More SMEs and individuals are enabling their businesses and daily activities with remote desktop software due to its many benefits. When you use remote desktop software it allows you to change anything on the target device regardless of your location.
Remote desktop software has grown in popularity due to its ability to simplify tasks in a society and work environment that has become increasingly mobile. If you are a business professional that uses multiple devices such as a PC at work and one at home, remote desktop software ensures you always have access to your work when and where you need it.
Perhaps you are traveling on a business trip or other type of venture when you suddenly realize the documents you need are on another device. What do you do? Or, maybe you are a PC technician which assists device users with troubleshooting. In this instance, remote desktop software can provide you with the same environment as if you were physically sitting in front of the problematic device.
What is Remote Desktop Software?
Remote desktop software is an application which allows you to access a targeted computer from a remote location as long as the device has remote desktop software installed. When you connect to a PC that has remote desktop software installed, you have the same options as if you were logging onto the computer in its actual physical location.
Once you have accessed a computer with remote desktop software, you can view any documents and applications as well as edit and move any data on the remote computer. This type of capability is the primary reason remote desktop software has increased in popularity for both businesses and individuals alike.
How Does It Work?
When you use remote desktop software, distance is never an issue and the software is always readily available. The only requirements are that both devices must have the software installed before both device users are free to establish a remote access connection. The connection is created using a Local Area Network (LAN), wireless connection, or the Internet.
Once you have established a remote connection, you can view the Desktop of the remote device by entering a user name and password to control it directly from your PC using your keyboard and mouse. With some types of remote desktop software, you can access several remote PCs at once and open the windows simultaneously on your PC.
In the case of a Virtual Private Network (VPN), this is a secure connection which businesses use to restrict access to company data. Using a VPN, authorized users can access business computers from anywhere using a USB connection.
Remote desktop software which offers advanced tools provides you with access to files which can be transferred to another computer using a drag and drop file transfer method. This type of software will allow you to securely transfer files between a local and remote device as well as synchronize files and folders.
In a nutshell, remote desktop software provides you with a way to control another computer from any location. The communication is established in a secure manner using remote desktop software. The connection can only be established if both parties agree to the communication.
Who Uses Remote Desktop Software and Why?
Remote desktop software is very versatile and can be used for a broad range of different purposes. Businesses of all sizes are the biggest fans of remote desktop software since the software is extremely useful for accomplishing business tasks from any location. This increases productivity for telecommuters, as well as business professionals that travel or frequently work from remote locations as required in field professions.
Many enterprises also deploy remote desktop software for the purpose of providing technical support on demand for the end user. This is especially true if the business outsources desktop applications and software to a cloud services provider. For example, many IT companies place a link to their remote desktop software on their website, our IT company in London being a good example (see the support tools link in the footer)
Remote desktop software allows the cloud services provider to easily provide technical support without having to be on the premises. It also provides a way to configure workstations at a moment’s notice due to staff changes within an organization.
Educational institutions also deploy remote desktop software to facilitate learning from a distance. With the increase in online learning and the implementation of distance learning classes, remote desktop software is beneficial to providing students with remote access to view presentations or accomplish class assignments remotely.
Remote desktop applications are also popular with individuals that have more than one computer and want to access their home computer while they are in another location. This provides convenience when you travel and is especially useful if you run a business from your home. Many individuals also use it for convenience when handling simple daily tasks without having to remember to transfer files to a portable storage device they can carry with them. Independent PC technicians that work remotely also use remote desktop software to solve computer problems for other individuals.
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What Types of Different Remote Desktop Software are Available?
When you search for a remote desktop software application which will serve your specific needs, you will find a wide variety of software which varies in features and functionality. Before you choose a desktop software application, it is important to assess your individual needs and/or if it is a business, the specific needs of the organization. This makes it easier to go about choosing the right software.
That said here is a brief overview of different remote desktop software platforms to provide you with a general understanding of their purposes and capabilities.
Popular Remote Desktop Software Platforms
Go to My PC allows you to access a remote computer using your web browser and by logging into the Go to My PC website. In order to gain access to the remote computer, it must have the client application installed. You must also have an account setup with Go To My PC. To access another computer, you log into your account and then choose the device from the list you want to access. Then you can view and control the desktop of the chosen computer through your web browser and by using your mouse and keyboard. Go To My PC is available in a free trial version or you can choose from 3 plans which start at as little as $9.95 per month.
Team Viewer is web-based remote desktop software which provides a way to control remote computers via the Internet and attend online meetings. Team Viewer must be installed on both devices in order to establish a connection. Then you must login to Team Viewer with your Team Viewer ID and password and then enter the ID and password for the remote computer. Clicking on Connect to Partner establishes the connection to the remote computer regardless of the operating system each device uses. Team Viewer is free for non-commercial users with a free trial version which is available with full capabilities.
This is remote desktop software program which is used for network administrators in a Windows domain network. Remote Utilities allows network administrators full control over remote PCs for the purpose of offering technical assistance from a distance. Remote Utilities is deployed across a Windows domain network and connects to remote PCs using a variety of different types of connections including IP address, company global mediation server, DNS name, or a self-hosted server. The parameters are set for technical assistance access or for specific IT infrastructure tasks which are performed by the network administrator. Remote Utilities is currently available as a free download.
Log Me In is offered in a variety of different applications, which serve different purposes for remote computer access. The Log Me In connection is established between two devices which have the client application installed. Once the application is installed on both computers, you can log into your account on the Log Me In website using your web browser and then establish the connection by clicking on the icon for the remote computer. Depending upon the specific Log Me In application you are using, you will see the Desktop of the remote computer from your browser and then you can interact with the device according to the Log Me In application purpose. Log Me In is available as a free download.
The main function of Show My PC remote desktop software is to share Desktop applications among devices plus, there are some useful collaboration tools included with the program. Unlike other remote desktop software, Show My PC does not require any software installation. Instead the software runs by double clicking on an executable file to launch the service. The application must also be started on the remote computer and after a username and password have been configured. The remote computer can then be accessed using Show My PC on the local computer or by using your web browser. Show My PC is available for a low monthly subscription.
This is a remote desktop application which is included in computers that run on the Windows 7 operating system. Windows Desktop Remote Connection provides a way to connect between two devices running Windows by enabling the Remote Desktop Connection feature in the operating system. To connect to a remote computer it must be turned on and connected to the network. Then you simply click the Start button and enter Remote Desktop Connection. Click on the application in the Search results and when the prompt appears, enter the name of the computer you wish to connect to and click on “Connect.” Enter your user name and password and click OK to connect to the remote computer.
Are remote Desktop applications secure?
In terms of security, remote desktop software is typically secured via a username and password. If the service is offered over the Internet, it will use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption which is a standard security application for accepting credit cards online and other sensitive information. Security issues can arise since you are establishing an open connection to a computer. This means human error can be a security threat if you forget to log off the connection.
If the remote desktop software is not designed to work around firewalls and other security applications, it means you must leave a port open on your PC which in turn, leaves it open to unauthorized access by hackers. Although security has improved as remote desktop software has increased in popularity, these are a few things you should be aware of so you can exercise caution when using this type of remote access application.
Katie loves writing about anything that relates to computers and technology. As a fully qualified IT technician, Katie has numerous years’ experience using various forms of remote desktop software for support purposes.