Is Your Second Computer Just out of Reach? Synergy May Be the Solution

Is Your Second Computer Just out of Reach?Do you have a second computer that is just too far away for you to be able to use it comfortably? I know I do; my problem came about when I decided to put my laptop on the desk as more of a full-time thing and use my tabletop for round-the-house tasks.

The problem I found was that, while my laptop was in usable distance, it involved leaning over quite a way, or moving the chair across the floor back and forth when I wanted to change between computers. Sure, this is easy enough to do, but the noise of my chair running across the floor can be heard from the living room directly below, or the bedroom in the next room. Not a big problem to me as I’m not in either of those places, but my fiancée seems to disagree. Maybe this is something for the “living with a geek” post.

So onto a solution: I had a look around online for a program that is free and will run on Windows. The software I came back with is called Synergy; it is basically for sharing your keyboard and mouse with other computers. Not only is it completely free, but you can download it with copies that run on Windows, OS X, and several Linux distributions.

Setting up Synergy is easy. You set up your main computer as the server, and then any other computers as clients. It tells you the IP address of the server so that, even if you’re not that computer savvy, you can still set up Synergy with a relative amount of ease — all that’s required is a little common sense. Then all you have to do is drag and drop the clients to where you would like them to be located: left, right, above, and so on.

Using it once you have set it up is a doddle as well. You just have to move your cursor to whatever side of your screen on which you set up the other computer — such as the left side of the screen if you placed the client on the left, obviously! It instantly disappears over to the other monitor — neat, huh? This can, however, get annoying if you have it on the right, for instance, and go to close your window and go a little too far and find your cursor on the other screen. For this, though, you can set up delays or hot keys to press in order for it to jump across, which alleviates the problem of missing mouse cursors!

I found the program to be pretty speedy, with not much lag between going off one side of the screen and appearing on the other — in fact, it is pretty much instantaneous. I can see this could be useful in other situations — such as if you owned a business and had a computer connected up to a monitor with a rotating advert presentation or something similar, as you would not need to have a keyboard and mouse constantly plugged in to have instant access.

If you use two computers and often find yourself moving around the room a lot and switching between them or can think of another great use, then I suggest you have a look at Synergy. I know that it will be getting use and recommendations from me in the future.

My name is Sonny Chester. I’m a tech lover, cat lover, self-confessed geek, and slightly mad! That’s me. I just like finding new, cool stuff online and helping people if I can! I’m always looking for a good deal or free stuff that does the same job as things you would normally have to pay for.

Image: Synergy

Article Written by

Guest Blogger is from all sorts of different times and places. Guest Blogger is usually less mysterious than James Bond, but often more mysterious than Austin Powers. Guest Blogger has a knowledge base that is as vast as space, and as timeless as infinity. Guest Blogger is sometimes me, and Guest Blogger is sometimes you.

  • Michael DeGuzis

    Synergy is very buggy at times. If you are on windows, thankfully Input Director, I have found to be a much more elegant solution.

    • Nick Bolton

      @google-1d1ac822d2ef06d8737c14cb8ac8217d:disqus Please let me know what bugs in particular you’re struggling with, and I will see what I can do.

      • Dan

        I pretty consitently have stuck clipboard and ‘stuck modifier keys’
        Aside from the at it works flawlessly.

  • http://twitter.com/Lumpy John D.Lemke

    I have used the program since I had a ME machine. For what it is worth, I do not find this program buggy at all. I tend to use older hardware and am mostly Linux. Sometimes, configuring it can be a bit tricky but if you take the time to read the documentation and remember that you must tell each and every screen what is next to it, you can set it up easily.

    I have made it work with up to four machines at once, and as many as 3 different operating systems on those machines. I have never not been able to get it to work.

  • http://twitter.com/Jowstone Gerardo Gómez

    greetings mr. Pirillo, can you change the font of your articles? plz plz…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=563313333 Rick Rost

    I use a similar program called Desktop Rover

  • ronknights

    The writer of this article might be a bit behind the times.
    I haven’t been able to get Synergy or SynergyKM to work since OSX Lion. It’s really frustrating.