Many of my customers have been working remotely for years. They have found it
convenient to sit down at home or on the road with their laptop or home computer and
connect to their office computer and work as though they were sitting in their own chair.
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic everyone should be at home. However, many
businesses cannot stop. Financial advisers, lawyers, accountants, tech support and
hundreds more businesses need to keep going even though their office doors are locked.
Thankfully, there are numerous methods to work from home. Some methods are free and
some have associated fees. Some are easy to set up while some require a fair amount of
configuration. Some are bare-bones allowing you to simply connect and work, while
others are feature rich allowing you to print at home and transfer files.
I will quickly go over some of the methods available to you. I will list the pros and cons – giving you a few of the details about setting up the remote access.
WINDOWS REMOTE DESKTOP
Built in to all versions of Windows is Remote Desktop. It is simple to configure on the computer. You can also use multiple platforms to access your work PC including Windows, Macs and tables.
The biggest PRO is that Windows Remote Desktop is free – it’s built in. You can also use it to transfer files and print at home. It’s biggest CON is that you need to know the public IP address of your office network and you have to configure the office firewall/router to forward the connection to your office PC.
TeamViewer and AnyDesk – Free for Personal Use Versions
TeamViewer and AnyDesk are two programs used by IT support people. These programs have a “Free for Personal Use” licensing. What this means is that you can use the program to connect from ONE computer – home for instance – to ONE other computer – work. You can use all the features for free as long as you follow the licensing rules. If you need to connect to more than one computer you will need to buy a full license for the program.
The PRO for these two programs are that they are easy to use. They are feature rich. The CON is the price.
TeamViewer and AnyDesk – Paid Version
While you can use TeamViewer and AnyDesk for free if you are connecting from home to one computer, if you need to connect to or from multiple computers you will need to purchase a full license. When you do this you add a few additional features, mostly management. Some additional features is the ability to manage lists of computers and even turn on powered off PCs (if the PCs have the Power-On-Lan feature.)
The PROS and CONS are the same as the free version.
Paid Remote Programs
TeamViewer and AnyDesk are programs primarily designed for remote support and management. There are programs designed specifically for remote control work – working from home. Among the most popular are LogMeIn, GoToMyPC and SplashTop. While these programs are not free, they are affordable, easy to install and use.