Accessing the office when you're out

By Anthony Caruana | April 5, 2013

We've all done it - left the office without a critical file or forgotten to do something urgent. Fortunately, it's very easy nowadays to remotely access your computer.

If your main computer is a desktop in the office, it can be slightly frustrating if you forget a file or leave before hitting the "send" button on a critical email. However, as long as you can get your hands on a computer, tablet or smartphone with an internet connection, it's possible to remotely control your computer.

Remotely controlling a PC used to involve a complex setup process. It involved installing complicated programs and changing settings on your office router. Fortunately, things have moved forward and it's quite easy to do now.

What you're looking for are services that let you remotely connect to your office computer easily. There are three steps to using these services.

  1. Sign up for a service.

  2. Install a small program on your computer.

  3. Remotely connect.

There are several remote access services you can consider.

LogMeIn offers a free service that allows you to remotely control your PC. It also offers paid services that support access to sound from your computer and remote printing.

Once you sign up for the service, you can go to a web browser on any computer, go to the LogMeIn website, log in and remotely control your computer straight from a web browser. There are also apps for iPhone, iPad and Android smartphones and tablets so you can log in from those devices.

Alternately, you could look at Splashtop. It works similarly to LogMeIn in that you need to install a program on your computer. It works with Macs, Windows PCs and Linux systems. This creates a virtual door that can be opened using a tablet - either an iPad or Android device - to remotely access and control your computer.

Remote access services can be a lifesaver and they're easy to set up and use. Even if you're not sure you'll use them often, it's worth having them available just in case you leave that critical file on your office computer one evening.


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