Networking – Use Mouse Without Borders Selectively Over LAN


The place I'm living at right now has really terrible (slow and unsecured) WiFi, and I have a desktop and a laptop that I want to use at the same time using the same set of keyboard and mouse. To share the keyboard and mouse, I've previously tried the free version of Synergy, but that (free version) no longer updates. Currently, I'm using Mouse Without Borders, which presumably, at lease occasionally receives updates.

To at least partially solve the security issue, I'm using a VPN for both computers. However, as a result of this in conjunction with the slow WiFi, there is sometimes terrible lag when the cursor is not on the host device. Furthermore, sometimes while on VPN the Mw/oB connection randomly drops and does not reconnect without manual intervention.

Luckily, I brought my LAN setup with me when I moved here, so I have ethernet cables, a switch, and a AP/Bridge combo. However, even with both computers connected via the switch, Mw/oB connects over the WiFi.

Is there any way to configure Mw/oB to use the LAN connection for its traffic? I could theoretically connect both devices to the bridge and connect that to the WiFi. But not only would this configuration potentially further bottleneck the already terrible speeds, I'm not sure I can access the web portal needed to turn on the connection through the bridge itself.

In summary:

1. I have two computers
2. They both need to be connected to WiFi for internet
3. They need to connect to each other to share keyboard and mouse (Mouse Without Borders)
1. I'd like to use a shared LAN for aforementioned connection?
2. Set up automatic reconnection?

Help in figuring how to set this up, or if it's even at all possible would be greatly appreciated!

Edit: After sleeping on it, I think this questions boils down to how I can route specific application's internet traffic through a specific connection/adapter. However all questions I've seen related to this require the connection have an IP or something, which the switch does not provide.

Edit 2: I just tried using ForceBindIP on both ends forcing MouseWithoutBorders.exe to run with their respective ethernet adapters. Either this doesn't work, or I configured it wrong. I'm not sure which or how to tell.

Best Answer

I've managed to resolve this for my use case. Since I'm not even close to an expert with networking, I can't confirm if this generalizes to all similar cases; but, I hope this answer will be able to help others with the same problem as me in the future and prevent some hassle and headache.

Here's what I did:

  1. Use ForceBindIP for MouseWithoutBorders.exe onto the ethernet network GUIDs on each computer.
    • about 1/4 of the way in the "Usage" segment
    • (I'm not sure if this actually has any effect? When ethernet is disconnected and both computers are on WiFi without VPN they can still connect)
  2. Connect both computers via ethernet to my passive switch.
  3. Connect my AP/bridge to the passive switch in AP mode.
  4. Set static IP on computers with the following settings:

    IP address: 192.168.0.x
    Subnet mask:
    Default gateway: 192.168.0.x (router's static IP)
  5. At this point the two computers realize they're connected to an actual wired network. Network name changes from "Unidentified Network" to "Network x"
  6. Reapply configuration using "Apply" button in Mw/oB / Reconnect using shortcut [Ctrl+Alt+R] (Configurable in Mw/oB)

There! Now both computers have safe access to internet via "tunnel all" VPN, and Mw/oB still works smoothly over LAN.

For now this is good enough for me, but if I ever decide that I want the LAN to somehow have access to the internet too, there's probably going to be reconfiguration required, but that's another question for another day.

Related Question