A senior citizen made a desperate call to his son in the US. They were getting notifications in their computer constantly about “some error” in the anti-virus program. Within minutes, the problem was rectified by their son from his home in the U.S.
The son was not a techie. He was a doctor. What he used was a software to access computers remotely.
The concept of remotely controlling other computers itself is not new. It has been used by technical support guys to solve issues in computers from a remote location.
What has made this exciting is that there are easier ways now for remote connections. The possibilities are endless.
A parent sitting in the office can help his child in a school computer project work. Engineers or tech savvy people can help others in solving computer problems.
How exactly is this useful? In the instance above, before the son started using the software, any problem in the computer would require at least an hour's call from the U.S.
An instruction to his parent like “Go to Start, and click on Run” would take at least ten minutes to get done as they searched for the ‘run' button. The process would continue till the problem was solved.
As the parents were not tech savvy, it used to be a painful process to make the parents understand what he was asking them to do like locating programs or files and make them type complicated commands. He decided to ask them to do one thing that would end all the endless phone calls.
He spent one full hour telling them how to download and install a remote connection software. Once that was done, any problem in their computer would be rectified by him sitting in the U.S. The only requirement was that the computer should be on and connected to the Internet.
The tool used by him was a remote connection software. There are several software that offer this functionality. TeamViewer, LogMeIn, CrossLoop, GoToMyPC and Ammyy are quite prominent and easy to operate.
Of course, there is the omnipresent Google, too, with its remote connection extension. As it is an ‘extension' to the Google Chrome browser, you must have the browser and the extension installed.
A typical remote connection works like this: The software (or extension) has to be installed in both the computers. Once installed, the computer that needs to be accessed remotely must provide the access to the other computer through a code or password.
Only when the user in the other computer inserts the correct password that he will be able to access or take control of the computer.
Once he accesses the computer, he will be able to see the desktop of the computer he is accessing and can work on it as if he is in front of it. There may be a slight lag or the speed may depend on the speed of the Internet connection and the computer resources.
Most of the software are available across platforms and can be accessed through browsers. Some even offer access through mobiles, but unless you have a 3G WiFi connection, it will be almost impossible to use it.
The Chrome Remote Desktop extension also works across platforms as it is a browser extension. It does not matter what operating system you have as long as you have the Chrome browser installed.
Remote connections are not only for troubleshooting others' computers.
It is up to you to figure out ways to use it. For instance, the senior citizen's son in the U.S. booked a flight ticket for his parents using the remote connection. He also printed it at the printer in his parent's house.
His parents just sat and watched as his son printed all the travel documents at their own computer sitting in the U.S.
Another executive, who travels frequently, uses a remote desktop to connect to his office computer to access documents.
Google Docs makes it easy to create, store and share online documents, spreadsheets and presentations.