Synergy 1.3.1 - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Synergy

CNET Editors' review

Synergy is a cross-platform, open-source replacement for a KVM switch. Instead of looping multiple computers through a piece of hardware, it lets you control them from a single keyboard and mouse. As a software solution, you might want to just go with the KVM switch. Synergy can be extremely difficult to configure, especially determining precise computer names and server locations. Even though the program lets you rename computers with simpler aliases, it can still be challenging to configure Synergy properly.

The interface is uninspired, but at least it's not confusing. Once you get Synergy running, you can switch from one computer to the next simply by push your mouse off-screen. You can configure that switching location to be on any or all of the four sides of your main monitor. Users can also configure screensavers to start simultaneously, and can link log-in information so that one hard drive doesn't hibernate while you're working on another one. The clipboards can also be linked, making it dead easy to transfer small chunks of information, such as URLs, from one system to the next.

This is a difficult program to set up properly, but it works well once going and might even be considered a must-have, or at least a must-try, for anybody who uses more than one computer at a time.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    4.1 stars

    out of 27 votes

    • 5 star: 14
    • 4 star: 6
    • 3 star: 5
    • 2 star: 1
    • 1 star: 1
  • Current version:

    4.2 stars

    out of 16 votes

    • 5 star: 8
    • 4 star: 4
    • 3 star: 3
    • 2 star: 1
    • 1 star: 0
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 16

  • 3.0 stars

    "win xp sp2"

    March 28, 2010  |   By arch_umb

    Version: Synergy 1.3.1

    Pros

    asert redds

    Cons

    ssdevh h h

    Summary

    dasdswec fff

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Can't be without it."

    February 15, 2010  |   By rhdman

    Version: Synergy 1.3.1

    Pros

    Works great. Easily use one keyboard and mouse for 2 computers and 3 monitors.

    Cons

    A little hard to setup.

    Summary

    Works for me with XP and Vista. Has anyone tried it with Windows 7?

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  • 3.0 stars

    "a Good program to a point"

    January 30, 2010  |   By Grift

    Version: Synergy 1.3.1

    Pros

    Works well, and fairly simple to setup. Once set up is almost transparent

    Cons

    If used in gaming there could be problems. I've found it doesn't play nice with with some graphic systems.

    Summary

    Synergy works well if you want to stay out of Open GL graphic driven games. You can control a game fine if it's the system the mouse and keyboard is on the computer you're using. If you try to control an Open GL game on a second computer, you're in for some trouble. I found that the second computer became hard to control, basically acted like I had slammed the movement to stops. Fine movement was impossible. I'd find myself spinning while looking straight up or down on the second computer. Other than this issue, It's a good program. But don't expect as much if you plan to use it gaming. It will be a roll of the dice if it's going to work.

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  • 2.0 stars

    "I'm sure I would like it if I could get it to work"

    January 28, 2010  |   By Michael_Vlll

    Version: Synergy 1.3.1

    Pros

    I have no pros yet

    Cons

    It's confusing

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  • 3.0 stars

    "OK, not as good as Input Director"

    September 23, 2009  |   By Backspace23

    Version: Synergy 1.3.1

    Pros

    Cross platform with Mac and Linux, mostly does what it's supposed to, runs well on low end (PIII) machines.

    Cons

    Clipboard sharing limited. Buggy:Sometimes Windows on master machine lose focus when typing, clipboard sharing stops working, I've had it lose the layout settings

    Summary

    I've replaced Synergy with Input Director. All my machines are Windows so I don't need cross platform, and ID has solved all the bugs I've dealt with in Synergy, and has better clipboard sharing. I recommend ID to anyone using only Windows machines.

    Not to be confused with a remote access program like Teamviewer or VNC, this allows you to share one keyboard/mouse between several machines. Useful if you have a laptop and a desktop on your desk, or two laptops, or whatever. You get a dual screen experience.

    Setup isn't very difficult, but you must be familiar with network addresses, etc. On slave machines you can set up the process at boot, allowing you to even control login screens.

    Another annoyance I've found is the program Window has lots of keyboard accelerators (eg: alt+t for test), but none for "start"! My slave machine only has a keyboard with mousekeys and no mouse (I keep the keyboard attached in case synergy stops working) and this makes it more difficult to restart the program without a mouse.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "2 hours trials for configuration... Then it's fine !"

    April 13, 2009  |   By aihrv

    Version: Synergy 1.3.1

    Pros

    Easier way to use is impossible ! And it doent use Ram or Cpu while running.
    Shared Clipboard is a great idea. I use it for 3 computers, Win98+XP+Vista : evrything works well.

    Cons

    It seems i've lost mouse drag-drop facility ! (Win XP Pro).

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Excellent!"

    April 7, 2009  |   By taxiguy250

    Version: Synergy 1.3.1

    Pros

    It works! I have WinXP and Fedora 8 boxes all using the same keyboard/mouse. This is wonderful. I kept reaching for or typing on the wrong device, and this solves it completely. I love it.

    Cons

    It is a bit tricky to initially configure, but once you got it it's solid.

    Summary

    If you use multiple computers at your desk, get Synergy. It can boost your productivity and will definitely lower your frustration level.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Something that actually works right"

    March 17, 2009  |   By VetterZor

    Version: Synergy 1.3.1

    Pros

    Gotta love it saves on desktop space

    Cons

    Didnt get the copy and paste to work yet

    Summary

    Use it if you have two keyboards and two monitors and two mice. its a time saver

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Excellent sw, does what it advertizes with aplomb"

    March 1, 2009  |   By sri1ram

    Version: Synergy 1.3.1

    Pros

    Well featured
    Multi platform
    very good response times in an ad-hoc network of 4 machines
    do not require wireless/bluetoooth peripherals
    remoting to a laptop on top of a wardrobe and connected to a projector - excellent work
    thanks

    Cons

    1. need to spend time thinking of configuration - not for the casual user
    2. WinUI can be extended easily for simplicity (machine blocks placed abutting each other)

    Summary

    Liked it too much

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Awesome free version of multiplicity"

    December 20, 2008  |   By Juxtapose

    Version: Synergy 1.3.1

    Pros

    Free free free! Works very well, its very lightweight and will even work 99% of the time on a wireless network. Can setup multiple pcs if you wish, setup is pretty simple for an IT user Lets you copy paste 255 characters from one machine to the other

    Cons

    Setup may be beyond a novice PC user, but for anyone in IT its a cinch. Definitely worth the download.

    Summary

    Very good free product, compares favorably with multiplicity for reliability, Not quite all the features for multiplicity but its free, it works and its awesome.

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Results 1-10 of 16

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