How to remote control from a cruise ship?

Actually, even though we DO need to remote control an office pc from a cruise ship, the more generic way to ask this is:  how to remote control without having to download an activex or Java or anything else.

Here are some details of our configuration:

In the office we have Microsoft Windows Server 2008 (not SBS), and 5 workstations, a mixture of XP and Windows 7.  We have a SonicWall device that we use to connet remotely under "normal" circumstances... that is, where we can download an activex control or configure our browser to user jave.  However, from time to time, we need to access one of our PCs from a hotel lobby computer, or in this case, from a cruise ship computer, where we will have no ability to download anything onto the remote computer.

We do ahve the liberty to configure our firewall in the office to open up a port or something... our need really is to find some (free?) software that doesn't require ANY installation on the remote computer.

Suggestions?
K AAsked:
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jakethecatukCommented:
It's possible to run Chrome or Firefox from a USB stick which would remove some the restrictions you have (and you can then run activex/java stuff without restriction) - but that assumes you can access a USB stick.  Would this be an option?

Teamviewer has a portable version of the application that can be run on any machine without installation (you would need a client installed on your office machine though).

If you have a sonic wall firewall, you could open up port 3389 to go to one machine on your network and connect using Remote Desktop Connection - but this will assume that the PC you are on allows port 3389 traffic.

TBH, if there are restrictions in place that will block IE, they will more than likely block VPN connections.
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Lavi ShiffmanConsultant Commented:
You can use http://www.logmein.com.  Using this web site doesn't require anything to be installed on your side.  The computer you want to control must have a small app and that is all.  

Since LOGMEIN is web based, it doesn't require any port to be opened on your firewall.  The data between the computers is encrypted and as long as you choose a strong password for the computer you want to control, this is a very safe tool.

I use this tool all the time to control PCs in remote locations.  If you have a tablet or a smartphone, there is a LOGMEIN version for them that you can can even use over 3G.
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K AAuthor Commented:
Thanks for both replies... before points are awarded, I'd like to double-check one issue... Lavis10, you suggest that LogMeIn does not require any installation, download, ports, or WHATEVER on the remote computer.  I use LogMeIn quite a bit (free version), and I'll agree that, TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE, it doesn't require any local downloads... but I'd like to ask other to confirm that.

jakethecatuk, thanks for the reference to TeamViewer.  I've heard many people refer to that tool, but I haven't used it.  Can you double-check to make sure it doesn't require anything to be modified on the remote computer?

Thanks so far...

Anyone have anything to add?
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jakethecatukCommented:
teamviewer runs as a portable application - so no install required.  provided you can get to the folder and run the application, you'll be good to go.

depending on the browser depends on what will happen.  under IE, you will get prompted to install the activex components - however, you can click on the option to continue regardless without installing activex.

I use both products and I do prefer logmein, but IMO, it's a bit heavier on network traffic than teamviewer.  having used the internet from a cruise ship in the past myself, speed is never that great.
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jakethecatukCommented:
DOH!!!!

The following statement was referring to LOGMEIN: -

'...depending on the browser depends on what will happen.  under IE, you will get prompted to install the activex components - however, you can click on the option to continue regardless without installing activex....'
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Lavi ShiffmanConsultant Commented:
golferski - If you carefully read what I wrote you'll see the following:

Using LOGMEIN:

** On YOUR side (the side the controls other slave computers) there is nothing that needs to be installed.  The only prerequisite is JAVA.

** On the CONTROLLED side you need to install a small and free application that you download from the LOGMEIN website.  On that remote site there is no port that needs to be opened.

lavis10
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K AAuthor Commented:
Thanks, lavis10... I just tried to connect to a LogMeIn host from a remote laptop that hasn't used LogMeIn before, and sure enough, it needed to install a Java applet, (and coicindentally, I had JUST finished installing Java on that laptop), so I'm still unconvinced that LogMeIn would work from the cruise ship, or any computer that doesn't let you "install something."

Now, I'm a humble man, so I reserve the right to be wrong, but it would seem to me that if an IT specialist had locked down that cruise ship computer so that it was designed for "maximum security" (whatever that is), then it wouldn't allow the user to download that Java applet that LogMeIn required.

Consider this:  using OWA to access one's Exchange email wouldn't require any kind of download at all, to my knowledge.  It's that kind of remote access tool we're seeking.

By the way, I tried TeamViewer (nice tool!), but it too requires a download on the remote side.

So, thanks for the info, but I'm still looking....
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jakethecatukCommented:
Taking your comment '... if an IT specialist had locked down that cruise ship computer so that it was designed for "maximum security" (whatever that is), then it wouldn't allow the user to download that Java applet that LogMeIn required...'.  

The PC won't be that locked down as it would break quite a lot of websites.  OWA downloads and runs small applets on the local PC - if that works, then it is likely that Java will work.

Logmein will run without the activex component and without java - but it's not a good solution.

Why not take a laptop and use the ship wifi?
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K AAuthor Commented:
Thanks, jakethecatuk... great point about the laptop... maybe one last question:  how do you get LogMeIn to run without java?  Just decline to install it if it asks? Or is there a special procedure for doing that?
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jakethecatukCommented:
just decline/and/or click on the continue without installing option.

why not fire up a fresh VM with just an OS on it and see for yourself how it works.
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Lavi ShiffmanConsultant Commented:
I agree with jakethecatuk that you can use logmein without JAVA but you'll find that it is almost useless.  Nevertheless, JAVA is such a basic requirement for many web sites that I believe that even a secured PC will have this pre-installed.

If you recall one of my early posts in which I first suggested LOGMEIN, it can also run on smart-phones, iPad, iPod and Android machines so I'm sure there are alternatives to carrying a laptop.
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K AAuthor Commented:
Thanks to both for their replies, but still looking for a solution, though one might not exist, that TRULY would not require ANY downloads to a local computer.
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