PC Remote Control

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PC Remote Control: a reader asks…

I was wondering you can recommend either a free or cheap reliable way to screen share and take over operation of someone’s computer from afar.  My grandfather regularly needs computer help from a distance and it would be much easier if I could show him in a live format.

While remote access to another computer is fairly common, there are few free options. Here at PosiTek.net we use LogMeIn Rescue for technical support over the internet. That’s a bit pricy for your needs though. Other folks use LogMeInPro, which costs $250/year for 2 computers. There are other for-fee products like gotomypc.com ($12/month for 1 computer) and gotoassist.com.

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splashtop-logoThe lowest-cost for-fee option is probably splashtop.com ($17/year). What makes this attractive besides the huge difference in price from the above, is that you can use the app on any device. Not that I’d advocate using remote access to a computer from a teeny smartphone screen, but there are times when using your tablet is handier than having to lug a laptop around. So you can help your grandfather out anytime.

teamviewer-logoFor free you can use TeamViewer. This is the one used by most people in your situation. Although there are license fees for commercial use, TeamViewer has a free option for personal use (see https://www.teamviewer.com/en/credentials/free-for-personal-use/). I’ve seen reports that some folks are subject to a 5-minute remote session, but this isn’t noted anywhere in the documentation, so it may be a few isolated situations.

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There are plenty of other free solutions out there, but most require some technical skill and are often used by hackers. In most cases, you need to make configuration changes to routers in order to get access. This is likely beyond your grandfather’s capabilities.

 

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