Tag Archives: remote

Remote Access update

Ages ago I wrote about remote access to your pc via free product called VNC.  However I have just discovered that it doesn’t work as well as it used to, as the free product doesn’t work with Windows Vista.  And Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Connection software doesn’t work with all versions of Vista (its there, just disabled so you pay for an upgrade).

How did I find this out?   Well I got the dreaded free computer support call from family again.

My Dad, who has stated “I know just as much as you about computers, except for the rare occasions where you happen to know a little bit more”, needed help setting up email on his new computer.  Now I generally avoid computer support over the phone to senior family members because If  I use words like email client, or window or tabs, I’m accused of being difficult and a pedant.

To cut to the chase though, I thought bugger it.  I’ll just get him to download VNC then I’ll take control of his desktop and fix the problem without having to discuss it.  Unfortunately the version of VNC I wanted wasn’t free and Im hesitant to get my Dad to pay for software if I don’t know whether it will actually do the job.  So I went down the Microsoft Remote Desktop connection route and found it had been disabled for his version of Windows (Home Premium).  Damn.  I then downloaded a TightVNC and UltraVNC.  Both of these though were too complex for my father (or the average user) to use.  Any time I ask the question “Whats’ your IP address” I know I’m not going to like the answer.teamviewer

So looking around in desperation, I found a new service called Team Viewer that worked a treat.  We both downloaded the software then ran it (obviously we both had a working internet connection).  Speaking over the phone he gave me his ID  number and password that was shown in the TeamViewer window, I entered it into mine and voila,  I’m on his computer.

The non-commercial use version was free so Dad was happy, and so was I.

I managed to fix the email problem in a couple of seconds and regained the wonder boy crown from my brothers.

I wasn’t so churlish though to point out to Dad that the solution was simple, because he knows everything there is to know about computers.

Its cool and its free

Here’s a cool piece of software that can save you money.Most small office networks have a file server. Now you can buy a monitor for that computer, which will rarely be turned on, or you can use remote control software to operate the computer, without having to have a monitor or waste time moving over to the computer to operate it.This remote control software is also handy in situations where you may want to have a look at a computer that you are nowhere near (or even your home computer). It’s a great tool for troubleshooting.

Anyway, the product, PCAnywhere, has been around forever. What you probably don’t know is that for small solutions, you can use a product called VNC for free. That’s right: free, as in it costs you nothing.

Why would VNC do this? So if you want to use their bigger solutions, you will be already on their path and be happy to pay for an upgrade. But for most small users, this isn’t going to happen.

When installing VNC, you have to install it on two computers (kind of obvious). One is the server – the one your want to control. The other computer is setup to be the viewer – the computer you use to do the controlling.

Now you can achieve the same solution using Remote Assistance and Remote Desktop in Windows. Windows Remote solution under Windows XP is accessed via Control Panel>System>Remote.

However, both computers have to be using the correct version of Windows, and it’s a lot harder to connect up this solution when the computers reside on different networks. Effectively, it means that you are unlikely to get it going without assistance.

VNC, however, works across any TCP/IP network. Yes, the internet is a TCP/IP network. Plus it comes in lots of different flavours, including Windows, Linux and even a Java-based version that runs on almost anything.

VNC is available at www.realnvc.com

Chuck your Monitor

Here’s a cool piece of software that can save you money.

Most small office networks have a file server. Now you can buy a monitor for that computer that will rarely get turned on, or you can use remote control software to operate the computer, without having to have a monitor or waste time moving over to the computer to operate it.

This remote control software is also handy in situations where you may want to have a look at a computer that you are no where near (or even your home computer). Its a great tool for troubleshooting.

Anyway the product PCAnywhere has been around for ever. What you don’t probably know is that for small solutions, you can use a product called VNC for free. That’s right, free as in it costs you nothing. Why would VNC do this? So if you want to use their bigger solutions, you will be already on their path and be happy to pay for an upgrade. But for most small users, this isn’t going to happen.

When installing VNC, you have to install it on two computers (kind of obvious). One computer is the server, the one your want to control. The other computer is setup to be the viewer, the computer you use to do the controlling.

Now you can achieve the same solution using Remote Assistance and Remote Desktop in Windows. Windows Remote solution under Windows XP is accessed via Control Panel -> System –>Remote. However both computers have to be using the correct version of Windows, and it’s a lot harder to connect up this solution when the computers reside on different networks. Effectively it means that you are unlikely to get it going without assistance.

VNC however works across any TCP/IP network, yes the Internet is a TCP/IP network. Plus comes in lots of different flavours, including windows, linux and even a java based version that runs on almost anything.

VNC is available at www.realnvc.com