Alternatives to Input Director for all platforms with any license

Input Director Comments

For Windows PCs, start here, first!

about Input Director · ·

I've tried a number of KVM software programs over the years, particularly when I used to be really into Macs and needed something that supported it, but my tried and true has always been Input Director. I'm almost exclusively Windows now aside for some old Apple gear that rarely sees use, and even then, usually I'm in Boot Camp (Windows).

I've used Input Director to share a keyboard and mouse between as many as four computers and laptops without issue. When I ran into a bug a while back, I emailed Shane, the developer, and he got right back to me - I was seriously surprised and impressed. Compare that to Synergy, where people have complained about a camera angle bug when gaming for YEARS without resolution - and it costs $19 for private use!

For Windows PCs, this is the best - and it's FREE for personal use. REALLY free. No spyware, no nagware, no crippleware, no signing up to be sent spam. It works, it works great, and it's really, truly FREE.

Thanks Shane, for making a great program!


Try this one first

about Input Director · ·

I tried all the others first, and had problems with each:
- Synergy is no longer free. Even the nightly builds are crippleware.
- Mouse Without Borders swaps all keyboard and mouse like devices from all machines to the active one, which prevents use of an HTPC remote on my HTPC when slaved to a laptop.
- ShareMouse considers preventing the mouse from switching screens unless Ctrl is pressed to be a premium feature, and nags the crap out of you about it.
- MWB and ShareMouse both have issues with controlling games.

ID has none of the above issues, and is completely free.


Simply the Best

about Input Director · ·

I've used this application with up to 4 computers and 8 screens. Too easy to setup and work like a charm. Install, set master, set slave, BOOM! Shane the developer is awesome, great support!

I've bee using this application for the past 6yrs and never looked back.

[Edited by toolkitza, September 01]


Simple yet has a host of options

about Input Director · ·

I have been struggling with other programs for some time, random cut outs, windows key not working, that type of thing.

I was sceptical at first but after using Input Director I'm really impressed.
It's smooth, its easy to install yet it allows me to pick which network device I want to use, it's perfect.

I only want to say thanks to Eric, you the man


Input Director works great for home theater PC setup

about Input Director and Synergy · ·

We had used an RF keyboard and mouse for our Windows Media Center PC for some time, but it was a clunky solution. The range on the keyboard and mouse weren't great, we had to have a receiver in the PC to pickup the RF signal, and we never knew where to stow the keyboard and mouse when not in use.

When we watch TV in the family room, everyone is usually also using a laptop, which means they already have a keyboard and touchpad (or mouse) always available. Using those for remote control of the home theater PC would be a great option.

I had used Synergy at work, but it was always difficult to setup and configure, and was dreading setting it up at home. In the process of looking into this, I ran across Input Director.

Input Director was much easier to install than Synergy, and I had basic functionality going quickly. During the setup of Input Director, I found several other great features which are now "must have" for our setup.

Transition options, mouse

This is the ability to control when the mouse (and keyboard) will move from the local (master) computer to the slave system. When we are watching TV, it wouldn't be good to have someone constantly mistakenly moving their cursor to the home theater PC -- not cool. Input Director can be configured to a keyboard combination must be pressed before the cursor will be allowed to move other to the slave. In our case, I've configured the left control key + left alt key to be required to be pressed, and then I roll the mouse to the top of the screen ("towards" the home theater PC), and then the cursor dutifully moves to the theater PC. When I let go of the control/alt keys, the mouse is then locked to the theater PC (until I press the control-alt again and move the mouse down, back, over to my computer).

Transition options, keybaord

Also, another transition option can be configured (in parallel to the mouse method) for a keyboard-only shortcut. For us, I've setup left control + left alt + up arrow, which moves the control to the home theater PC (very similar to the mouse method I setup). Conversely, I can press left control + left alt + down arrow to bring the cursor back to my computer.

Both of the transitions options are very configurable, so you could setup whatever keyboard shortcut you would need to make it work

Mutli-user capable

I was really stoked when I found that I could have as many "master" systems as I wanted. This meant that everyone's laptop is now setup to be able to control the home theater PC in exactly the same way. Originally I was worried that there could only be one master/slave pairing, but (thankfully) this isn't the case. Not only that, but the slave system is not bothered by multiple masters connected to it at the same moment. If one person moves the mouse on their system, the home theater PC's cursor moves... and then someone else controls it and it moves. Not very useful, but it is great that the slave system is so well behaved in this regard.


My original task for Input Director was to remote control the home theater PC, but it does also allow sharing of certain clipboard data between the master and slave systems. For us, this is useful when someone has a website (YouTube, for example) which we want to share with the rest of the family. Copy the URL to the laptop keyboard, switch the cursor to the home theater PC, and paste the URL in its browser.


Turns out that Input Director is a one-man-program, meaning when you write in for support, you are contacting the guy. And he's very responsive as well.

There are a bunch of other options in Input Director which I haven't gotten into (have been running it for a few years now!), but what we have used is fantastic.

[Edited by pfurrie, June 30]


Pros:Much more stable than Synergy - I can actually get Inp ...

Comment by studiophi
about Input Director · Jun 2011 ·

Much more stable than Synergy - I can actually get Input Director to work! I love that it supports AES 256-bit encryption, and that commands, like Ctrl+Alt+Del, can be re-mapped.

I'd like to see the master & slave be installable as services.