- Computers & Software
Remote PC Access Software
Let's say that you need to either access a file or run a program on your computer. But, you're in one place, and the computer is somewhere else. What can you do? Well, you might need to use some kind of remote PC access software. The exact type that you'd use would depend on your circumstances.
If you need to access a remote computer that's on the same LAN as the computer in front of you, you have a variety of choices. Windows, MacOS X, and Linux come with some sort of remote desktop software. (It's built-in to Windows and Mac, but with Linux, you may have to install it from the repository.)
In addition to accessing files on the remote computer, you'll also have access to the entire desktop, so that you'll be able to run programs on the remote machine. But, most of these remote desktop utilities don't run in encrypted mode, which makes them unsuitable for use across the Internet, or anywhere else where packet sniffing could be a problem. Also, you'll need to configure access software on the remote machine ahead of time, with proper log-in credentials, firewall settings, and display settings.
The above-mentioned utilities can be made secure, by combining them with some sort of Virtual Private Network software solution.
Virtual Private Network, or VPN, software comes in several different forms. Depending on the particular package, it can be either fairly easy or fairly cumbersome to set up. The software will need to be installed on both the local and remote machines. And, regardless of which package you choose, you'll need to have admin privileges on the machine to get it set up properly. Since VPN transmissions are encrypted, you'll be able to use it across the Internet. But, to make it work on a consistent basis, you'll need for the remote machine to have a permanent, static external IP address, and for the remote machine or network to have additional ports open in its firewall. Home users, though, generally will have dynamic IP addresses that change on a periodic basis. So, if you need to remotely access your computer at home, these solutions won't work.
If you search the web, you'll find multiple vendors selling remote access solutions. In general, these work by installing a plug-in to your machine's web browser. Then, when you use a local machine to log into a remote machine, the vendor's server will act as a middle-man, and set up the connection. Most vendors offer strong encryption, and the ability to access remote computers that have ever-changing, dynamic IP addresses. Other features may include file sync and transfer, sound forwarding, and remote printer access. Some packages include support for multiple monitors, and may also allow you to access the remote computer from a hand-held device. Remote access vendors charge for their services on a monthly basis, since they're using their own servers to make this work.
Because these vendors' solutions support dynamic IP addresses, you'll be able to use them to access your home computer. Corporations can also use them if they want to skip the complexity of setting up a VPN.
If you have need for remote PC access software, your favorite search engine can help.