Working with multiple computers at a time requires you get up and go to the PC that you want to control. That can be both time consuming and irritating, especially if a person has to constantly keep getting up during some important work. There are applications available that let you avoid getting up from your PC again and again. It means that the same mouse and keyboard will be used to control all the connected PCs, saving you the trouble of getting up and moving yourself to be exactly in front of the other computer. Previously, we have covered some very useful applications for Windows that allow you to control multiple computers using a single set of mouse and keyboard. ShareMouse is one such cross-platform tool that lets you share your mouse and keyboard on multiple computers on the network, and Mouse Without Borders is another alternative by Microsoft Garage. Today, we have another application, Multiplicity from Stardock, which lets you control up to 9 computers from one set of mouse and keyboard. More on Multiplicity after the jump.
As with all applications from Stardock, Multiplicity also has an eye candy interface. When you install the application and run it for the first time, you will be asked if you want to set the Current PC as the Primary Computer or the Secondary Computer. Set your main computer as the Primary Computer; this allows you to control all the Secondary PC’s without getting up. Now, to add a Secondary PC, click Add computer available at the top right corner of the configuration dialog box.
You have to have the program installed in all the computers that you want to control. Set all the other PCs as secondary PCs. You will be able to see a Computer name and Passcode, which will be used to connect it to the primary computer.
When the secondary computer is added, you can see its name and change its position by just dragging and dropping it around. Same way, you can change the position of your own computer. The program allows you to control a total of 9 computers.
The Settings menu (accessible from the Tab at the left side) lets you change the default program settings. You will notice that some of the settings are grayed out. These settings are only available in the paid version of the Multiplicity. In the free version, you can change the Hotkeys for quickly switching between primary and secondary computers, whether you want the screen to darken when the mouse is on another computer, show status window when controlling another computer etc.
The free versions of the program is pretty limited. It only lets you control the mouse, and options such as copying text, and files, are only available in the paid version of Multiplicity. The full comparison can be found on the product page. It works on both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7.