Tech Tip: control your desktop computer from anywhere using remote desktop software. Even from your Smartphone or Tablet
Desktop computers may be seeing a decrease in sales and adoption, but they’re not completely dead yet. In fact, Desktop computers still can do things that Tablets or even Laptops can’t really do. The beauty of desktop computers is their ability to be upgraded, run power applications (Such as heavy graphics processing programs) or as servers that require a constant connection to the network and always powered on.
Despite how important these tools can be, the lack of mobility of a desktop computer is a major obstacle in an era of constant mobility. The solution to this is a Remote Desktop application.
What is a Remote Desktop?
Quite simply, a Remote desktop application allows you to control your desktop computer using another computer or mobile device. Your view would be the same as if you were sitting in front of your desktop computer, but accessible on your laptop, tablet or smartphone. The trick is the video connection, as well as all the inputs for keyboard and pointing device are transferred over a network connection instead of through the cables that plug into your computer directly. By giving you full control of your computer you are able to work on it as if you were sitting in front of it.
How do you connect?
There are a number of applications that you can use to connect. One of the most popular is a program called TeamViewer. While running in the background on your desktop, it awaits a remote connection to activate. By entering the unique ID and password provided, you can use another computer to log on and take control. TeamViewer works on PCs, Macs, Linux, and many mobile devices through apps.
LogMeIn is another solution I have used in the past and have been quite happy with. LogMeIn clients log on to their website and have access to all the computers they have registered to their account. Through LogMeIn, you can see if a computer is online before attempting to connect, which is helpful if you are doing remote support for someone.
While these are not the only remote desktop solutions available, these are the two I have used the most and I find work well for individuals and small business owners.
Both programs offer many other features than just remote desktop, such as VPN service and online meetings, so I encourage you to check them out to see what other solutions there are. I will write about other features in future Tech Tip posts.