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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger
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    TOP STORY

    Run your PC from afar — securely and easily


    By Susan Bradley

    Your office PC is miles away, when suddenly you

    realize you forgot that all-important file — what to do?


    Luckily, there are free tools (including one possibly residing in Windows) that give you remote access — or even full-scale remote control — of your PC, as if you were sitting right in front of it.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/2010/04/15/02 (opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.


    Last edited by revia; 2011-01-20 at 16:01.

  2. #2
    New Lounger
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    Good article. I use Log me in free and I find it very good. Some computers will not connect so I also use TeamViewer5.

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    I used to use a VNC client on my Palm V and Vx, to remote login to an XP PC. I also ran VNC on HP-UX Unix workstations to connect to them from PC's.

    I still find VNC to be a useful free solution for remote PC access.

    And I use SkyFex Free to view my mum's PC, to help her out. She logs into SkyFex as a client through her IE browser, I login as an expert, and I can monitor her actions to help her out.

  4. #4
    New Lounger
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    I use and LOVE LogMeIn Free its installed on our four computers at home, my Mums and a couple of other family members I help with PC problems occasionally. If a friend has a problem the first thing I do is get them to install LogMeIn on their PC and then I just login and sort it. Never had a problem, great tool. One thing it has over windows remote access I believe is the ability to reboot the remote PC and LogMeIn restart as a service so no need for their to be someone at the remote computer to login.
    Kind regards
    Andrew Parkinson
    [twitter]nononcents[/twitter]

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    I use TEAMVIEWER for accessing my own PCs from afar and it was an absolute doddle to set up compared to everything else I've tried.

    I also do a lot of remote assistance support, and over the years have tried quite a few apps for this. By far the easiest to set up and use, for both myself and my clients, is TEAMVIEWER. Also the most versatile in functionality I've yet tried.

    As a great many of my support requests come from people with very limited computer knowledge, they find it very easy to get connected to me with a minimum of explanation or fuss. All they need to do is click the download link on my site, then click RUN both times when prompted. They read off the access number and PIN to me and I'm in. It's that simple.
    If they have a headset, or mic and speakers, TEAMVIEWER even lets me talk with them through VOIP and with video too. That's a nice touch as folk seem to be more relaxed when they can see who is talking to them.

    The free version does not have any limited functionality and they rely on your honesty not to use it commercially. I cannot recommend TEAMVIEWER highly enough and it's not that expensive if you are going to use it enough commercially.

    If you've never used TEAMVIEWER, give it a whirl. I'll be surprised if you want to revert.

    PooterMan
    http://www.pooterman.co.uk

  6. #6
    New Lounger
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    The logmein client software also runs on Linux. I use it regularly from my linux pcs to help out users on Windows hosts. Just a warning about the initial Windows host installation: recent versions of the free version install the logmein pro trial, and you have to change it back to the free version by modifying the 'subscription' section of the logmein options.

  7. #7
    New Lounger
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    I have used UltraVNC for years. In addition to normal VNC client-server functions, it also has a very small self-contained server that you can send to clients. When they run it, it connects back to your client only (assuming you have a static IP) and, as a result, it can traverse routers with NAT enabled. Free, too. http://www.uvnc.com/

  8. #8
    New Lounger
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    I have used most methods of remote access over the years.
    Teamviewer is my number one by far.
    I have yet to find a situation where I won't work out of the box.
    I passes through all firewalls seamlessly.
    with more facilities than you can shake a stick at

    Les

  9. #9
    New Lounger
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    I can see many others beat me to the punch in pointing out that your article failed to mention TeamViewer 5. I support a lot of computers, both businesses and individuals, in doing so i use a mix of Remote desktop, Remote Desktop Gateway and TeamViewer5 depending on the situation. I use RDP for own servers and PCs, mostly due to my phone having an RDP clients and the lack of a mobile version of TeamViewer5, for my small business customers who have servers i support, i used RDP for the servers and TeamViewer5 for the clients PC's, If they're running a server with SBS 2008 i use the RDP gateway for both servers and clients, and i use Teamviewer5 for all my residential customers.

    I started using TeamViewer on version 4, but had abandoned after a few months due to too many problems with the mouse controls locking to a certain window and not being able to click on anything else, that was happening so frequently it made it unusable for me, and their tech support was anemic on my first 2 support requests, after a few months, i decided to attempt another support ticket, this time they were quick to respond, they gave a couple configuration options to change when the problem starts, and ever since its been much more usable. Version 5 brought a lot of useful features to the table, as well as improving performance and connection stability. Now i use it daily and recommend it to everyone...

  10. #10
    New Lounger
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    I have to add my vote for Teamviewr also. I have tried many of the others and Teamviewer is the only one that has worked first time every time with no problems whatsoever.

  11. #11
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    I'm also surprised Susan missed Teamviewer. I've used them all over the years and TV feels the best so far.
    Cheers

  12. #12
    New Lounger
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    TeamViewer.com has a simple, free version of remote control for non-commercial use, and it allows unlimited file transfers. LogMeIn requires the paid version to do that.
    Doug

  13. #13
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    I'll add my vote for TeamViewer 5. It's solid as a rock, autonegotiates your router and/or firewall and is absolutley seamless. You can also run it as a quasi-portable app, leaving a zero footprint in the registry. No tweaking is needed. Just run it on each end and it's like your sitting at the client.

  14. #14
    New Lounger
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    There's also SharedView, by Microsoft, which is free. http://connect.microsoft.com/site94

    Here's how they describe it "Microsoft SharedView is a fast, easy way to share documents and screen views with small groups of friends or coworkers; anytime, anywhere. Use SharedView to put your heads together and collaborate - create, convey, and communicate…across physical boundaries, through firewalls, and down to the smallest details."

    It works pretty well, it's easy to install and use (never had to change anything in my firewalls). You can share your session with up to 15 people (I never tried with more than 1), and you can chose what you want to share: just one application (eg a presentation) or the whole desktop. People wanting to take control of the mouse may have to require it first.

    The only thing is that I wonder whether it's still being developed, or if Microsoft will just let it die...

  15. #15
    3 Star Lounger
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    I have used CrossLoop and Copilot.
    Once I had tried Teamviewer I switched to it, no, I ran with flying colors!
    I have to support almost exclusively in their own words "computer illiterate" home users; with this clientele Teamviewer is my clear favorite; it is just so much more dependable and MUCH faster than the other two services.
    Only my experience though.
    Eike J Heinze
    What I am about
    SE Wisconsin

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