VNC vs. Software KVM

VNC and KVM software can both be used to remote control a computer.

However, there are some significant differences between both program types:

How VNC works

VNC remotely logs onto the remote computer and transmits the complete desktop contents of that PC over the network.

You see the desktop of the remote computer in a program window on your main computer:

How Remote Desktop works

You can control the remote computer within this window.

The remote computer actually doesn't need any monitor as its desktop is displayed on the main computer anyway.

Benefits of VNC

VNC limitations

How a KVM Software works

With a Software KVM, you move the mouse into the direction of the remote computer you wish to control. Once, you reach the border of your main computer, the mouse cursor jumps onto the remote computer:

Software KVM

The Software KVM only transmit the current mouse cursor position and keyboard input to the remote PC, which is very little data and won't affect the network bandwidth. No desktop contents is transmitted.

While you control the remote computer you look onto its monitor, so all computers need their own monitor.

Limitations of a Software KVM

Benefits of a Software KVM

Comparison

  VNC Software KVM
Internet support

VNC works over the internet.

All computer must be local.

Support for headless computer

Remote computers don't need a monitor.

Each computer needs its own monitor.

Network load

High network load

Almost no network load

Performance

The desktop is displayed with lag.

No lag.

Display quality

Compression artifacts, color variation due to image compression.

No compromise.

Switching speed

Slow. Requires retrieving the VNC window first.

Instantly by moving the mouse.

Desktop Real Estate

The main monitor is mostly occupied by the VNC window.

Each monitor shows the original desktop of each PC.

Multi Monitor support

Main monitor dimensions must exceed the remote computer's dimensions.

Unrestricted multi monitor support.

Support for multiple computers

Awkward. VNC has not been designed for quick access to multiple computers.

Seamless support for up to nine computers.

Verdict

A VNC application is suitable if you want to remote control a computer which has no own monitor of if the remote computer is not near your desk. If this is what you are looking for, we recommend to check out uvnc.com.

A Software KVM is your ultimate choice if you have two or more computers with their own monitors on your desk.

Please check out ShareMouse, a very powerful and easy-to-use Software KVM solution.