My 2 Best Free Remote Desktop / Remote PC Control Programs
[Update: LogMeIn is now a paid service]
Today, I’d like to share a couple free solutions for remote desktop management. Controlling other computers over the internet is a great idea. It saves time and money directly by avoiding all the time and hassle a physical visit requires. However, the built-in Windows program (Remote Desktop Connection) requires forwarding a port when you’re behind a router to the computer you wish to connect to and similarly, Apple’s Remote Desktop for Macs (a paid program) runs pretty much the same as well, too.
A third-party application is best to deal with these situations and when it’s for personal or non-commercial use, there is no need to buy software when free solutions work great.
Teamviewer is best for 1 on 1 assistance. Let’s say your mom or dad calls you and they are very upset because “the Internet is missing” on their computer or they can’t check their e-mail because “Yahoo got erased”. We all know what the problem is, nothing hard to solve, but instead of telling your parents you’ll fix it the next time you visit them this weekend, all you need to do is to ask them to fire up Teamviewer and tell you the 9 digit access code and 4 digit password and boom! You’re in there!
Teamviewer is the best for long-distance remote control as I find it to be a lot speedier than most remote desktop applications. There’s really no comparison with the slow performance of Microsoft’s Remote Desktop. Things are much zippier and suitable enough for overseas connections as well so I find myself using it quite often. No surprise here though, as I believe this software started from PC gamers who need to remote check opponent gamers for any hacks or cheating. Online gamers fight against milliseconds of delay and I’m sure they can’t tolerate it when things get slow.
Teamviewer requires the same program (and similar version) installed on both computers to operate so, if you wanted to, you could control the other computer and also let the other person on that computer control yours afterwards.
LogMeIn, on the other hand, is best for managing multiple computers. Once you have LogMeIn installed on the computers you want to control, all you have to do is login to LogMeIn.com and select the computer you wish to manage from the list of computers you have authorized access to. As long as the target computers are on, the computers will connect instantly as they were already configured to operate with your LogMeIn ID, therefore eliminating someone to be present on the other side to authorize your control. The LogMeIn approach is a very convenient way to connect to them individually and control them all through a single web browser using any computer. [Update: LogMeIn now requires paid subscription]
If you haven’t tried these 2 remote desktop management software and are looking for a solution, I recommend giving it a try and of course when you want to use it commercially ($749 lifetime license for Teamviewer) or hop on to the more advanced features ($69.95/year for LogMeIn Pro), you can always add them anytime when you actually need to..