One Mouse to Control Them All: How to Use Your Laptop as an Extension of Your Trading Desktop

Most traders nowadays have multi-monitor trading computer systems. Our customers typically have at least 4 monitors, but we sell plenty of 6- and 8-monitor systems as well. Despite the prevalence of multi-monitor systems, there are times when it would be handy to add one more monitor. Or have a laptop sitting next to your desktop and be able to drag-and-drop files or clipboard content between the two. Or be able to operate both desktop and laptop from one mouse. I bet you’re getting excited just thinking of the possibilities! If you’ve ever wished you could do any of this, you’re going to love today’s post. Back in the day (before home networking and VPNs were available), when you needed a one-to-many connection, you had to install an A-B switch. For example, if you had two computers and one printer, you could connect up an A-B switch to control which computer was talking to the printer. Or, you could connect an A-B switch to let you control two computers from one keyboard. Today, physical A-B switches are still around, but maybe not for much longer. Printers can be shared via network or Bluetooth. And controlling multiple computers can be accomplished with KVM (keyboard-video-mouse) software. Here are some KVM software solutions that can turn your trading laptop into a seamlessly connected extension of your desktop trading system.

Share Mouse

ShareMouse is a cross-platform virtual KVM application that makes it easy to use your trading computers side by side. You can even drag and drop files between different operating systems like Windows and Mac. The mouse movements are transferred through your local area network (LAN) which means that your trading computer and trading laptop need to be on the same network. In addition, they need to be within reach of one another. Non-power-users can opt for the free version which will let you connect two computers with one monitor each. But this probably doesn’t apply to anyone reading this post. Also, the free version features are limited. The Standard license (for Power or Pro Users) gives you more features but you are still limited to two computers with one monitor each. The Pro license allows you to connect 9 trading computers, each with up to 4 monitors. ShareMouse has a nice try-before-you-buy feature that lets you try out the software on your system for 30 minutes.

Input Director

Input Director is another high-quality KVM software solution that can help you easily add your trading laptop as a second monitor. Input Director uses a master/slave architecture. So you can set up your trading computer as a master and then register your trading laptop as a slave. Any time you start your trading laptop, it will automatically register with the master. This application uses AES encryption to make sure the communication between your trading machines is secure. The mouse cursor has special visual transitions like ripples to make sure you never lose track of the mouse pointer when you move it around. For personal use, Input Director is free. You can purchase a commercial license for enterprise use.

Synergy

Synergy is a KVM app that is popular with software programmers because it works with Windows, Mac, and Linux. Synergy comes with all the features you would expect from a KVM utility: mouse and keyboard sharing, clipboard sharing, screensaver sync, and hotkeys. They offer Basic and Pro paid license tiers for personal use. The license fee covers lifetime use for the existing major version. (You will have to upgrade to get the next major version.) The Pro license adds SSL data encryption to the list of features.

Multiplicity

Multiplicity is a wireless KVM software solution that lets you control two or more trading computers from a single screen, and offers remote access options. You can drag and drop between multiple PCs with wireless connections. The AES 256 encryption keeps all communication secure. You can try Multiplicity free for 30 days. They offer 3 pricing tiers, depending on how many PCs you want to control and how much security you need.

Increase Your Productivity

KVM software has lots of benefits for traders. From cleaning up your workspace to helping you get ready for a road trip, a KVM app could really amp up your productivity. Consider what KVM could do for your trading business.
There are more trading computer tips like this in our buyer’s guide. Check out our “How To Buy a Trading Computer” e-book.
Remember, we are here to help with all your technology-related questions. If you think of additional questions about computer hardware or other questions, give me a call. My team and I are here to help. We’re happy to answer any of your questions about trading computers via phone: 800-387-5250 Photo by Loya Liu on pixabay.com.