Reader Olle wrote to ask a remote access question:
Hi! I read your article about editing videos remotely with GoToMyPC. I have tried doing that but it does not work. I cannot even play a video and see the video remotely. But I can do everything else like transferring files and more. Is it a setting issue? I would Like to ask you kindly to guide me on this issue. I appreciate an response.
Thank You Kind regards Olle
Remote access to your own PC, or to other PC’s you manage on your own home network, can be a great way to do many tasks.
On my home network, since I use firewall programs on each PC (all are using Sunbelt Personal Firewall) and the home network is segregated from the Internet by my cable/DSL router (a Linksys BEFSR41), I don’t hesitate to use non-encrypted remote control software within my network. I use the free version of RealVNC to do this.
On the other hand, for remote access across the Internet, I think you’d have to be crazy to do that with an unencrypted connection (which possibly could be monitored by someone else!).
For remote access across the Internet, I’d choose GoToMyPC because of its speed and encryption. You can try a 30 day free trial of GoToMyPC (for one PC) or GoToMyPC Pro (for multiple PC’s). There are also paid versions of RealVNC that include encryption, so they’re another option.
I edit files occasionally across my home network using RealVNC, and did it remotely once using GoToMyPC to see if it would work.
However, I found that both ways are possible but frustratingly slow, compared to editing the files while sitting at that computer.
Video editing requires a lot of computer power and video power, so it doesn’t do well across a network regardless of speed. GoToMyPC was faster than RealVNC, but it still was not anything like editing in person.
I suspect that Olle’s problem is related to his video viewing and video editing software. It might have been possible only with the editing software I use.
The issue he’s having is that the software is probably sending the video output via a Windows DirectX routine, directly to the video output on the video card, without going through the graphics processor itself. When that happens, the remote pc software is unable to see it.
I have the same issue when I run RealVNC to my home theater PC. I can control the PC easily enough. But, if I’m connecting from my notebook to my home theater PC and have an mpg (MPEG2) video playinng, I can’t see the video on my notebook — just like Olle’s problem.
Again, if you’re going to remotely control computers on your home network from another computer within your home network and if you have a router installed in your home to isolate your computers from other people’s computers, the free version of RealVNC is a great tool.
But, if you’re going to remotely control a computer that is not on your network, or if you aren’t isolated from the Internet by your own router, you need to use remote control software that encrypts the transmissions.
UPDATE TO 2010 / Windows 7: I have changed from RealVNC to UltraVNC. The RealVNC authors decided to support Windows 7 only in their paid version. UltraVNC supports both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7.