PC Anywhere

I have several PC’s that I need to use in my office and at home but in order to minimise effort moving between them continuously I have been using a piece of software called PC Anywhere to manage these machines remotely if for example I need to retrieve an e-mail from one of them or access a program or an account which is on one machine but not the other.

PC Anywhere has been around for many years and is presently shipping up to version 11 but and what specifically prompted me to write this article today is that Symantec, the manufacturers of the program are offering free beta test copies of version 11.5 on their website.For those unaware of what beta test software is, I should explain that it is simply an unfinished version of the software that is released to the public (almost always free of charge) so that any errors or problems can be reported back before the final product is released.If we take Microsoft as an example, this company sends out thousands of copies of new Operating Systems so that as many bugs can be ironed out as possible before the final release; obviously thousands slip through this screening process but it does eliminate a number of potential problems before the public release.

Beta test software is limited in terms of the amount of time that you are allowed to use it and the free version I am reviewing today will unfortunately expire in the middle of December and although the software may be slightly buggy it is obviously still long enough to establish whether you wish to make an investment.

To use the program you must have it installed on at least two computers that you want to communicate with one another via the Internet, a direct cable connection, LAN or Modem.Setting up both machines is pretty simple and once completed you will be able to perform a number of tasks to simplify the process of remotely controlling a machine and copying the files stored on it.

To give you examples of how PC Anywhere could be helpful we will assume that your job involves working on a computer in an office.If you were unable to get in to the office for any particular reason such as a business trip but you still needed to get some files from one of their computers then you would simply be able to connect to the machine from any computer with PC Anywhere installed (such as a Laptop) and control it as if you were sat physically in the office or alternatively it could be used to transfer files you needed to the remote machine.

Alternatively, assume you were self employed and didn’t fancy going into the office on a given day then simply connect to one of the machines via the Internet and you could take control of the mouse and keyboard to see what your staff had been doing with their day or even catch up on some work that could not wait until you next went in.

Personally I found this software particularly useful when at University in Cardiff a few years back as I was still very much into computer repair and so installed the program on my clients machines so if there were any problems then rather than driving 120 miles back home I could simply dial in and sort their problems out remotely.It is worth noting that the program can work through a firewall also that appropriate usernames and passwords can be set up to avoid unauthorised control of your machine from remote sources.

The advantages of such a program to the home user are fairly limited but many of you will find that if your job involves computing on a daily basis then this program could end up being invaluable, especially if you find yourself often on the move.To get hold of the beta test head to http://www.symantec.com/pcanywhere/Consumer/ and as the program is quite compact it should only take a few minutes to download.If you do decide that you want to keep the software once the beta has expired then I believe that the price for two machines is around £150 all inclusive or you could also try using the main alternative Laplink Gold by heading to www.laplink.com

About the Author – Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.

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