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Remote control of my PCs when I am away from home

by cpmdave-21209087916214755939752776832341 / February 25, 2011 3:15 AM PST

When I travel, visit friends, am at a library, etc. is there a way to use my home desktops by remote control (ie: TeamViewer, Go To My PC, etc)? If yes, do my home PCs have to be on?
One of my PCs is Windows 7, the other Windows XP SP3.
I am looking for a way to use my desktops when away

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Yes, remote control apps such as ...
by Edward ODaniel / February 25, 2011 6:00 AM PST

you mentioned will allow you to remotely access your home computers and YES, your home computers you want to access will need to be up and running. They have to be running when you sit down in front of them to use them at home don't they?

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Yes You Can - No The Computer Doesn't Have To Be On
by nscave / February 25, 2011 9:48 AM PST

It takes a bit of work to set it up, but yes you can access your computers at home, turn them on, reboot, use them and shut them off by remote. Works fine with XP,Vista & Windows 7 in any combination.
<a class="linkification-ext" href="" title="Linkification:"></a>
The instructions on this page tell you how to set up your computer so it will boot by remote. I use it to start my home desktop computer and server computer that I only run when needed.
Use Teamviewer for the actual remote control. It has a module that you can set up with a user ID and permanent remote password.
The procedure is:
1)Set up Teamviewer with the above module, and it will run whenever the computer is started. Uses minimal resources, so not a problem during normal at home use.
2)Use the above url page to start the computer from anywhere there is an internet connection. It's called WOL (Wake On Lan, there are many such pages, this is the one I have used successfully.
Note: There are some settings on the computer that may have to be set to ensure WOL is active. Also when you start the computer from remote, there is a delay of about 30 sec. to a minute before you can connect with Teamviewer.
I have used this method for several years to access my desktop and server computers from as far away as Florida. (I live in Nova Scotia, Canada.) It is just like sitting at your computer at home, file transfers, etc. can be done. However, anything involving heavy graphics will create a lag, as will some programs. For accessing files it is ideal.
This is a popular topic. I may consider putting full instructions on my website in the future.

Message was edited by forum moderator to remove prohibited site promotion.

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Since no one has mentioned it
by Jimmy Greystone / February 25, 2011 10:30 AM PST

Since no one has mentioned it, there are some rather serious security issues associated with remote control programs. It's possible for someone ELSE to use them to control your computer the same as you would. This is why most large companies do not allow this kind of thing, because it's just too hard to secure properly.

Wake-on-LAN (WOL) is in the same general category. ANYONE can send the magic packet to your system and turn it on at any point in time. So, you could create a great system for some ne'er do well whereby when you may be at work or in bed, they start your computer, control it remotely to perform some kind of illicit task, and then shut it off when they're done.

Now just assume for a moment that someone with a penchant for kiddie porn decides to use YOUR computer to get their kicks. Sure, eventually the cops may figure out that someone was controlling your system remotely, but by then you'll have already been arrested for possession of kiddie porn and have a real hard time living down the pedophile name, even though there's absolutely no truth to it. Sometimes the mere accusation is enough.

So, I would suggest thinking long and hard before you engage in this kind of thing. If you do ultimately decide to go forward, then make sure you understand the risks and have taken steps (beyond just installing some firewall program) to ensure that you're the only one who can access it.

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If you are REALLY paranoid...
by FiOS-Dave / February 25, 2011 12:41 PM PST

You could set up two computers with something like gotomypc.
Then you log onto the first computer and use it to log on to the next one!
You can make this string of computers as long as you like, depending upon your level of paranoia and/or your ability to pay for all these linked computers!

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Remote Security
by nscave / February 25, 2011 12:55 PM PST

Using the method I mentioned above, you must have the Ip# and the MAC address of the computer(s) involved. Teamviewer is set up with an ID that you generate, along with a password. Without getting into specifics (for security reasons), there are safe guards involved that make it unlikely these could be broken. Similarly, in order to log in to the computers you still have to supply the password(s) that you would when you are actually in front of the computer. You have to get through Teamviewer before you can even get to these. Any of these passwords can be changed by remote by the user if desired. All connections using Teamviewer are encrypted.
With difficulty, someone may be able to start the computer, although very unlikely. The chance they could actually do anything with the computer would be more than a million to one. If you are really paranoid you can even set it up using https.
I do agree 100% that you need to be concerned with security when you set such a system up and it should not be taken lightly.

Message was edited by forum moderator to remove prohibited site promotion.

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P.S. As an Afterthought
by nscave / February 25, 2011 1:14 PM PST
In reply to: Remote Security

As an after thought to Jimmy's post I must say I always use secure wired connections when accessing computers from remote. Just out of habit I would not use wireless or open connections for such activities. Normal safety procedures are required to avoid sniffing or logging programs from outside sources.

Message was edited by forum moderator to remove prohibited site promotion.

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a few comments
by porsche10x / March 7, 2011 7:07 AM PST

By the way, it's much easier to wake a computer remotely than it is to actually access it. Many years ago when all this was much simpler, I used to find my computer mysteriously turned on every now and then just because wake-on-LAN was enabled, I presume because of some random port sniffing. No actual remote software was installed, running, or enabled. I was never actually hacked (as far as I know), but disabling WOL fixed the problem. A good hardware and/or software firewall would have probably fixed it as well (but they were not commonly used in the home at the time).

Also, no one has mentioned Remote Desktop, free and already built into windows

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Safer remote access
by vic2pc / December 31, 2011 11:51 PM PST

That's the trouble with some remote access programs: if you walk away from the local PC, someone else can come over and start accessing the remote PC in your absence. However, my app, ControlByMail, gives you remote file access and script-based remote control by using email alone, and requires a one-time password for every email sent. This totally prevents anyone from hacking your remote access, even if you leave the PC unattended. It's here on if you're interested.

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This is a form of spam.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 1, 2012 2:30 AM PST
In reply to: Safer remote access

Please don't dig up old posts. Locked.

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