OK, IT managers out there, listen up! If you want to make a real splash with your boss, then listen to what I am about to tell you. My boss came to me the other day and told me he was going on a trip. He was taking his iPad with him and he wanted to be able to access his files that reside on his work computer. Now, you know there are tons of ways to go about this. The first thing that came to mind was Dropbox. The problem with this was that I would either have to redirect his My Documents folder to his Dropbox folder, or he would have to move into there whatever files he thought he would need to access while he was away. I decided against this option. I did a little homework and came across a great app for the iPad called Splashtop Remote.
Splashtop has developed several nice apps, including one previously covered on Techie Buzz called Splashtop OS. Splashtop Remote can be purchased from the iTunes store for a very small fee. After you purchase the app, there is one more FREE piece of software that you need to make this all work. It is called the Splashtop Streamer. As a side note, this might be a good time to let you know that the PC version of SplashTop Remote, which allows you to remote control a PC from another PC, is a FREE app. It’s a decent way to connect to a remote PC. The Splashtop Streamer runs as a service on the PC that you wish to remotely access. It is what makes it possible for the Splashtop Remote iPad app to connect.
Installing the Splashtop Streamer on your PC is pretty simple. Below, I will outline the basic steps to getting it set up. First, you will see the image pictured below. Click Go and agree to the license agreement.
The next major step is entering an access code for your computer. This adds a layer of security so people just can’t hop on and take over your PC at will.
That is pretty much all there is to installing the software. Now, if you plan on being away from your PC, like on a vacation, and you want to access it on the iPad, you will need to set up the “Network” settings on the Streamer. In the picture below, you can see where I have the “Network” tab selected. Notice that it uses a Google account. If you don’t have a Google account, just click the link that says “Create One”. It is free and quick to do. Without this account, you will have a hard time accessing your PC when you are away from your office.
The app on the iPad will also need to be configured to use the same Google account. This will synchronize the PC and the iPad, which will allow you to access the PC from the iPad via the internet.
Once you connect to your PC from the iPad, you enter your security code and you will be remote controlling your PC from your iPad. Now you can edit Word documents, read Outlook email, or watch YouTube videos that are playing on your PC from your iPad. The remote app on the iPad uses finger gestures to do common Windows tasks. For instance, pressing and holding your finger on the screen will perform a right-click on the PC.
I hope that you enjoy Splashtop Remote as much as I have. My boss was thrilled with how easy it was to use. There is nothing fancy to overwhelm him. It just plain works. He doesn’t have to worry about keeping files in separate places or trying to access them via a VPN connection. Everything looks the way he is used to seeing them on his PC. I also would like to point out that there are Android and iPhone versions of this app as well.
What about you? Would you like to be able to remote control your PC from your iPad? What ways would you use this software?
As always, we love to hear from our readers!