Posted on April 18, 2015 by KVMGalore   |  0 comments

KVM dongle
A VGA-USB KVM dongle

A KVM dongle is a small piece of hardware that attaches to a computer's KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) ports, facilitating the use of CATx (CAT-5/5e/6/7) cables to connect the computer to a KVM switch or to a KVM extender.

A dongle is typically a small plastic enclosure containing electronics designed to boost the KVM signal. Short cables (or one cables with additional pigtail[s]) coming out of one side of the dongle have KVM connectors at their end to connect to the computer's KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) ports. These connectors, for example, may be VGA or DVI for video; USB or PS/2 for keyboard/mouse. An RJ45 female connector on the other end is used to connect a standard CATx cable running to a KVM switch or a KVM extender receiver.

Facilitating the use of CATx cables instead of traditional coax cables to connect computers to KVM switches/extenders, KVM dongles offer quite a few advantages:

VGA-PS/2 KVM dongle
VGA-PS/2 KVM dongle
  • Support for longer distance
  • Support flexible deployment using standard IT infrastructure
  • Better cable management with thinner, less bulky and less cumbersome to handle cables
  • Higher density appliances (greater port-count) due to smaller RJ45 connectors
  • Easy hardware interchangeability due to the use of standard RJ45 connectors
  • Custom cables length created ad-hoc since CATx cables are easily cut and terminated to any desired length on-site


Although all KVM dongles use standard CATx cables, their electronics are proprietary and specified to be used only with dedicated KVM appliances, making them incompatible with competing-brand hardware.