Free Remote Control Software
Free Remote Desktop Software and Remote Access Tools
Free Remote Desktop Software and Access Tools
Free remote control and remote access software allow you to control another computer that is connected by a network connection or the Internet as though you are working directly on it. It typically requires you to install a piece of software on the remote computer (called the server) as well as one on your own computer (the client). The software displays the screen of the remote computer on your local system and allows you to use your mouse and keyboard to interact with the server as though you were sitting in front of it.
Remote desktop tools are often used for remote administration and maintenance tasks on computers, as well as for providing technical support to someone who needs assistance with his/her system. They are also sometimes known as Virtual Network Computing software, or VNC software, after the name of the computer communications protocol used by some of these programs, hence the numerous names derived from "VNC" in the free software mini-reviews below.
Another alternative is to use a (well-known) commercial service like LogMeIn that works over the Internet. That is, as long as both computers have access to the Internet, you can control the other computer, transfer files to/from it, send to a printer connected to it, listen to music stored on that printer, etc.
Free Remote Control Software
- Dayon! (Windows, Linux)
Dayon! is a cross-platform program that lets you control a remote computer. It renders the remote desktop as a grayscale image, and should work even through a firewall. The program is open source, and has been tested by the author on Windows. However, since it is a Java program, it may also work on Linux and Mac OS X, although on those systems you may have install the program manually.
- UltraVNC: Free Remote Support Tool, Remote Desktop Control, PC Remote Control (Windows)
UltraVNC allows you to connect to another computer, view its screen or desktop, and use your mouse and keyboard to control that computer remotely, from your own computer. The connection can be made through a network or the Internet. It allows you to transfer files between computers, chat with the person on the remote connection, etc. The software supports multiple monitors, auto-reconnection (if a connection is dropped), and a Java viewer that allows you to open a session using a web browser. You can also encrypt your session so that the data that passes between the server and viewer cannot be understood by someone intercepting it. An optional video driver is provided to speed up the display of the remote computer. This is a Windows program.
- TightVNC: VNC-Based Free Remote Control Solution (Windows, Linux)
TightVNC is an open source (GNU General Public License) tool that allows you to view the desktop of a remote machine and control it with your own mouse and keyboard. The machines are connected via the Internet. Because of its multi-platform support, you can perform remote control and administration tasks on mixed network environments. Among its features are file transfers, where you can upload or download files between the client and server machines, a video driver to speed up the responsiveness of the entire session, scaling of the remote desktop, full-control and read-only access, automatic SSH tunneling on Unix (for encrypted sessions), etc. This VNC software runs on Windows, Linux and probably other Unix-type systems.
- Chicken of the VNC (Mac OS X)
Chicken of the VNC is a Mac OS X software that allows you to display and interact with a remote computer. It is released under the GNU General Public License (that is, it's open source and free).
- CoRD Remote Desktop for Mac OS X (Mac OS X)
CoRD is a remote desktop client running on Mac OS X that allows you to access Windows servers. Features include the ability to scale session windows to any size you want, a clipboard that is connected between your computer and the Windows server, etc.
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