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Free remote desktop tools

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Have you ever wished that you didn't have to go into the office just to check something on your computer? Or maybe you are the "techie" that the family calls on to fix their computer. Well, as you probably know there are programs out there that will allow you to do this, but not all of them are free. Here is a list of a few that are out there.

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1. TeamViewer

The great thing about TeamViewer is that it could be run without installation. As long as you can access their website it can be downloaded for a one time use. The PC that will be used to access other PCs must have it installed though. It also allows for multiple remote sessions, so you can control multiple PCs at once.

2. Windows Remote Desktop

This program is a built-in tool in Windows, but there are some restrictions. Only computers with Windows Professional, Business, and Ultimate versions installed can be controlled. However, PCs running any version of Windows can access other computers. You might be asking, “Why is this?” Microsoft’s rationale for providing this tool is to give someone the ability to access their work PC from home, and most PCs in an office environment have one of the three business oriented versions of Windows. There is a bit of tweaking that needs to be done to routers so that they forward port 3389 to the correct PC, so if you aren’t too comfortable with that this might not be the one for you.

3. VNC

Virtual Network Computing (VNC) is an open-source program that isn’t very hard to use but it does require a bit of networking knowledge to setup, similar to Windows Remote Desktop. The nifty thing about VNC is that it allows you to connect to multiple PCs which the built-in tool in Windows does not. It is cross platform, which means it can run on Windows, Mac, and Linux).
The best way to choose which one is right for you is try them out. It’s not like you will be wasting money anyway.


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