Best "Work from home" solution

ray_gillespie

Moderator
Staff member
Political User
#1
Hi guys,

I am looking for some software that will allow me to connect to my work computer from home whenever I like. I have tried WinVNC but last time I used it I think it required user intervention on the host PC to allow access from the client.

Can anyone recommend any alternatives, preferably free but if I have to pay a small amount then so be it.

Thanks in advance guys.
 
#2
I've never tried anything other than PC Anywhere, but that's hardly free.

So I don't have any others I can personally recommend, although I know I had noticed many in the past by chance. I just can't recall what they were. The first one I looked at right now I think said it's not Vista compatible, so that wouldn't help you.

A thought: do you need to actually be able to remote control your home computer, or do you only need to access your files? I've used HFS for years now so that I can access mine from anywhere. It's completely free. I had tried some other web server software before with varying luck. This software makes it easy to just access your files. I use a username and password, of course. You don't need to know how to make web pages, and since it just uses a web browser, it should work from any computer. I've accessed my computer from two different jobs this way and never had a problem.

You can download or upload, also.

Note: I use the latest beta version that you probably have to go to their forum (Support tab on web site) to get: build 185 is the latest that I know of. It has great improvements over the official version.

If you need to see what it looks like, I can arrange to give you a temporary username and password that I can give you in PM to try. Of course, the site has screenshots.
 

kcnychief

█▄█ ▀█▄ █
Political User
#3
Remote Desktop with secure passwords works just fine. The problem you may run into is connecting to the PC either way depending on how potentially locked down your work environment is. You are best off asking how they will let you do it, so you don't get in trouble for violating any company directives. Just because something works, doesn't mean it's a good thing to do.
 

fitz

Woah.. I'm still here?
Staff member
Political User
#4
I would recommend working with your IT department.. various solutions like logmein and/or remote desktop may be against the policy at your work.
 

ray_gillespie

Moderator
Staff member
Political User
#5
Hi guys,

Thanks for all the info. It's only a small business here so I am pretty much free to do what I like with any VNC-like software etc :)

Are the various versions of PC Anywhere compatible with Vista? Although the latest (v12) is very expensive, earlier versions (v11 etc) tend to be quite cheap where available. Are they better than UltraVNC etc?

Incidently I tried the latest version of UltraVNC but it disabled Aero and the only way to get it back was to restart my computer... I'd use this if I had to but only as a last resort really.

Reps to you all!

EDIT: Oh, yes I need full access rather than just files unfortunately.
 

kcnychief

█▄█ ▀█▄ █
Political User
#6
If that is the case I would recommend hamachi - www.hamachi.cc

Very easy, free for basic, $39 per year for pro (difference is pro can run as a service). Then install the client on your home PC and RDP into it. I use it heavily, works great.
 

fitz

Woah.. I'm still here?
Staff member
Political User
#7
I'll second Hamachi..

As for PCAnywhere, last I checked (it has been a while and my memory could be faulty) but I don't think v11 supported Vista. I believe Vista support only came in with v12.
 

ray_gillespie

Moderator
Staff member
Political User
#10
Well, I have installed Hamachi and it seems to be up and running fine. I just need to check it when I get home this evening, see how it goes!

Thanks for all the help guys, you've been really useful :)
 

bmclaughlin

Let's break something.
#11
I use Hamachi extensively... it's great for access between set computers... if you need access from anywhere, use Logmein.

The other difference between the two is that Logmein will work as long as the computer is on, even if it's logged out. Hamachi only works if you leave the computer logged in. (There are ways around that, but I haven't been able to get any of them to work with Vista, only XP)
 
#13
Ok dudes... I've set up Hamachi - do I still need to run some sort of VNC client to access my work computer?
Then install the client on your home PC and RDP into it. I use it heavily, works great.
:)

BTW, I'm sorry I missed that you were trying to go from home to work, not the other way around. Either here or in another forum I participate in someone had just said in the last couple of weeks about not trying to answer questions when having lack of sleep. :D
 

bmclaughlin

Let's break something.
#14
Ok dudes... I've set up Hamachi - do I still need to run some sort of VNC client to access my work computer?
Windows has built in remote access capabilities... you need to make sure you enable remote on the work PC, then run the remote desktop client on your home machine. (VNC will work as well, but RDP (in my experience) is smoother and a better overall experience... ESPECIALLY across the internet)

To enable remote desktop connections to Vista, right click on 'Computer' in the start menu, and choose 'Properties'

There will be an item in the menu on the left that says 'Remote settings'... go there and check to allow connections (Probably the 'any version' one)

The remote desktop client is included in XP Pro (It's under 'Accessories' in the program menu)... for XP home you'll have to download it from Microsoft.
 

kcnychief

█▄█ ▀█▄ █
Political User
#15
I use Hamachi extensively... it's great for access between set computers... if you need access from anywhere, use Logmein.

The other difference between the two is that Logmein will work as long as the computer is on, even if it's logged out. Hamachi only works if you leave the computer logged in. (There are ways around that, but I haven't been able to get any of them to work with Vista, only XP)
Hamachi basic needs to be manually launched but Hamachi Premium can run as a service.
 

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