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remote control of imac

I have a mac laptop that is used a remote client.  I have a desktop imac that I need to take control of using the mac laptop.  What program is easy to use and can work for this setup?  Thanks in advance!
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johnpatbullock
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johnpatbullock
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strungCommented:
If they are on the same LAN just you can just use the built-in screen sharing:

http://support.apple.com/kb/PH11150

http://osxdaily.com/2012/10/10/remote-control-mac-screen-sharing-os-x/
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strungCommented:
If you need to screen share over the internet, see:

http://support.apple.com/kb/PH11184
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Eoin OSullivanConsultantCommented:
Can I add that the Screen Sharing service on OSX is a system called VNC and once enabled on each Mac you can remotely control it with any VNC viewing client application on OSX, Windows or even iPhone and Android.  You simply set a password on each mac for VNC access for a basic level of security.

However if you want to access your iMac from outside your home network .. the "Back to my Mac" service is a bit of a pain in the neck to setup unless you know something about configuring routers or have the Apple Airport Router which makes it a bit more obvious.  If you want to access the iMac using the laptop from external locations I'd recommend you install TeamViewer on the iMac and laptop and enable the "Unattended Access"  on the iMac in the TeamViewer preferences.  Using Teamviewer does not require any changes in settings on your router or home network and is a lot more flexible as it supports file transfer too so you could access files on the iMac when away from home.
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serialbandCommented:
The Mac's Screen Sharing is unecrypted VNC.  Everything you type is passed through in clear text, including your passwords.  You should enable Remote Login and set up an ssh tunnel if you're connecting over the internet.

The $79 Apple Remote Desktop from the App Store uses a secure encrypted Remote Management.  You'll need to enable ports 3283, 5900, and 5988 on your firewall or router if you're connecting from the internet.

If you're just managing the system, you could do it on the command line via ssh by enabling Remote Login.  I would alter the port from port 22 to something else above 1024 if you're not using it as a general login server.  Otherwise your logs will become quite large from all the brute force password attempts.  I usually only enable Remote Login to manage someone's Mac.  From the command line, you can enable or disable any of the other sharing protocols as well as install & uninstall software.

Teamviewer and others like them use a connection to their servers to identify your system and initiate connections, so you don't need to open up ports.  It's easier, but I prefer a direct connection.  If you're on an internal LAN, you don't need Teamviewer.
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