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Six Free Remote Desktop and Assistance Solutions

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Remote-desktopping can be a godsend when you’re working with a team or assisting someone miles away. Eric Geier introduces you to six free different remote desktop solutions.
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Whether you serve on an official tech support team or you’re the go-to person in the family on computer problems, remote desktop solutions can be a godsend. They allow you to see someone else’s computer screen via the Internet just as they see it. You can see the problem they’re having, check settings, remove viruses, make changes, access files, show them how to do something, and do pretty much anything else inside Windows.

Remote desktop solutions enable you to help colleagues or family that live across the country or the world. It can also be very helpful and a timesaver even when used within the same building. The only requirement is that both computers (you and the remote user) must have an active Internet connection. Additionally, you and/or the troubled user may have to download the remote software.

Here we’ll take a look at six different remote desktop solutions.

Microsoft Remote Desktop

Microsoft Remote Desktop (see Figure 1) is one of the most basic solutions and is provided by Microsoft for free. All Windows editions include the Remote Desktop client, but the lower Home editions don’t include the server portion so you can’t remotely log in to them.

This isn’t designed for offering quick and easy assistance in smaller or home environments. This is because you must know the remote computer’s IP address or computer name in order to access it. Plus, it uses port 3389; thus, port forwarding must be set up if there’s a router behind the computer and the Internet modem.

Due to the lacking support of Home editions, a complicated connection method, and connection issues, this isn’t a practical solution for most situations.

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