Selasa, 05 Juni 2012

Remote access to your computer or a friends PC, how to do it remotely with 5 good choices

You can sit at a PC in Cave Creek Arizona and reach out and control another PC on Wall Street in New York City. I do it every day. The location is unimportant.
All you need is an Internet connection at both locations, a little software help and permission. You can remotely control another PC, move the mouse, look at settings, read or edit a document, help someone with slow PC issues, and even transfer files. Good remote access software solutions have security to prevent unauthorized access.

With computer technology there are almost always several way to get a job done. Some are good, some are bad, and some are scary. Here are five tested and secure ways to remotely control a PC for support or training. Some are free, and some have a cost. There are pros and cons to each choice, so pick the solution that best meets your needs. The short list of remote access software (details below):
  1. Crossloop - fast, simple and secure. File transfer. Session oriented. Free service.
  2. Logmein - easy setup, good control. No file transfer. No remote printing Persistent host. Free service.
  3. GoToMyPC - easy setup, good control, file transfer, remote printing. Persistent host. Monthly charge.
  4. XP Remote Access - good features. Requires VPN tunnel or IP address.
  5. PCAnywhere - robust, powerful, complete feature list. Persistent Host or Session Host. Purchase software. 
Some considerations in making your selection:
  • The PC that is the target of the access is called the Host. The support PC is sometimes called the Client. The Client PC controls the Host PC.
  • A persistent host means the host software is always loaded and ready for a support connection. This is useful in on-going support relationships.
  • A session connection means that the connection door is closed after you hang up. A session connection type of access is your best bet for short term, or sporadic support. That would be CrossLoop.
  • If you are in the support business, you prefer a persistent connection for your convenience, but need to be aware of the secuity implications for your client, as well as setup or connection demands on the client.
  • The most secure (for the user) is a session connectiom.
  • If you need to connect independently to the Host (without user involvement) you need a persistent connection.
  • Firewalls and corporate policies have an impact on remote access choices.
  • Spyware software may catch and complain about a persistent connection.

LogMeIn, free and easy access

LogMeIn has a large suite of remote control options. Keep it simple and try LogMeIn Free. It is easy to setup and use.
  • You create an account with LogMeIn Free here.
  • Go to the Host PC and login to your account. Click on Add Computer.
  • Install the host software, which now shows up in your list of hosts.
  • To support, login to your account, and pick the host you want to connect and support.
Clean interface. Easy access. No user issues. It is a persistent client.
If you need file transfer or remote printing, you need to pay for LogMeIn Pro here.


CrossLoop is a number one choice because it is simple to install and use and it is session oriented, which is more secure.
Both the host and the support PC need to download and install the CrossLoop client. Then the Host starts CrossLoop, selects the Host tab, reads the code to the support person and clicks connect.
The support person starts CrossLoop, selects the Join tab, enters the code and clicks connect. The support PC has a 2 minute window to connect. The Host PC must accept the join request.
Very simple, very secure, and best of all when the session ends, the connection cannot be restarted by the support person without a new code and permission.
CrossLoop uses the free, open-source VNC (Virtual Network Computing) viewer and server combination from TightVNC. CrossLoop makes it possible for VNC to operate when either or both of the computers are situated behind restrictive firewalls.

GoToMyPC, a solid support connection

GoToMyPc is a great remote access service. It is part of Citrix, and is a well constructed, easy to use service.
There is a monthly fee, but for the serious support user it can be a good value. You can get a 30 day trial here.
The process is simple:
  • You create an account.
  • Go to the Host PC and login to your account. Click on Install on this PC.
  • Install the host software, which now shows up in your list of computers.
  • To support, login to your account, and pick the host you want to connect and support.

  • XP

    According to Microsoft, "Remote Desktop, included with Windows XP Professional, enables you to connect to your computer across the Internet from virtually any computer...". Considerations:
    • Microsoft Windows XP Professional must be installed on the computer containing the files and programs that you want to access from a remote computer.
    • The computer must also be part of a corporate network in which Remote Desktop connections are permitted.
    • The remote computer must be running Windows 95 or later and must also have the Remote Desktop Connection client software installed.
    • Both computers must be connected to the Internet through a VPN connection. If you're not connecting to the host computer through a VPN, you'll need to use the actual IP address of the host computer instead of the computer name.
    Get started using Remote Desktop with Windows XP Professional here.

    PCAnywhere, you get what you pay for...

    PCAnywhere is the gold standard in remote access software. It offers the best graphics in full screen mode of any of the choices. In addition to remote control you get such goodies as: a chat feature, file transfer and remote printing. PCAnywhere is the best choice for an ongoing support link. Some considerations:
    • You purchase the software.
    • Host and client software is installed on each PC.
    Checkout Symantec's PCAnywhere here.


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