Most of us have been in a situation when we needed a key file that was on a desktop miles away from our current location. We often frantically search through our email trying to find a copy or call a friend who hopefully can get to the computer and send it to us. However, there is a better way to remotely access your files. We’ll cover four applications that are designed to allow you to access your computer from anywhere in the world.
Every version of Windows since XP has included a Remote Desktop Connection client. This allows you to remotely access any Windows machine that is running Terminal Services. Terminal Services can run on any version of Windows XP, the Ultimate, Enterprise and Business editions of Windows Vista, and Windows 7 Professional and higher. The latest version (version 7.0) of Terminal Services is called Remote Desktop Services.
After you enable Remote Desktop on your Windows machine, you use the Remote Desktop Connection client to log in to it just as you would if you were sitting at the computer. You’ll see a window open that shows the desktop and allows you to fully control the host computer. Keep in mind that you should use not use any version of Remote Desktop that is lower than 6.0 because that is the version that introduced Network Level Authentication (NLM) which greatly improves the security of the connection.
Virtual Network Computing
Virtual Network Computing (VNC) is similar to Remote Desktop, but it has far greater platform independence. Therefore, a VNC client can connect to a VNC server no matter what operating system either program is using as a platform. There are many types of VNC clients and servers, but my favorite for the Windows platform is TightVNC. There are also VNC clients for many smartphones.
LogMeIn offers remote access through a web browser rather than through client software like Remote Desktop or VNC. There is a free version, but users can access more features with the professional version. LogMeIn is also easier to setup than Remote Desktop or VNC since it just uses a web browser. It also is more secure since the connection goes through an encrypted web session instead of a desktop application. LogMeIn works on both Windows and Macs.
GoToMyPC, similar to LogMeIn, lets you remotely access your computer through a web browser. There is no free version of GoToMyPC, but you can sign up for a free 30 day trial. the GoToMyPC host software works on both Windows and Macs and there are client versions for Windows, Macs, Linux, and Solaris.Category: web 2.0 | Tags: gotomypc, logmein, RDP, remote access, remote desktop, Remote Desktop Protocol, VNC