Best Free Remote Access Software #remote #backup #software #review


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Best Free Remote Access Software

Introduction

Remote Access Software (RAS) allows a user to remotely administer another computer through a GUI (Graphical User Interface).

RAS software usually falls into three categories:

  • Attended (someone must be present on the remote machine);
  • Unattended;
  • Self-hosted RPC proxy servers (middleware for accessing firewall-protected networks).

In this review, we are interested in the first and second categories. There are also two different kinds of packages:

  • Downloaded and run without any installation;
  • Installed, and either uninstall at the end of the session or remain for future sessions.

Unattended control sessions would of course need to have the installed version to allow for connecting at any time in the future. Attended and Unattended Control Sessions and their pros and cons are explained in detail at the end of this page.

Rated Products

Quick download and great reliability as well as loaded with the features you would most likely need while accessing a computer remotely.

Leaves a reminder window on the host and local computer about using the product – for personal use only. This product is only for personal use and using it for commercial purposes violates the use policy.

License: Free (Private/Educational use)

Quick download and great reliability as well as loaded with the features you would most likely need while accessing a computer remotely.

Leaves a reminder window on the host and local computer about using the product – for personal use only. This product is only for personal use and using it for commercial purposes violates the use policy.

Free for personal use. It also has the most features of any free solution including: screen sharing; remote control; switch presenters; session recording; file transfer; specific application sharing only; and up to 10 computers joined simultaneously to the session.

Sometimes disconnects if you have a less than perfect connection. Not the fastest screen updating of these solutions.

Free for personal use. It also has the most features of any free solution including: screen sharing; remote control; switch presenters; session recording; file transfer; specific application sharing only; and up to 10 computers joined simultaneously to the session.

Sometimes disconnects if you have a less than perfect connection. Not the fastest screen updating of these solutions.

Other Products

There are many other products in this category, with a variety of features which may be worth listing here, so please watch this space for future updates.

A review of other products and versions in this category may include: Gbridge, Deskstra, VNC suite, Supremo, Crossloop, AMMYY, MingleView, RemoteUtilities, LiteManager Free, Radmin Server and Viewer, I’m InTouch, Splashtop Remote, True Remote and Anyplace Control.

Related Products and Links

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Attended and Unattended Control Sessions

Attended Control Session

Attended session is of course when there is a person sitting at the computer that you want to access. This is most likely a one-time session or when helping someone fix a problem where you will not be allowed to access it without the other person being present. This type of access is usually quicker to establish, but also comes with fewer capabilities when compared to a fully installed software that runs as a service.

Typically the process for establishing an attended session is simple. You ask the other person to download a small application which runs in their user session and has access to everything the user has rights to. From here the situation varies, but usually requires that you and the other person exchange a small pass code – either auto-generated or set by you. Once they initiate the session you are connected and able to request control of their mouse and keyboard. If the software is simply run and not installed there are typically some limitations like not handling multiple monitors or losing connection and having to start the process over again because it doesn’t have an auto-reconnect feature.

Unattended Control Session

If the software installs then typically it falls under the unattended category. There are more capabilities with an unattended solution but the trade-off is that the user needs to have authority on their computer to install software. Installed software also leaves behind a footprint, although there are some that ask the other person, upon completion of the session, whether they would like to uninstall the software.

Which Control Session Do You Use?

To sum everything up, you may need different tools to accommodate different situations. In my years of experience helping people solve computer issues remotely I use the best tool for the job. When speaking with a person that has no understanding of their computer and no idea of whether they are allowed or capable of installing software I use an attended, non-installing type of tool. Other times I might choose to get the person to install an unattended tool. Let the situation dictate the best tool but always have both available.

Editor

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I tried Mikogo, and noticed two problems –
1) Does not appear to cater for unattended access. Which to me means that one dare not allow the remote PC to restart (say after software install).
2) It virtually ignores my mouse clicks. I can move the mouse pointer, and I can get the big red pointer, but clicks do not happen.
I have tried connecting to a really remote old XP laptop, and to a new laptop (Win 7 Pro) 10 feet away.

I help a lot of friends, so Teamviewer is starting to hint that it thinks I am ‘commercial’
I have two questions –
1) If I do wear out my welcome, does it totally block future use, or does it restrict you to 5 minute sessions ?
2) When others are recommending Teamviewer alternatives, it would be great if they mentioned whether they cater for unattended access.

Submitted by VAM on 11. February 2014 – 12:18

Like many on here I used teh free version of LogMeIn for many years and now find myself looking for another provider. Can anyone make a suitable recommendation please? My requirements are:

1 Simple remote access of my home pc, from my laptop and/or ipad when I’m away from home
2 Unattended access of my home pc
3 Just need simple access to my documents etc on my home pc. Don’t need options to print to local printer, file share etc
4 Speed and smooth operation is important. I don’t want to wait several seconds for a responce after clicking mouse
5 Free
6 Easy set up

There seems to be so much on the market and as I’m not the most IT literate, any help would be appreciated.

Submitted by janetstiffler on 27. January 2014 – 15:06

Hi, How can I get TeamViewer to access my work PC without someone being at my office to tell me the Partner ID number? I have tried a bunch of times to access my office from home and can’t figure out how to do it. Thanks so much for your help. Janet

Submitted by mrb186 on 28. January 2014 – 1:57


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