Remote Control Your Computer for Free
There are a number of reasons that you may wish to control your computer remotely. Perhaps you left an important document on a computer at home and need to retrieve it at work. Maybe your neighbor constantly needs your help to work on his computer and you're tired of visiting his house. The list goes on. The good news is that remote computer management is very simple, and free! With the help of a simple program, you will be able to control your computer as if you were sitting in front of it from anywhere in the world.
Before I talk about the program I'm going to use for this example, I want to mention that there are a variety of options for remote viewing of the desktop. One program in particular is called UltraVNC, and it essentially replicates your desktop from a remote computer. However, today I am going to focus on a program that, in my opinion, is much simpler to use for beginners: LogMeIn.
LogMeIn is a respected name in the remote computer control business. It has very tight security, yet is still extremely simple to use. If you are a beginner at remote computer management, or even if you have a lot of experience, I highly recommend it.
The first step in the process today is to create a LogMeIn account. Simply browse to https://secure.logmein.com/US/products/free/ and click "create an account" on the right side. Then, return to that page and click "download."
You will now need to install the program on your desktop. If you don't want to control the computer you're currently using, you must download the file on the computer you do wish to control. After finishing the set up process, you may be prompted to enter a security password or code. Make sure that you remember it, it is an extra layer of security for logging in remotely.
Logging In Remotely
Now that your computer is set up as a client, you can access it remotely from any web browser in the world, as long as it is turned on and has an internet connection.
Navigate to logmein.com and log in with you user name and password. You will see the list of computers that you can remote control (you can install the program on as many computers as you wish, they will each show up under your account). To remote control it, click the remote control button next to it.
A window will open and you will be prompted to enter your Windows user name and password in order to log in. Once you do, you will be able to control your computer from within the browser of any other computer.
When you first download LogMeIn, it actually downloads the pro version. Don't worry, you aren't being charged, it's just a trial that will convert to the free version after 30 days. Of course, if you like the pro version better, you could pay for it. I have found that the free version works wonderfully for what I need.
If you want to be able to remote control your desktop from a smartphone or an iPad, read my other article about using LogMeIn to do that.
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