July 8, 2013

Remote Access Tools: Chrome Remote Desktop, GoToMyPC, LogMeIn and Splashtop

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SplashtopLogo_transparent copyBefore I moved all my files to the cloud with Dropbox, I used to depend on LogMeIn to keep me connected to my main computer when I was on the road. This allowed me to access Microsoft Outlook, keep track of my time with WorkTime and, in general, keep myself grounded.

LogMeIn is similar to the very popular GoToMyPC; but LogMeIn Free is, well, free. The tools allow you to use another computer to access your main machine, letting you control the device just like you were sitting in front of it with minimal lag time as long as you have a pretty robust Internet connection on both sides. The tools also let you access files, give control to someone else (like the teenage nephew who can fix your computer), and even play multimedia files remotely.

You’ll find other tools in this category; and many of them also include mobile access tools, letting you control your computer from your smartphone to find a file for your assistant while you’re standing in line to board a plane. GoToMyPC is about $10/month; and the pro version of LogMeIn, which is helpful if you need the service frequently, is $70/year.

That’s not very much for such a convenient capability, right? Well, what if it were completely free? Google’s Chrome Remote Desktop tool lives in the Chrome browser (or on Chrome PCs) and offers pretty much the same capability for free, including the capability to cut and paste info from your remote computer to the one you’re using to access it. On Windows machines, you can also listen to audio files in real time.

But the biggest breakthrough tool may be Splashtop, a remote-access tool with a lot of splashy coolness. The free version gives you the capability to remote into your computers from any device on the same Wi-Fi network. For just $10/year, you can remote in from devices not connected to the same network.

Chrome Remote Desktop and Splashtop made Beth’s Top Efficiency Tools list!


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