1. Computing

Access Your Work Computer Remotely

Remote Access Considerations & Solutions

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Mobile professionals must have the means to remotely access their work (in office) computer with minimal fuss and which can be installed and set up by themselves. Frequent long distance travelers don’t need the expense or hassle of relying on their tech people to talk them through remote access installations.

Before considering and deciding upon a method of remote access, there are some important considerations to keep in mind which can determine the remote access solution which will be best for your needs.

Initial Considerations


  • The Type of Work You Will Do:

  • Examine the type of work that you do and plan to do when working remotely. Will you need to be sending and receiving emails, creating documents and/or require files and data on your work computer? Remote access is a great alternative to carrying external drives and prevents you from losing or unwittingly destroying or corrupting data.

    Will the remote access solution you are considering enable you to check email using your own email client? Will you have full access to all data or read-only access? What programs are compatible with the remote access solution and will you have all functions available?

    Using a remote access solution should enable you to work with data and files on your work computer just as though you were sitting there in front of it.

  • Remote Access Security:

  • What type of security protocols does the remote access method use and how well will these security measures protect you and the data you are remotely accessing?

  • Cost:

  • Compare the cost of purchasing a remote access solution outright to the cost of a subscription based service. In some cases this can be a deal breaker or deal maker.

  • Ease of Use:

  • How easy is it to set up the remote access solution? Do you have the right authorization to implement a remote access solution or does it require set up by your IT Dept.? Are the instructions and help files truly useful and enable you to work smoothly? Will you need a particular browser in order to use the remote access solution?

  • Connection Requirements:

  • Some remote access solutions will require a Broadband Internet connection in order to work to their full capabilities. Remote access solutions should be capable of working over a variety of Internet connections – wireless, Dial-Up, Broadband and Satellite. Will a remote access solution work even you are using your cell phone as an external modem?

  • Minimum Hardware Requirements:

  • Check to see what the minimum hardware requirements are for remote access solutions. You want a remote access solution that will support a variety of remote devices – laptops, desktops, PDAs and even cell phones.

Methods Available


Now that you have determined your needs and the most ideal operating environment to remotely access your work computer, you have to evaluate the available methods to find a remote access solution which will work the best for you and enable you to work remotely with as much ease as possible.

  • Remote Access Software:

  • Remote access software involves installing a program on the host (work) computer and the client (remote) computer. Software installations aren’t always easy and the supporting documentation can be somewhat lacking, especially if you run into problems.

    Like all other software programs, you will have to pay for any upgrades to remote access software programs. There are some free programs which operate just as well and sometimes better than paid remote access software programs.

  • Web-based/Web Interface Remote Access:

  • Web-based remote access involves installing an agent program on the host computer which will enable a remote computer or other mobile device to access the host computer through a web browser from any location.

    Monthly or annual subscriptions are available for this method of remote access. The majority of web-based remote access methods have free trials available and enables you to try a variety of programs to find the one that provides you with the best remote access.

Make sure that you try a variety of methods, both software programs and web-based. You may find out that what works great for one mobile professional is not going to work the best for you.

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