Free Tools to Access your Computer Remotely

Funny how things work sometimes.

Yesterday, I was talking to a client that inquired about ways to access his computer remotely. He said his company uses software now but it costs him a lot of money.

My suggestion was the standard. Logmein. GoToMyPC, Apple Remote Desktop.

Google Chrome Remote Desktop To the Rescue

Flash forward 18 hours.

As I was lying awake for some bizarre reason at 4:30am on a Sat morn, (YES, 4:30AM ON A SATURDAY), I start catching up on some reading material and I came across an article about Google Chrome Remote Desktop.

I installed and set it up in about 5 mins. Couldn’t have been easier. After downloading the iPad app, I was controlling my laptop with no issues.

Two days later, I accessed it from my iphone and it worked fine as well.

All for free.

* Just a note. You need to have a Google account for this to work.

Even though you may keep files stored on a cloud service, there’s always a chance that the only version of a file resides on a computer that you are not sitting next to.

This is a simple and free option for those that don’t need much power.

Mind you, the remote computer needs to be awake. This is where you may get into some more technical issues like Wake On LAN, which I’ll admit is not for the faint of heart.

Your Family’s IT Guy (or Gal)

Raise your hand if you’re the tech support person in your family.

I don’t mind the job but when you live 4 hours away from most of them, it can be really difficult.

The issue is that it has to be easy for THEM to give you access to their computer.

Over the years, I’ve tried several things, including iChat. But sometimes, that would get flaky for various reasons.

For the last year, I’ve been using TeamViewer and it has been insanely easy to use. What’s great is that they have a free personal version as well. My 92 year old father is able to quickly give me access with one click of a button.

I can completely take over his computer, see the problems and (hopefully) fix what ails him.

I actually forgot about this option as far as something that my aforementioned friend could use. It could do the same thing as Google Chrome Remote Desktop but it’s a tad more difficult.

Are There Better Options to Access Computers Remotely?

Are these the best two options for what I was looking to do?

Honestly, I have no idea. However, given the ease of using both Google Chrome Remote Desktop and TeamViewer, having them work right from the get go, and being no cost solutions, there’s no reason for me to look elsewhere right now.


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