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PC Remote Access: 5 Free and Easy Ways

Updated on August 16, 2017
Be In Two Places at One Time
Be In Two Places at One Time | Source

The Magic Carpet of Remote Access

You can sit at a PC in Cave Creek Arizona and reach out and control another PC on Wall Street in New York City. People 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.


Free Remote Access?

If you are looking for personal and casual remote access, then these solutions are free.

If you're in the support business and want to easily support several clients, then you will be buying licenses; and gladly. If you want to have several PCs standing buy and ready for remote access, then you will pay.

5 Good Alternatives

With computer technology there are almost always several ways 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. All are free, and some have a cost for multiple PCs. 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. RemotePC
  2. Mikogo
  3. NoMachine
  4. Microsoft Remote Access App
  5. Chrome Remote Access Extension

Source

Mikogo

Standard features are free for single-user, and 1 session at a time:

  • Screen Sharing
  • HTML Viewer
  • Switching Presenter
  • Remote Control
  • Mobile Apps
  • Cross-Platform Compatibility
  • File Transfer
  • Chat

Source

RemotePC

A complete remote access solution. Try it free on one PC.

  • PC or Mac or Android or iPad
  • Secure
  • File transfer
  • Chat
  • Collaborate
  • Record remote sessions (great for training)

Source

NoMachine, for the People version

Turn your computer into your personal cloud.

Take what's important where you go, whether it's at home or at the office.

Wherever your desktop and your data is, you can reach it from the other side of the world in a few simple clicks.

NoMachine is free.

Source

Microsoft Remote Desktop App For Your Smartphone

With the Microsoft Remote Desktop app, you can connect to a remote PC and your work resources from offsite. Use the power of Windows with RemoteFX in a Remote Desktop client.

Connect to these PCs:

  • Windows 10
  • Windows 8 Enterprise, Pro
  • Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, Ultimate
  • Windows Vista Business, Ultimate, Enterprise
  • Windows XP Professional

Source

Chrome Remote Desktop

Use the Chrome browser to access other computers or allow another user to access your computer securely over the Internet.

Chrome Remote Desktop allows users to remotely access another computer through Chrome browser or a Chromebook. Computers can be made available on an short-term basis for scenarios such as ad hoc remote support, or on a more long-term basis for remote access to your applications and files. All connections are fully secured.

Remote Support Software Explained

Some considerations in making your selection:

  • The PC that is the target of the access is called the Host. The support PC is 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, assuming the PC is on and connected to the internet. 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.
  • If you are in the support business, you prefer a persistent connection for your convenience, but need to be aware of the security implications for your client, as well as setup or connection demands on the client.
  • The most secure (for the user) is a session connection.
  • 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.

Do you use remote access?

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    • profile image

      Aliasgar Babat 

      5 years ago

      Hey, Thank you very much for the above article. It provides good information regarding accessing computers remotely with different remote software’s. In addition to above, one can even use various other remote support services such as logmeinrescue, gosupportnow, GoToMyPC etc. Alternatively, one can also consider having on premise remote support appliance installed such as RHUB appliances.

    • profile image

      Aliasgar Babat 

      5 years ago

      Good blog post. Very informative regarding different remote support solutions. In addition to above listed software's, there are other quality remote support services such as TeamViewer, Gosupportnow, Real VNC etc.

    • eric-carter profile image

      eric-carter 

      6 years ago from Fulham, UK

      This is actually something I didn't knew, thanks for your great hub!

    • profile image

      Keacan 

      7 years ago

      So of the software listed here, I have only had the pleasure of removeing 2 of the programs a few times. What I am surprised about though is that it didn't mention anything about TeamViewer. Another remote access-control, VPN, use without installing, along with some other sweet options, if you haven't yet then you need to give it a test run. Its also free for personal use, has an iphone AND android app, works behind firewall through secure socket tunneling. You can even buy your own customized client installer.

    • fyxer profile image

      fyxer 

      7 years ago from mt vernon

      great info, i was only aware of go to my pc, i hear that commercial quite often.

    • profile image

      Bird is the Word 

      7 years ago

      Nice information on RDP.

    • buryshane profile image

      buryshane 

      8 years ago from (Delhi) India

      Hi friend, you have made the great job on hubpages, i have read some of your hubs and find it really useful, keep up your jobs on hubs...! wish you much succes :)

    • grammarchecker profile image

      grammarchecker 

      8 years ago from NJ, USA

      I now use "Remote PC Client 5.2". Which works the same and if you pay up front for the year it's $69 verses $10 a month if you don't. I paid the $69 and get the same service from this software.

    • mynameisnotpaul profile image

      mynameisnotpaul 

      8 years ago from Kentuckeh'

      I've been wanting to try remote connection out, but never really knew which route to take. Thanks for the recommendations! :)

    • Singular Investor profile image

      Singular Investor 

      9 years ago from Oxford

      Cool - hve some thumbs up !

    • Camping Dan profile image

      Camping Dan 

      9 years ago

      Thanks for the tip! My spouse needs to find a way to access the work computer so a price can be set without going in for something so mundane.

    • profile image

      Remote Control Software 

      9 years ago

      Good blog post. Very informative. You mentioned security issues several times, which is important. Remember, that especially if you're visiting another country and you are then accessing your computer from some internet cafe, there are always people waiting to steal your data. Make sure that whatever software you use is carefully encrypted against just such attacks. Thanks for the post.

    • profile image

      Informixx 

      9 years ago

      Thanks for the list. I've been looking for these recommended programs for me to access other PC's. I have here an idea of peeking into my friend's PC for me to know his activity. LOL

    • profile image

      Gadget 

      9 years ago

      Very detail. After reading this article, I think I can try some time.

    • jstankevicz profile imageAUTHOR

      jstankevicz 

      9 years ago from Cave Creek

      Hi HelpingGuy, LogMeIn has a service like that; it is not free but is intended for techs to make an easy, one time connect for support. It's called LogMeIn Rescue.

    • HelpingGuy profile image

      HelpingGuy 

      9 years ago

      Hi jstankevicz,

      Nice Hub.

      I am actually looking for the type of Remote Access where you just send a file (executable one, through email) to one of your Users and when s/he runs it a link is automatically established between his computer and yours.

      I am asking it because as you know, most of the users are not that technically expert to establish connection. 

    • Stacie L profile image

      Stacie L 

      9 years ago

      hey this is good to know! Can evildoers get into our machines without our knowledge?hmmm

    • Virtual Network profile image

      Virtual Network 

      9 years ago from UK

      Great Hub...well documented....excellent.

      I use logmein on a daily basis and have some 40 or so pc's in my account, never had a problem...and as you say EASY install and setup, I used to use pcanywhere but found it cumbersome.(Mind you...long time ago now so symantec may have improved things)

      It's worth mentioning that the paid version of logmein provides a remote deployment, very useful for situations where it's not practical to get the user to run the install.

    • Mr Nice profile image

      Mr Nice 

      10 years ago from North America

      Nice hub, well written. Very interesting.

    • Misha profile image

      Misha 

      10 years ago from DC Area

      WOW! Thanks! I was searching for that kind of free software for quite some time. Supporting my parent's computer on the other side of the globe is a nightmare without such a tool...

    • jstankevicz profile imageAUTHOR

      jstankevicz 

      11 years ago from Cave Creek

      Thank you Runningman. Still working on the English translation...

    • runningman72 profile image

      Steve Hauser 

      11 years ago from Atlanta

      Can you restate this in English please for us more computer illiterate people? Just kidding. The terminology and info you have provided is really neat. I like the way you began the article.

    • jstankevicz profile imageAUTHOR

      jstankevicz 

      11 years ago from Cave Creek

      Hi Paul, they key in remote support choices is often the end user - what do they have as resources (e.g. are they signed up and running messenger, what OS are they running, etc) and how hard or easy is it for them to participate in the process of setting up the connection. Fortunately, I'm generally able to have system access and have more independent choices.

    • Paul Edmondson profile image

      Paul Edmondson 

      11 years ago from Burlingame, CA

      When I get roped into doing virtual support, I tend to use MS messenger and then have them send a request to grant a remote session which is part of XP.

    • jstankevicz profile imageAUTHOR

      jstankevicz 

      11 years ago from Cave Creek

      I've used each of these remote access choices. In some clients I have mutiple access points to give me flexibility. I can get to any desktop in seconds.

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