Remote access applications (such as those offered by WebEx, LogMeIn, and Citrix GoToMyPC) are among my favorite and most useful technologies. I use remote access frequently to access my office computer when I travel and to access client computers to troubleshoot their accounting system problems and provide remote training. While there are many excellent remote access solutions, the one I use most is GoToMyPC, and following are tips for using it:
1. Inviting guests to view your computer. You can send an email to invite a guest to remotely view your computer, as follows. Click the GoToMyPC icon in the Windows System Tray, and select Invite Guest to PC.
Enter the guest’s email address when prompted and click Send. In the next dialog box, enter your GoToMyPC account email address and password when prompted, and click OK. Your recipient will soon receive an email and link enabling him or her to remotely connect to your computer. To connect, your invited guest must click the link in the email, click Start, then click the Launch GoToMyPC button, as shown below.
Once this connection request is initiated, the host computer will display the Guest Arrived – GoToMyPC dialog box pictured at the top of the next column.
Select a screen sharing option, then click OK. Thereafter, your remotely connected user will be able to see your computer screen as you use your computer.
a. Your guest does not need to have GoToMyPC installed; he or she needs only a browser and internet access.
b. GoToMyPC also supports Voice over Internet Protocol, which means, if both computers have microphones and speakers, the host and recipient users can hear one another speak, and both users can hear sounds produced by the host computer.
c. GoToMyPC invitations expire after a specified interval of your choosing, such as one hour, after which the invitation becomes invalid.
2. Faster performance. To improve GoToMyPC’s performance, click the GoToMyPC icon in the Windows System Tray, select Preferences, and apply the following settings.
a. On the Performance tab, set the Color Quality to 256 Colors.
b. Again, on the Performance tab, slide the Performance chevron to Better Speed (as described in the February 2011 JofA feature “Increase Productivity With Multiple Monitors,” page 28). These settings will disable desktop wallpaper, font smoothing, and other display effects.
c. On the Viewer tab, select Actual Size (instead of Scale-to-fit) under the Show host screen setting. (The default Scale-to-fit setting adjusts the host computer’s screen to fit on the remote computer’s screen, which is desirable if both the host and remote screens are different sizes. However, if both screens are already the same size, this setting accomplishes nothing and performance is reduced for no reason.)
d. Adjust the Windows Display Resolution on the host computer to 1024×768 or lower by right-clicking your Windows Desktop, and:
1. In Windows 7, select Personalize, Display, Change Display Settings;
2. In Windows Vista, select Personalize, Display Settings;
3. In Windows XP, select Properties and click on the settings tab;
e. Select a resolution option by sliding the Screen resolution chevron to your desired setting, then click OK.
3. Security. You should consider disabling the host computer’s monitor when you work remotely to prevent anyone in proximity of your host computer from viewing the screen while you work, as follows: Click the GoToMyPC icon in the Windows System Tray, select Preferences, and, on the Security tab, place a check in the box labeled Blank out screen while connected (see screenshot below).
You should also consider disabling the host computer’s keyboard and mouse to prevent others in proximity from accessing it when you are remotely connected, as follows: From the Security tab, place a check in the box labeled Lock host keyboard and mouse. Click OK.