Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Friday, May 25, 2001

Get total control of your PC from anywhere

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Access your PC from anywhere
= breakthrough tool

I have been waiting for the release of this tool since the very first issue of MasterMind. As I reviewed in that issue the exceptional value offered by the expert service online "expertcity", I was truly impressed by the ability of the online experts to take control of my machine remotely and to guide me, even by moving my mouse cursor, to solve specific problems or configuration issues.

I had also recently read on Wired magazine, that the UC Santa Barbara professor who had designed the technology behind ExpertCity was about to release the technology for use by companies worldwide.

And here it comes. Gotomypc, is one of my umtimate dreams come true. I can finally log into my PC, left "on" in my office, from any part of the world. No more need to access email from clunky and slow web services, no more stress for files left home on the hard disk. Where there is internet, there is now access to my computer.

The technology powering Gotomypc works really beautifully, and allows remote control of your or any number of PCs from any remote location that has access to the Internet.

You can see fully your desktop as if you were in front of your PC, and you can use ALL of your PC functions and commands AS IF you were in front of it.

Of course the performance of this operation WILL NOT be the same one as working physically at your computer, but with a stable and reliable connection, running at 56K or more, the difference between the two will start to disappear.

The applications for this technology are endless:

Technology support, technical training on software and computer use, trainining and distance mentoring, collaboration online, remote control, co-browsing at a distance.

Installation and configuration of the tool is a breeze.

The technology is divided into two small modules. One is a 1.4 MB installer that needs to be downloaded on the PC you want to control remotely. The software runs as a service and waits for a connection request. When a connection is requested, the program prompts the remote user for an access code before completing the request.

The second is a small 200K plugin which automatically self-downloads and launches on the client computer when a user connects to a PC enabled with GoToMyPC software. This Viewer locally displays the image of the host computer screen and can be resized and adjusted for maximum usability.

I have tested and configured all of the PCs in my office, and apart from somebody fearing that I can now eavesdrop on his/her web wanderings (;-)), I can now access any hard disk or file from home, sidestepping complex remote access software and point-to-point connections.

Client machines can actually "see" when they are being "monitored" or "controlled" remotely by virtue of a small status icon residing in the Windows system tray (bottom right of your monitors).

I am impressed every time I use it. I highly recommend it.

To the technically savvy among you, and to the ones who generally remain skeptical in front of such revolutionising technologies, I have some good content for you to read.

For many of you, the only solutions available until today to achieve the same level of functionality that Gotomypc gurantees, was either to use a remote communication control software such an PC Anywhere, Office Remote, Reach Out and Timbuktu or to utilize a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, that is an internet-based network which is secure and private.

Both solutions had negative sides:

a) The first one (using remote communication software), required to dial in a specific modem, connected to the PC in question.

b) It required the user to have the remote control software with him at all times, in case of travel or change of remote PC.

c) It also required network and firewall configuration for security reasons at your office end.

d) Further than this one had to rememebr a specific IP address, or DNS name,(Gotomypc is self-configuring under all of these aspects) and the software had to be installed at both ends.

The second one (VPNs) was and is very effective, and it is used by most large international organizations and companies. Its downsides are several ones:

a) To access a VPN, where all content is sent in an encrypted mode your PC must be properly configured. You cannot just go into any internet café and expect to be able to log onto your organization VPN. You need to carry your configured laptop with you, all the times.

b) It is very expensive, and that it can be utilized as an effective solution only by large organizations.

c) There are also security issues and needs to configure appropriately firewalls for VPNs to work with remote users as well as limitations on which type of PCs and configurations can access the VPN from the outside.

d) Performance may be taxed by the complex operations remote access through VPN requires.

e) If you are trying to connect from abroad with your laptop you need to dial up to a local provider or to dial an international number that links you back to your VPN. This maybe either very costly or at times tricky to do from a country you are not familiar with. Yes, if you go an Internet cafe, that makes it a lot simpler.

Security-wise GoToMyPC is also outstanding as it features an SSL-encrypted Web site; end-to-end 128-bit encryption of the data stream, keyboard and mouse input; multiple passwords, including an access code that resides on the host computer and is never transmitted or stored on GoToMyPC servers plus notification when the PC is accessed.

During the beta-testing period which ended May 1st, you could link up as many PCs as you wished for personal use for FREE.

Now, you can still feel the thrill of remotely controlling your PC through the trial offering accessible on the home page. Get your free trial now. Your trial includes unlimited remote access to 1 computer and will expire after 60 minutes of connection time or 30 days, whichever comes first.

Individual users can access the "Personal Plan" which allows the control of maximum 2 PCs for personal uses at a minimum cost of $9.95/month (if subscribing for a full year) to control one PC.

There are also a Premium and a Corporate Plans, allowing for control of large number of PCs, and where more than one person needs to have access to them. See specific prices at: SessionInfo=439265/D08A7A1AE33812A/ null for the Premium Plan

You can also download a well prepared and detailed electronic brochure, explaining the advantages and key applications of this technology at: pdf/broch.pdf

This service is available for Windows users only.

Access this service at:

Find out how to provide state-of-the-art remote technical assistance to your customers.

Readers' Comments    
2005-08-05 20:24:56


Actually, I haven't been as impressed with GoTo. More for the sticker shock than the actual program. I've had better luck with LogMeIn Free that works very similar to Goto. Have you tried that before?

2004-01-29 18:41:51


I have used this program before. It is terrible and what not. There is free better one at It is great.

posted by Robin Good on Friday, May 25 2001, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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