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Ways to Remote Access my computer or network

Hi i have  one laptop and 4 other PCs in my Home-Office. They all use Window XP.

I want to now WHICH are the different options that i have to REMOTE ACCESS and CONTROL my home-office network or at least one PC from my laptop when i go on a travel. I am interested in having access to files, but also to control a software in one of the computers (the software is 3dmax, so i can check if my renderings are progressing, and to start a new rendering task if i see it has finished...)

Please just LIST them with their names, and most importantly their PROs and CONs, or the features that i can or cant do with each of them so i can easily compare them... They can be Hardware or Software options, and also FREE or PAID.

So far, i have never tried Remote access, but i know that some options are:
1-Windows incorporated Remote Acces,
2- Paid Services Sofware like GoToMyPC, LogMeIn...
3- Hardware VPN firewall ??? This comes in the Wireless Router? (I have to buy one soon because my last one died..)
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unrinoceronte
Asked:
unrinoceronte
3 Solutions
 
oswaldofarithCommented:
Have you heard about VNC? Is platform-independent  a VNC viewer on one operating system may connect to a VNC server on the same or any other operating system.

Some VNC variants are free, try searching it in Google.

Another good software is Teamviewer, I like it because you dont have to remember an IP and to worry about firewalls or NAT.
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Matthew NguyenCommented:
I actually ran across this the other day on CNET, gives you some good information and reviews for different remote access programs:

http://download.cnet.com/windows/remote-access/

Hope it helps!
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KechkaCommented:
If you want to control and have access to all your computers UltraVNC is good solution, but require some settings on your router, I will explain if you are interested. Also consider teamviewer, but you will have to install it as service so that you can allways login into your computers. Take a look here
http://www.teamviewer.com/help/webhelp/client-_and_host_mode_installations.htm
With teamviewer you don't need to set ports on your router as you need with UltraVNC.
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unrinoceronteAuthor Commented:
Excellent, good advices.

If there are more opinions i will love to hear them.

The Answer that i am looking for is more or less like the one KECHKA gave, meaning that it mentions the names of the APPLICATIONS, and some PRO and CONS (features) of them, But with more Applications or options listed...

If possible i will like to have more options or applications explained in this manner.  Please refer also to: 1)Windows incorporated Remote access,
2) Hardware options to Remote access (is this possible? i mean just configuring my router, or a hardware...?)
3) Others options or Applications you think i should know about
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oswaldofarithCommented:
You have a budget to the solution? There is a wide variety of products that can do the job, some are free, others are expensive. Some software let you transfer files between local and remote systems, set a lot of security options, share the screen with other user, etc.

I recommend you to choose a free software like VNC or Teamviewer, for the most part of scenarios they are more than enough. If you are not experienced with this kind of programs before, maybe teamviewer is more convenient. Check the link that Kechka provides you: http://www.teamviewer.com/help/webhelp/client-_and_host_mode_installations.htm
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unrinoceronteAuthor Commented:
Thanks!!  i posted a last comment...
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unrinoceronteAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys very usefull info!.

@ Oswaldofarith, that lifehacker link was incredibly useful!!!


I think now with all your commenmts, i am starting to understand all this Remote Access Subject, and i think now with all this info i can norrow better my search.

I think i will definetely start FIRST with Windows Remote Desktop, just to get the first feeling of doing that, and is free!, and then i will start trying a couple of the ones you recommended and compara ansd see which is the best for me.

I will try them like this i think:
1) Windows Remote Desktop (assitance too)
2)UltraVNC or TightVNC
3)TeamViewer
4)Log Me in Free ( i have a feeling this will not allow me that much)

So about the budget question.. To tell you the truth, since is something that i will not be doing very often, i want it to be FREE... maybe in the future when i get a better understanding of it, and if there are feautres that i can only get with Paid options, i will get a budget for it.

My ideal application, will be the one that will allow me Control remotely with my laptop, the  3DMax application on my home computer, and one that allows me to copy and transfer files between my laptop and my home...

Thats it.. oh!, and of course that once installed, it is a Safe Secure application, and not one that i have "open my doors to hackers" or so...

thanks guys!
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