Control your PC or Mac from your iPhone, iPad, or Android device

Why sit at a desk when you could be out and about and still be able to control your PC or Mac from your smartphone or tablet? Here's how I do it.

Time to answer a question from the Hardware 2.0 mailbox:

Is there a simple way I can control my desktop (and, if possible, my notebook) from my iPad or iPhone? I've had a look but I quickly got lost in a jargon! Is there something easy?

With the summer upon us – for a while at any rate – people want to spend more time away from their PCs and Macs. But that doesn't mean they don't want to be out of the loop. And a great way to do this is to set up your smartphone or tablet with the ability to remotely access your system.

I've tried dozens of solutions for controlling my systems remotely, but the one I keep coming back to – and the one that I use myself – is LogMeIn.

(Source: LogMeIn)

There are a number of reasons why I recommend LogMeIn over the competition:

  • Easy to set up – you don't need to know anything about networking!
  • There's a free version of the service that is ideally suited to 90 percent of users
  • It's platform agnostic, which means that you can drive PCs or Macs from other PCs, Macs, iOS or Android devices
  • Access multiple devices
  • You can wake up a system that's off remotely if that system supports "wake on LAN" (most modern systems do)
  • Connection between devices is encrypted
  • Built-in multi-monitor support
  • Syncs your clipboard, so you can copy data from a remote device

If you want more features – such as file transfer, remote printing, file sharing and more, then this is available for $69.95 per year. You can check out the features matrix here.

As long as you are in a 3G or Wi-Fi zone, you can get access to your systems. Screen quality will adjust according to your connections speed, but even at its worst, it is good enough for most applications.

You're probably wondering if it's really possible to control a desktop system from something as small as an iPhone? It is. You don't want to be doing something involved and complex like creating spreadsheets or editing images, but for quick and simple tasks, it is more than adequate.

Highly recommended!


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