Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The iPad as a System Administrator's Primary Device: Part 4 - But an iPad Can't Do What my Laptop Can!

REMOTE ACCESS TO DESKTOPS

Has Part 3 convinced you that the iPad can be accessed quickly? Well, I know the biggest resistance to buying an iPad is that nagging issue of the desktop or laptop being able to do some things that the iPad can't.

As soon as I arrived at the office, this morning, I was reminded how handy the iPad is. I had to check on some server based applications for a staff person. My PC was finishing an update which required a reboot. The reboot process tied my PC up for several minutes, but I was still able to assist the employee immediately because of my iPad and the Logmein Ignition application. Logmein Ignition is an awesome application for an iPad when it is connected to the Internet. The application is $29.99, which is pretty pricey yet I didn't even blink an eye when I purchased it.

I've used Logmein.com for many years to remotely control my computers from other desktops and from my laptop for Free. Paying $30 for the convenience of leaving the heavy, battery draining laptop behind has been incredible.

Since I purchased Logmein Ignition, I have discovered a free alternative connecting to remote computers for the iPad. This alternative iPad app is called TeamViewer HD.

Team Viewer, like Logmein Ignition, provides remote control of the desktops that you have physical access to and has authorization to install the client software. Team Viewer ups the ante and provides an additional service: remote access to your friends and families desktops too (and for free as well). If your friends and family require you to service their desktop, they can simply go to the Team Viewer website at
http://www.teamviewer.com and click the download link to find the appropriate software for their desktop. Once they run the software, they can select quick support to be assigned a Team ID and session password. After they supply you with the ID and password, you are able to control their desktop to provide support.

Logmein has a formidable competitor in Team Viewer. I still prefer Logmein Ignition for accessing my computers, but I now have the ability to support the cheapskate friends and family that want me to drive my car to their place and don't want to pay me gas or service fees (you know the kind). Team Viewer and http://www.logmein.com both have free options for personal use as well as paid corporate or commercial products or options. While the Logmein.com site has a free version, the site requires the Logmein Ignition app to access the remote desktops, servers or laptops. TeamViewer Pro HD ($139.99) is intended for commercial use. It provides access to any number of remote computers for which you do not have to purchase any additional licenses. The Free version is for non-commercial use only.

While these two apps are intended for accessing remote computer that are outside of your location or network, they can be used to access local machines that have the client software loaded. There are other apps that are intended to be used primarily with local computers that are on the same network.

Here are a few:
  • iTap RDP(Remote Desktop for Windows)
  • iTap VNC (Remote Desktop for Windows)
  • Jump Desktop (Remote Desktop)
  • Wyse PocketCloud Pro
  • Splashtop Remote Desktop for iPad
  • Rowmote
  • Rowmote Pro: Remote Control for Mac and Windows
  • Remote Desktop - RDP
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