Software Roundup: Remote Administration Tools Windows XP/2000/ME/98 MAC Linux
We are going to take a look at 4 popular tools for administering computers remotely. Are you not a computer administrator? Sure you are!
There are many uses for remote administration. For example, I have a computer in my living room connected to my stereo and networked with my computer upstairs. From upstairs I can log onto the living room computer and start playing music, adjust the volume, etc. Using remote administration tools also allows me to log into Aunt Dorothy’s computer over the Internet and do some troubleshooting for her. One of my clients has me administer his server in another country.
The first two packages that we’ll look at are PC Anywhere and Windows XP’s built-in Remote Assistance. In a nutshell: don’t use either of these! They are both slow and buggy bloatware. I always disable XP’s Remote Assistance using XP Anti-Spy.
I do recommend VNC (Virtual Network Computing). There are versions of VNC for Windows, Mac, and *nix. What I really like about VNC is that it allows you to log into a client computer using your browser ( http://your.ip.address:5800 ). Although this is convenient in some situations, for a faster connection it is better to use the VNC Viewer.
Finally, I highly recommend RemoteAdmin. Sorry, it runs on Windows only! It is very fast and very simple to use. You can easily install it as a system service so that it is always running, waiting for a connection. Unlike VNC, it also offers a quick means to transfer files between the host and client computers. RemoteAdmin has a 30-day trial version; a single license costs $35US and is well worth the investment.
Know of any other good Remote Administration programs? Please offer your comments!