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Monitor your Windows, Linux computer from a smartphone

If you need to check back in with the home office, you can always call--but if you need to check something on your PC, you've always had to wait. Now there's a great, free app for Windows and Linux called PC Monitor that lets you monitor your machine with your Android device, iPhone, or Windows 7 phone.

Maybe you just need to see how a download is progressing, or maybe you need to kill a process that's eating your network alive. If you're on-site, it's easy, but if you're working remotely, you need a solution. PC Monitor lets you check in with and exert control over your Windows or Linux machine from almost any smartphone. Here's how to get started with it: 

  1. Download and install PC Monitor on your computer and on your smartphone. 
  2. Run PC Monitor on your computer. (You will need to set up an account the first time you run it. This is pretty straightforward.) 
    Step 2: Set up account.
    Step 2: Set up account. Screenshot by Rob Lightner
  3. Check and change any settings or notifications that are of interest. There are a lot of settings, but you needn't concern yourself about all of them at first. 
    Step 3: PC Monitor settings.
    Step 3: PC Monitor settings. Screenshot by Rob Lightner
  4. Run PC Monitor on your mobile device, enter your username and password, then click the "Devices" tab on your PC to set higher security. By selecting "Allow only authorized devices..." you can limit the devices that have access to your PC. 
    Step 4: Authorize device.
    Step 4: Authorize device. Screenshot by Rob Lightner
  5. Click "Start Service" on your PC to begin monitoring. You should now be able to check your PC status on your mobile device. There's a lot you can do remotely, so explore and figure out what works best for you. 
    Step 5: Monitor PC remotely.
    Step 5: Monitor PC remotely. Screenshot by Rob Lightner

Remember that anything that grants you this kind of access could potentially grant anyone else access. This software is secure, but it's only as secure as your password, so change it frequently. PC Monitor is free for up to three computers; after that, you need to purchase a subscription.