Have you ever sat in front of your computer and wished you could show someone else what appeared on your screen? Maybe you were experiencing a problem, or couldn't figure out how to make something work, but you knew if someone else could see what was happening on your screen, they could help you fix the problem immediately. Ever had a phone conversation with someone about a particular business topic, but you just couldn't "connect" with your ideas because it was too hard to explain over the phone? Now, visualize jumping on the phone with that same person and literally sharing your computer's desktop to collaborate, discuss, and create virtually anything together, even if you are separated by thousands of miles. Though this may sound like an episode of Star Trek, remote computer sharing is actually a daily business reality. Imagine you need to take a trip and you either don't want to or can't take your computer.
The thought of emails piling up for days makes you crazy and you also need to monitor some things on your pc. Instead of trying to lug your laptop (or fit your desktop into your suitcase), you can use "remote desktop" software that allows you to access your computer through the Internet from any other computer in the world. One of the most common remote desktop services is GoToMyPC.com, which provides a safe and secure way for you to go down to the local internet café, log on, and access your office or home computer just like sitting at your own desk.
Now, before you panic and think anyone can access your computer, let me explain security. First, you log in to the GoToMyPC.com website with a username and password. Once logged in, you then click a link to log onto your PC, which will then ask you for another password. GoToMyPC.com has even thought of a solution for those of you worried about people looking over your shoulder as you enter your passwords on a public computer or if the computer you use might carry a keystroke logger.
Before leaving home, you can program in a series of up to 99 passwords that only work one time. This means even if someone watches you log into your computer or records your keystrokes, the password you used won't work again. If a would-be thief tries to access your computer too many times, GoToMyPC.com will shut down all access attempts to your PC.
The benefits of remotely accessing your PC from the road are numerous, but the bottom line is that it enables you to use your computer from the road like you never left home. For example: while traveling to a conference this weekend, my wife (and business partner) accessed our office computer from my laptop and, instead of the usual pile of 4,000 emails that would normally await after 5 days away, we just picked up this morning like we'd never been gone. The same company that offers GoToMyPC.com also offers a service called GoToMeeting.com which allows you to remotely host a meeting where multiple users can share and collaborate on a single computer desktop.
This service makes it super simple to provide online training, do software demos, and even make complete sales presentations. I personally use both of these services and find them easy, reliable and well worth the price.
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