Using Windows Remote Desktop in a Domain is the most secure way to remote control a computer.
I see new (and old) ads on web sites, on TV, and hear them on the radio about connecting to a computer remotely.
When my friends at PCMech posted this article -"5 Ways To Remotely Connect a Computer Over The Internet" it jogged my memory of our last trip to the East Coast of the USA.
The article doesn't mention the main ad 'Go to My PC' by Cirtix.
I have used a lot of different programs to remotely control another computer over the years.
Some were good, some were bad, and a couple were down right ugly.
- The ugly -
- Windows Remote Assistance (this remote control program came with XP and was primarily aimed at Tech Support groups, comes installed with OS. Low video resolution, drops connection frequently,
and is hackable. Just a bad program). This program uses the same interface connections as Messenger, a big security hole, I always disable both!
- The bad -
- SMS Remote (This program relied on a SMS server to install, connect, and security, it was a memory hog, cumbersome to install,
hard to use, and it was not cheap!)
- PCAnywhere - Manual install, expensive, slow, low resolution.
- RILO (Remote Integrated Lights Out) used a browser interface that was slow even in the same building. Servers only, and was not cheap either)
- The Good -
- Dameware Mini Remote (Although it costs around fifty dollars compared to all the above it is well worth the money, fairly fast and has security options that make it hard to hack). You have to know the port that it communicates on for across the internet connection.
- Windows Remote Desktop (Free with Windows OS) Fairly fast, comes with XP and up. The security is local, you have to use an Administrator account to log on, use either with a Workgroup or a Domain.
Will work with a VPN.
You can pay a subscription price (such as Go to My PC), there is a connection price also in that you have to connect from your computer to a subscription server. Then that server connects to another server close to the computer you want to connect to. Four connections, this will slow down the response time to and from the remote computer.
You can buy a stand alone such as Dameware Mini Remote, or you can do it for Free.
Personally I like Free, as in already installed with the OS,
Windows Remote Desktop.
When I travel I don't carry a lot of files on my laptop, if it is lost or stolen all I have to worry about is someone trying to connect to my home network (and that will not happen with out a user ID and password - not saved on the laptop).
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They may get some of my email and where I browse to when I am working but they will not find my financial information or any web site ID's and passwords to get in my business web sites.
Because I use a VPN to connect to my home network then use
Windows Remote Desktop or Dameware Mini Remote to connect to my computers then get my email, do any work that needs to be done while I am traveling.
Normally I use Dameware Mini Remote but occasionally I do use
Windows Remote Desktop
to connect to a computer when Dameware is having speed problems.
Both work with XP, Vista, and Windows 7/8/10.
So do you buy a subscription and go through a web browser or do you use a program that the only function is to connect to a computer remotely?
I would go with the security of a VPN and Free...
These programs are not desktop sharing programs, such as NetMeeting or Go to Meeting.