables you to control multiple PCs with one mouse and keyboard.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. bsod said on April 21, 2021 at 9:46 am
    Reply

    A long time ago, I was using Synergy to do the same thing, it was free at that time (now it’s 30€), what I liked about it: it was working with Windows, Linux & Mac :)

  2. Tommy said on April 21, 2021 at 5:16 pm
    Reply

    Do the free versions of Synergy or Multiplicity work anymore?

  3. Jeff M.S. said on April 22, 2021 at 12:13 am
    Reply

    Another excellent one (also reviewed here at ghacks) is ShareMouse

  4. Naveed said on April 22, 2021 at 1:13 am
    Reply

    I won’t be buying apps through steam. Games are fine. Steam is too big and heavy to be install on non-gaming computers.

    I currently use input director and it’s reasonably good. I wouldn’t mind trying some of these features but the steam requirement is a definite no go for me.

  5. Sean Drohan said on April 22, 2021 at 2:55 pm
    Reply

    ‘I currently use input director and it’s reasonably good. I wouldn’t mind trying some of these features but the steam requirement is a definite no go for me.’

    You do not need to use the Steam version; you can get it directly from us:

    https://www.stardock.com/products/multiplicity/

    Sean Drohan
    Stardock Support Manager

    1. Sean Drohan said on April 22, 2021 at 2:57 pm
      Reply

      Opps, wrong quote ;)

      ‘I won’t be buying apps through steam. Games are fine. Steam is too big and heavy to be install on non-gaming computers.’

      You do not need to use the Steam version; you can get it directly from us:

      https://www.stardock.com/products/multiplicity/

      Sean Drohan
      Stardock Support Manager

  6. Rakim Allah said on April 27, 2021 at 7:27 pm
    Reply

    I use Barrier and it’s 100% free and open-source… Forked from synergy 1.9

    https://github.com/debauchee/barrier

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