The three most common KVM purchasing mistakes

The biggest mistake when purchasing a KVM switch is buying on lowest cost as the only factor without considering future needs. The most common mistake is buying a KVM switch that will solve your problems for today only. When this occurs, end users come back to the seller saying that they recently purchased a KVM solution but they bought this new system XYZ that does A, B, and C; however the KVM switch was not designed to support D and E. This type of issue will cause the user to either buy a new separate KVM solution or set the system up as a separate entity. This can be frustrating.

The High-Performance KVM, HD Video, and Peripheral Switching and Extension Guide (e-catalog)

E-catalog: High-Performance KVM, HD Video, and Peripheral Switching and Extension Guide

On more complicated systems that require Server Access Modules (adapters that hang off the back of each PC or server) and various types of accessories for mounting and access, users may mistakenly read a marketing article that tries to sell them a switch only and does not mention that the user is required to have the additional accessories to make it work. If the switch is ordered without these accessories, the installer will get it and be very frustrated. When purchasing the more complicated systems, keep in mind that KVM switches that use any sort of CATx cable will ultimately force you into buying another device that connects to both ends to encode/decode the signals.

Another very common mistake is users purchasing different types of equipment from different manufacturers (KVM switch from vendor A, KVM extender from vendor B, and a KVM tray from vendor C) and being surprised to encounter problems. When performing the initial installation and configuration, 90 percent of these users will realize very quickly that they’ll have many compatibility issues on their hands. At Black Box, if we suggest a solution that includes connecting more than one system, we make sure to have it fully tested and qualified so you, the end user, will not have to struggle to make it work.

For more KVM buying tips, go to


PoE applications and benefits: Save money and time

PoE is a technology that works well for wireless access points, video surveillance, building management, retail video kiosks, smart signs, and retail point-of-information systems, making it possible to easily move a device with minimal disruption. Additionally, if your LAN is protected from owner failure by a UPS, the PoE devices connected to your LAN are also protected from power failure.

Using PoE can save hundreds of dollars per Wi-Fi access point (AP) locations compared to a non-PoE solution.

In a non-PoE installation, in addition to the Ethernet backhaul link, power must be wired to the access point. Depending on factors such as AP location, distance from the AC circuit, and local safety codes, the savings from using a PoE solution can be $250-$500 per AP. In harsh, outdoor, or industrial environments, you can save $750-$1500 per AP by using PoE.

802.3af PoE Gigabit Injector, 1-Port

PoE Mid-Span Injectors add power to Ethernet for powering PoE powered devices ranging from wireless access points to IP cameras. PoE enables you to easily move equipment from room to room without costly, time-consuming rewiring.

PoE is also the answer if you’re doing a high-density phone conversion from keyed phones to VoIP phones. There’s a much lower installation cost—all you need to do is provide the Ethernet connection. We have a variety of PoE PSE equipment including switches, media converters, and injectors.

Plus, using PoE can improve VoIP phone system availability. PoE PSE gear can be located in data centers with uninterruptible power supplies and battery backup. This arrangement means that your PD VoIP phones will remain working if there’s a power failure. On the other hand, wall-powered phones will stop working when the power goes out.

Additional resources:
PoE Explained [Video]
PoE Injector Buyer’s Guide
PoE Media Converter Buyer’s Guide