How can I switch between two different usb-c devices?
June 29, 2020 10:48 AM   Subscribe

I have two computers. A work computer and a personal computer. At times throughout the day I'd like to switch between them ideally through some easily triggered means such as separate button or a key combination.

The twist is I already have a dock (Dell D3100) with two monitors connected. When I need to switch now I swap the usb-c input cable from my dock to the other computer. A good KVM would be well-suited for this but supporting multiple monitors, usb-c and resolutions greater than 1080p push the price pretty high.

Is there a device that accepts two usb-c inputs and can toggle between them with a hardware switch (and support all the non-started usb-c things I'd presumably need power)?
posted by EsotericAlgorithm to Technology (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
It's not USB-C, it's USB3, so it might be completely different for you, but I have a similar use case where I have a work computer and a home computer and want to swap them on the same monitor, speakers, mouse, camera, mic, and keyboard. It's working for me with an HDMI switcher and a USB switcher . If there's a similar USB-C switcher, that would work.

I have my camera, mouse, keyboard, and mic hooked up through the USB switcher, and my headphones are plugged into my monitor's headphone out. Nice thing is that I also can hook up my PS4 and Xbox One through the HDMI switcher. When I want to switch computers, I press the button on the HDMI switcher and the button on the USB switcher. I wish the HDMI input didn't change whenever an input is detected, but since my computers are always on, it doesn't suddenly switch. Only happens when something is powered on, which is usually the game consoles, and I want to play them at that time anyway.

I know this isn't quite what you're looking for, but hopefully it will help.
posted by Pacrand at 11:12 AM on June 29

Can you just remote from primary to 2ndary?
posted by theora55 at 12:26 PM on June 29

I searched Amazon for "Usb host switch" and found a few devices like this. (on preview, this is the 3.0 version of what Pacrand shared).
I have no experience with them, but maybe the reviews will help you decide.
To make it support usbC, I think you'd just have to get a couple USBC/thunderbolt to USB3 adapters.
posted by stobor at 12:37 PM on June 29

A USB-C KVM will work, and it'll be the simplest option, but won't be the cheapest. Here's one that came up in a search. I'm seeing $140 for this right now, and I'd call that a bargain in the realm of post-analog KVMs.
posted by Sunburnt at 1:48 PM on June 29

Turns out it is just straight usb 3 and I was recalling my partner's dock since I use a separate charger. I think long-term my answer might just be an additional monitor with a usb selector for my keyboard and mouse.

I'm going to try something like Pacrand suggested assuming there won't be any DisplayLink weirdness going through another device.
posted by EsotericAlgorithm at 9:07 PM on June 29

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