Remote computer access

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
For the last few months I've been spending a lot of time on the road. There have been times when I wanted to have something that was at home on the desktop computer. May as well be on the moon...until I found out that there are remote access programs available. Sounds pretty cool. Does anyone have any experience using:

Symantec's pcAnywhere
Netopia's Timbuktu
LapLink's LapLink Gold
Expertcity's GoToMyPC

Or any other remote access program?

GoToMyPC sounds interesting because it doesn't need software on the remote end for access. Being in places with dial-up but high speed at the library would tip the scales to this program.

Any ideas or concerns?
I posted this same question on another forum and got this reply:

I'll claim to be an expert on this subject since I do this for a living (doesn't guarentee anything though).

What you need to understand is that to work from offsite you need TWO different things.

You need a way INTO the network.

You need a way to CONROL your PC.

Getting INTO you network

Most, if not all networks are behind an router/firewall, so getting in requires something called a VPN (virtual private entwork) which simply put is a controlled and secure way into a closed network, whether your office or your home. Years ago you used a modem and dialed in, but I'm talking now in the internet days.

Controlling your PC

Once your INSIDE The network you need to control the PC.
For years the defacto standard was PCanywhere, which still is a very good product, but in many ways it's obsolete. WindowsXP has a build in Remote Desktop which is the old Citrix and Terminal SErver technology.

Both together
Most corporations have a VPN to allow certain outsiders inside, in a controlled fashion. This is overkill for home users. Then using RemoteDesktop (or diehards using PC anywhere on older systems) you can take control of the mouse,keyboard and screen and operate your PC from outside).

GoToMyPC is Citrix's product (after they sold the remote desktop terminals services technolgy) to Microsoft.

What GoToMyPC does is give you both..... a way INTO your network from ouside, and then remote control of the PC once you're there.

There are other's like GoToMyPC out there, but GoToMyPC is arguably the easiest and the best.

I highly recommend it.

If you go to my business website you'll see a link to a bit more information that I've written on the subject.

Email if you have any questions.

Happy Woodworking!


New member
Fox Cities, WI

Over the past few years, I've used all of the software mentioned as well as a couple other programs.

I'm using GoToMyPC's big brother as we speak. Gotomypc is the "home" version of a program called Remotely Anywhere. RA is a fairly good program, and even while on dial up, it still gives a decent connection speed, as long as you don't need to transfer large files from your desktop. The main advantage GoTo has over the other software mentioned is that it's a web-based service, you go to their site and log on to your computer through their portal, rather than having to know the IP address of the computer you're trying to control.

IMHO, Goto is probably the best bet of the remote access softwares, unless you are needing to control multiple computers at multiple locations, then Remotely Anywhere or PC Anywhere would be my choice.


Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
Thanks for the hands-on feedback. GoTo seems to be the leader of the pack.

You can bet that I won't be trying to control multiple locations :) I have a hard enough time figuring out my desktop and laptop :)

Last words from my bro when I ran the idea past him "Are you sure that you want to make this jump in technology?" LMAO

You can also check out the VNC variants.


There are many VNC variants out there.

Another you might check is NetOp Remote Control

We've had good luck with both, but are currently using RealVNC because of it's cost ;-)

Also, if both are Windows machines, you can use Windows own RDC (Remote Desktop Connection). Start/Programs/Accessories/Communications/Remote Desktop Connection.

As you already know, you'll have to open up the ports in the firewall for any of these to work. You can always limit access to just your IP through the firewall on the remote connection ports.
In my past life I used Laplink, PcAnywhere, and the XP remote control software. I never used Goto, or gotomypc. I also used SMS for remote control within the network. IMHP Laplink was a little easier to use than the others and they all worked. If you go with PCAnywhere I have the book PCAnywhere for Dummies. Don't laugh it was pretty good.

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