Have you ever received great troubleshooting remote access software help, but wished tech support could do all the work for you? Or maybe you’re a novice computer user in need of basic computer training, but you find you learn best by demonstration, rather than simple instruction? If so, remote desktop software is the answer to your needs. This clever tech innovation is quite similar to television remote control operation, but with Remote Access Software it’s your computer and a distant user that take center stage, rather than TV’s and couch potatoes.

What is Remote Desktop Software?

Remote Desktop Software allows real-time, local interaction with a distant computer, otherwise known as RDS. It’s a computer program or operating system feature that includes a remote control application, letting two users in vastly different locations interact as if they were on just one computer. Explained differently, it allows one user to control or maintain access to another computer from a remote location. The interaction includes full desktop view, keystrokes, mouse movement, screen changes and even printing and audio sharing.

Available Remote Desktop Software

Just about every computer platform and operating system houses remote desktop software, including mobile devices such as iPhones. Windows users as well as Mac users can enjoy the use of built-in remote desktop software, while Linux users have access to a number of open source remote desktop software versions. Common software types cover a wide range of platforms and include GoToMyPC, Jaadu for hand-held devices, PCAnywere, Bomgar, TeamViewer and Chicken of the VNC. Each type offers a range of flexibility and presents a variety of uses.

Uses: Troubleshooting, Training and More

Remote desktop software allows a number of different functions providing access to a particular network from virtually anywhere. Most commonly, the software is used to troubleshoot computer problems or perform software maintenance from remote locations. This saves time and money, since administrators don’t have to be present to address issues. The software is great for employees, allowing workers access to company computers while on the go or from home. It’s also useful in computer training when instructors must demonstrate computer functions.

How it Works

For starters, the software must be installed in both computers involved. Also, both computers must be on the same network, whether wired (via LAN connection) or wireless, via the Internet, for instance. Then, once a password is entered, the “boss” computer can begin controlling and accessing its “target” using shared screens, keystrokes and mouse movement. While the software is in operation, the target user retains access to all normal computer functions, even while functions are being shared.

With a secure VPN connection, workers may also access company computers from anywhere using a simple USB connection. This particular function highlights one of the biggest issues with remote desktop software: security. Those considering its use often wonder how data on the administrator and target computers will be protected from piracy. Most remote desktop software enables various security protocols to address this issue, using advanced 128-bit encryption to prevent data theft. Some protocols prevent printing and saving in order to maintain target system integrity.