ArticlesDifferent Remote Access Software Used to Connect

Remote access is the ability for one computer to log on and control another computers desktop and functions. It is especially useful for IT specialists when attempting to troubleshoot a computer problem that the user/customer is having. It make things easier than trying to direct the user on troubleshooting their problem and thus can be a huge time saver.

In order to achieve remote access, one must use some type of remote access software. The types of software that can be used ranges from installing a desktop program on both computers to now-a-days using a web browser in order to achieve this. For name purposes, the "Host" computer is the computer that is going to be controlled, the "Remote" computer is the computer that is going to do the connecting and controlling. Most remote access software allows you to control the mouse and keyboard functions simultaneously which is important for troubleshooting purposes.

There are a number of software out there these days and I will briefly explain the pro's and con's of a few:

PC Anywhere - This is by far the pioneer of remote access software. It lets you manage computers efficiently, resolve helpdesk issues quickly, and connect to remote devices simply and securely. It usually comes with a CD/DVD that you install on both the "Host" and "Remote" machine. When there was only a 56k modem for internet connection, this proved to be the very best and for the most part it still is for what it does.
Pro's: Proven software that has worked throughout the years
Excellent knowledge base on installation and setup
Very rich in features and ability
Allows simultaneous mouse/keyboard control
Excellent for file transferring
Rebooting host can have it auto-start
Once purchased you can use it for your purposes on multiple PC's
Con's: Can be difficult when dealing with firewall ports and allowing access over complex networks
Obviously it is not free, but only a one-time purchase
If you are a novice & need immediate support to connect to you, setup can be challenging
Can consume quite a bit of memory
Sometimes restarting can be difficult if program hangs up in memory
My Rating:

GotoMyPc - This is another very good software for remote access and file transfer. Unlike PC Anywhere where you purchase the software, the difference here is that it is a paid monthly subscription in order to use. So it can get expensive if you do not plan to use it a lot. It is also licensed per computer so that can also drive up the costs. It features are very good and allows simultaneous mouse and keyboard control.
Pro's: Very easy to download and setup
Once Installed...Very easy to reconnect, no real work on "Host's" side
Easy to connect when "Host" reboots PC
File transfer is really good, no problems
Allows simultaneous mouse/keyboard control
Very good when dealing with firewall ports
Con's: The biggest con is there is a recurring charge unless you use heavily
Licensing is based on individual computer so it can cost more
Must have an online account in order to connect and use
My Rating:

Team Viewer - This program is very good, easy to setup and is free for personal use. Download instructions are easy for both the host and remote side. Again, the free part is for personal use... business use can cost more. The "Host" must tell the "Remote" what the ID and Password is. These values change each time one wants to connect. Unlike GotoMyPc, you will need someone at the Host computer to make sure the software is running and read off the ID and Password.
Pro's: Very easy to download and setup
File transfer is really good, no problems
Can have 2 or more remote connections to a computer
Allows simultaneous mouse/keyboard control
Very good when dealing with firewall ports
Personal use is free
Con's: Business version is very expensive
Some work on Host's side to read ID/Password for each re-connect
Rebooting host will need human communication
My Rating:

Log Me In - This program is pretty good just klike GotoMyPc. It does take some IT knowledge to set this up on all the computer that you want to connect to. The standard version is free and does not allow file transfer. In order to get file transfer, you will need to buy the Pro version per computer. Initial Host's setup can be a bit tricky and is best used by an IT specialist. Allows easy grouping of computer remote access. Good for large companies.
Pro's: Very easy to download and setup
Pro version file transfer is pretty good, no problems
Allows simultaneous mouse/keyboard control
Very good when dealing with firewall ports
Standard use is free
Works well when rebooting
Con's: Pro version costs money
Need to go through several steps to connect
My Rating:

Join Me - This program isn't the best remote access software but it is free. It uses the web browser in order to see the host computer. Mouse navigation is slow, and it seems like you can only transfer one file at a time. It is cumbersome when fighting for the mouse but is simple to setup and need no supplimental software to run.
Pro's: All you need is internet access and web browser
Easy to instruct user on setup
Allows clunky simultaneous mouse/keyboard control
Software is free to use
Con's: Clunky and slow
Can only transfer one file at a time
Rebooting host will need human communication
My Rating:

Windows Remote Desktop - This is Microsoft's built in software that allows you to connect to a remote computers desktop. It is widely used by IT experts but can be difficult if you are a user trying to set it up. It allows file transfer but this part is not as efficient then standard file transfer programs.
Pro's: Built into Microsoft Windows
Easy to instruct user on connection once IT professional installs
Usually comes with Windows for one connection
Con's: When you connect the Host gets booted off
Some programs/services will not run over remote desktop
Cannot simultaneously use for troubleshooting
Uses windows file copy/paste and can be very slow
My Rating: