Remote Control through firewalls

In the following article I’ll take a look at some product to take remote control of other PC’s through NAT routers, some products also go through firewalls.

Category1: Remote control in seconds

A number of products are specifically designed take control of another system in a matter of seconds. Here are some solutions:

TeamViewer

Teamviewer exists in 4 versions: a free version (free for non-commercial use), Business 6 months, Business and Premium. Check out their licensing page for more details about pricing and differencies in possibilities. I’ll talk about the free (for non-commercial use) version here.

TeamViewer: free for non-commercial use. The best product in this product in this category in my opinion.
Pro: does not need to be installed (but can be installed), a lot of possibilities, free version available (for non-commercial use), considerably faster than the VNC based products, and also contains file transfer, NAT routers: no problems. Con : not free for commercial use.

How to use – in brief — (more screenshot, see here):

Click on Start Customer Module from the TeamViewer webpage if you want to share your PC.

The person who wants to control your PC remotely should click on Start Full Version. After selecting Run, and accepting the licencing agreement you can choose to install the application or Start without installation (so you don’t even need admin priveleges).

Then you enter the ID and password from the sharing PC, click Connect to partner and that’s it; you’re in control.

ShowMyPC

ShowMyPC: free, does not need to be installed on sharing PC and does not need admin priveleges. Uses TightVNC.
To share your PC browse to http://www.showmypc.com and click on Show My PC to Remote User. Then you can download and run the following small application:

Click on Show My PC Now to continue. You’ll get a password which you have to pass to your partner.
The person on the other PC can do the same thing, except, click on View a Remote PC and then type the password and that’s it.

CrossLoop

Checkout http://www.crossloop.com for an easy Remote Control application which simply works and it’s free ! Also if your PC, and the PC you want to control remotely, are behind NAT routers.

Just browse to the crossloop site, download the free client, install it (simply Accept license agreement and Next, Next, …) and let the person on the other PC do the same thing.

Then both launch the CrossLoop application.

The person who want to share his PC clicks on the Share tab, tells you his Access Code on the phone and clicks “Connect”. You click on the Access tab, enter the Access Code, click “Connect”. The other person clicks on the Yes button to accept the connection and you are in control of his screen. As simple as that. You can even copy files between the PC’s. Con: you have to install it.

For more info/help: see the CrossLoop help page.

LogMeIn ResCue

LogMeIn has several Remote Control products. LogMeIn Rescue, trial available, does not need to be installed on the sharing PC, administrator privileges are not necessary.
It’s not free, in fact it’s very expensive, but it’s a very strong product. For the person who needs help (who want to share his PC) it’s the most simple product: he just need to browse to www.logmein123.com and enter a 6 digit PIN code (which is created by the webbased LogMeIn Rescue application).

Category 2: Control PC’s on permanent base

Consider this situtation: you have one or more PC’s you need to access at home, or at other locations. You just leave these PC’s switched on, but would like to have a secure access to the desktop of these PC’s. That’s where this category of software is coming in.

LogMeIn Free and LogMeIn Pro

LogMeIn Free and LogMeIn Pro: the functionality of these product is comparable to NTRconnect Free and NTR connect PRO, but LogMeIn has somewhat more features.
The installation is also more smoothly. I did not encounter any problems during the installation procedure. You simply enter your account from the LogMeIn page and you can start the installation.
From the same web page you can control your PC(s). In LogMeIn Pro you have extra security, compared to NTRconnect, because ontop of the account password you have to enter an extra password for your PC you want to control remotely (you have to enter this password during the setup too). The Pro version contains much more options than the free version, also file transfer. You can install a 30 day trial of the Pro version or you can install the Free version.

NTRconnect Free and NTR connect Pro

NTRconnect: available in 2 versions: NTRconnect Free and NTRconnect Pro.
The free version enables you to control 2 PC’s for free. The Pro version has extra features like file transfer and wake-on-lan (have not tested this … sound tricky over the internet and NAT routers). Like LogMeIn Free and Pro a 30 day trial version of the Pro version is installed, and after 30 days this becomes a free version.
It’s very simple: you install NTRconnect Free on the PC(s). One catch though: you may encounter problems during the installation; in this case restart the installation with your software firewall switched off.
You go to the NTRconnect webpage and enter your credentials (you have to create an account first of course).
Then you select the machine you which to control from within your browser. Uninstalling NTRconnect from a computer can be done from this same webpage, by clicking on ‘Computer preferences’ of a computer, and then selecting Unininstall.

Citrix GoToMyPC

GoToMyPC: from Citrix is not free. A trial version is available. You install GoToMyPC on you PC and from then on you can access it. Features besides remote control include: file transfer, file sync, remote printing and sound. You connect to it from any web browser. The performance is great. Pricing is reasonable.

Category 3: other solutions

LogMein Hamachi

LogMeIn Hamachi VPN: configure the free LogMeIn Hamachi VPN and then use Remote Desktop or VNC.

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