Friday, July 6, 2007

Friday Freebie - Access Your PC From The Far Reaches Of The Globe

Assuming the far reaches of the globe are equipped with PCs and internet access, that is. But who doesn't have high speed internet these days? Hell, compared to the rest of the industrialized world, U.S. broadband isn't really the broad. But that's a rant for another article. Today, we're just looking at a little piece of software that will let you browse your photos, email, or anything else on your computer from a distance:

RealVNC is software that runs on your PC at home, and also on the PC that you are using to connect to it. VNC stands for Virtual Network Computing, which is just a fancy way of saying that you can control every aspect of your home PC from the remote computer. RealVNC creates a secure connection as well, so your data will remain private even though it's going over the public internet.

VNC software is also a good choice for remotely fixing and monitoring other computers. For instance, let's say there's a problem with your parents computer. If you installed RealVNC on it, you could access it from the comfort of your own home and possibly fix the problem, all without ever hauling your lazy butt out of the chair. Pretty slick. More experienced users also can use VNC to install updates on multiple PCs in their home, all from one machine.

There are some downsides to VNC, however. The refresh rate on the screen of the viewing PC can be poor at times, depending on the applications that are running. Also, you can watch video (though it's choppy at best), but there's no audio over VNC. Finally, you'll have to do some port forwarding on your router to access your computer from outside your local network, so if you're a networking noob, the initial setup can be a bit tricky.

Fortunately, there's an abundance of information about VNC software and configurations on the net, so the answers to most questions are just a click away. RealVNC's site also offers documentation to get you up and running.

RealVNC is available for a variety of operating systems, so you can grab your copy right here. The install is quick and easy, and before you know it, you'll be accessing all types of files from the road. Now it's up to you to find some files worth accessing.

No comments: