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TRENDnet TK-IP101 KVM IP Switch with TK-423K KVM - Testing

Have you ever wanted more control over your systems while away? The TRENDNet TK-IP101 might be the answer to your dilemma!

By: | Switches in Networking | Posted: Apr 15, 2009 4:42 am
TweakTown Rating: 83%Manufacturer: TRENDnet



The TK-IP101 was tested through a few real-usage setups. The first was simply being able to connect to a system over the LAN and Internet from a client computer. This was very simple using the included Windows Viewer shown below. There is also a good deal of options for connectivity, depending upon your connection point.


The next testing mode was to be able to reboot a system over the TK-IP101 and enter the system BIOS and make changes remotely again from both the LAN and the internet.


Our third testing mode (and the one I saw as most valuable to many enthusiasts) was a complete install from the ground up. I simply dropped the Install DVD-ROM for Windows XP x64 into the drive, powered up the system and left the house.


- Test One


Connecting to the TK-IP101 was very simple. After downloading the viewer directly from the TK-IP101 I opened up the application and typed in the static IP address setup.


From there it asked me for a user name and password. After that, I was in; the TK-IP101 connected me to the same system that the TK-423K saw as active.


TRENDnet TK-IP101 KVM IP Switch with TK-423K KVM


TRENDnet TK-IP101 KVM IP Switch with TK-423K KVM


TRENDnet TK-IP101 KVM IP Switch with TK-423K KVM


As you can see from the image directly above, there is also a small window with four icons; these represent the four system connections we setup in the TK-IP101. You can double click these to change the active system, or you can use the hotkeys that you setup (in the case of the TK-423K; Scroll Lock, Scroll Lock then the number of the port).


I found that choosing the option for no cursor overlay worked best as the two never really synced up properly. With the guest cursor out of the way, navigating the system was easy. When connecting over the internet you will want to make sure you select Fast Internet and not LAN. If you forget, your connection experience will be slow and buggy.


- Test Two


For this test I connected to my i7 system and rebooted into the BIOS. It was very simple and easy to work with; there were absolutely no problems getting into the system BIOS or the RAID BIOS.


TRENDnet TK-IP101 KVM IP Switch with TK-423K KVM


TRENDnet TK-IP101 KVM IP Switch with TK-423K KVM


- Test Three


This is the one that I really wanted to try. There have been times where I was not able to be present when installing or reinstalling a system. Often I have to put off this task for days until I can sit in front of the system in question. However, with the TK-IP101 I was able to completely install Vista while I was over 100 miles away. It was nice to be able to do that without having to babysit the system during the installation.


TRENDnet TK-IP101 KVM IP Switch with TK-423K KVM


TRENDnet TK-IP101 KVM IP Switch with TK-423K KVM


TRENDnet TK-IP101 KVM IP Switch with TK-423K KVM


- Video Quality


Of course, the quality of the video being displayed will become an issue as the TK-IP101 has a limit of 1600x1200; this is even through the VGA out to the monitor. Now, for most servers this is not a problem, but if you have a high-end system or monitor it can quickly end up being a problem.


I found that on my 24-inch LCD monitor the display looks flat and fuzzy. Most of this was due to the native resolution (1920x1200) for the monitor, but some was the double connection through the two KVMs. With the TK-IP101 connected directly the display was more vivid. Once it was connected through the TK-423K I noticed the drop off in colour and sharpness.


Video quality through the viewer was also a little off with square blocks visible in the reproduced display in the viewer. Much of this can be overlooked if you are simply using it to connect to a server, system based firewall, or even to install a system. There is no way you are going to game over this connection; it was not designed for that and the refresh is simply too slow. You can get the games to launch and they will display, but the speed is comically slow.


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