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Six tried and tested remote access software tools

Want access to your desktop PC when away from your desk? Fear not, here are a handful of apps to help keep you work like you're in the office when you're actually away somewhere else.

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Topic: Mobility
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Introduction

If you're like me than there are times when you're away from your desk yet you want access to an application of file that's on a PC sitting on your desk.

Fear not, here are a handful of apps to help keep you work like you're in the office when you're actually away somewhere else.

These tools range from free tools with basic features ideal for occasional use to advanced tools packed with advanced features. 

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Parallels Access 2.0

I've been using the previous version of this product for some time now, but this latest release offers a new twist on remote access by making operations such as launching apps and files a one-click operating.

- Facebook login integration lets users log in quickly and easily.

- Ability to launch desktop applications with a single tap right from the home screen of an Android device.

- A new file browser lets iOS users quickly browse and open files on their remote computer using Parallels Access.

- Desktop applications that use a microphone can now be used with the microphone on your iOS tablet or smartphone.

- Ability to change screen resolution for best fit for different types of devices.

Link: Parallels.com

Price: $19.99 per year

Platforms: Connect to PC or Mac from iOS or Android devices

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TeamViewer

One product with many features:

- Remote Support: No need for any installation on the client side

- Remote Administration: 24/7 access to remote computers and servers

- Remote Access: Access your data and applications – anytime, anywhere

- Home Office: Access your office computer from home

- Offers broad support for old operating systems

Link: TeamViewer.com

Price: Free for private use, licensing available for commercial usage

Platforms: Connect to a wide range of platforms including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS and Windows Phone.

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LogMeIn Pro

An old favorite, and a product packed with robust features.

- LogMeIn Pro gives you fast, easy remote access to your PC or Mac from your browser, desktop and mobile devices

- Premium features like file transfer, file sharing and remote printing help you stay connected and productive wherever you go

- As an added benefit, phone support is available for Pro users 24 hours a day, 5 days a week

Link: LogMeIn.com

Price: From $99 per year for two computers

Platforms: Connect to PC or Mac from iOS or Android devices

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RealVNC

VNC, or Virtual Network Computing, isn’t itself a product, but an open-source remote-control and display technology that’s implemented by a number of products. One of the best products is RealVNC, which offers a lot of pro-level features as well as viewers for platforms such as Android and iOS.

- Cross-platform support

- Authentication

- AES encryption

- File transfer

Link: RealVNC.com

Price: Free version available along with personal and enterprise licenses

Platforms: Connect to PC or Mac from iOS or Android devices

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Windows Remote Desktop

Windows Remote Desktop is the remote access software built into the Windows operating system. No additional download is necessary to use the program within Windows, and there's a free download for those on Mac who want to connect to Windows PCs.

- Basic features

- Free

Link: Microsoft.com

Price: Free with selected version of Windows

Platforms: Connect to a Windows PC from another Windows PC or a Mac or Android device

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Chrome Remote Desktop

Chrome Remote Desktop is an extension for the Google Chrome web browser that lets you setup a computer for remote access from any other Chrome browser.

- Free

- Secure

- Broad platform support

- Low system overhead since all you need to install is an extension

Link: Google.com

Price: Free

Platforms: Connect to a PC running Windows Mac or Linux (needs the Google Chrome browser installed along with the extension) from virtually any device running the Chrome browser, including Chromebooks

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