Enjoy your photos, music, and videos anywhere, copy your files to and from the remote PC, share your home PC/laptop screen with friends or colleagues, get access to sensitive information stored on your PC (for example, passwords) via a highly secured Internet connection and utilise the programs installed on your PC from anywhere.
Enterprise users can complete a variety of tasks connected with maintaining PC infrastructure. Remote Utilities is a single command centre where you can keep a list of all your PCs, monitor their statuses and inventory and connect to any of them for maintenance purposes. Optimise your PC inventory management with Remote Utilities as a centre of operations, save time by eliminating the need to physically access remote PCs, telework from home or when traveling by securely connecting to your work PC and get instant access to your files, databases and software.
Corporate users can also deploy the program across their entire network using the built-in installation tool and MSI files. Helpdesk providers benefit from the 'Internet ID' feature that allows firewalls and NAT services to be bypassed when connecting to a remote PC. Technical support specialists will be able to provide remote technical assistance to all their clients no matter what their level of computer literacy or how their network is configured.
There are plenty of good reasons to install remote control or remote access software on your home computer. If you're travelling, for example, and there's something sitting on your home computer that you absolutely must get your hands on, this kind of program can make the task virtually headache-free. It's also a handy way to tinker with your basement computer when you're hiding out upstairs, or doing a little relaxed laptop surfing in the back yard on a summer day. Remote Utilities sets out to do exactly that, with some success. Its complexity makes it a better fit for power users than for average home users.
Like other similar programs, Remote Utilities requires the installation of its server software on the computer(s) you'd like to be able to access remotely and a viewer that gets installed on the computer you'll be making connections from. You can access your server systems from anywhere in the world, as long as both the server and viewer have an active Internet connection.
For power users, there's plenty to like about Remote Utilities. Several connection modes are offered beyond the full remote desktop experience. There's also a file transfer mode, remote device manager, registry viewer, remote webcam access and a terminal mode, which is an excellent way to perform simple command line tasks from a distance.
Multiple monitors are supported, and there's a stretch mode which will automatically scale your remote computer's display to make it fit on the viewer. Image quality is very good too, the icons on my 20 inch monitor were still readable when viewing my desktop on a much smaller notebook display using Remote Utilities.
Connection speeds with Remote Utilities are good, and are on par with competing programs like TeamViewer and GoToMyPC. Performance, of course, is dependent on both the speed of your home Internet connection and also the one over which you're attempting remote access. The viewer's dashboard is also very cool and useful, providing thumbnailed views of all your remote servers which automatically refresh while you have a connection established. It's a very handy way to see what you're doing on which computer when you have several things on the go at once.
However, some aspects of Remote Utilities may be offputting to home users. Its installation is more complicated than that of TeamViewer. You'll need to jump through a few additional hoops to get the Remote Utilities server up and running on your system, and it's not always obvious what step you need to take next.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 users should be prepared for UAC prompts when installing Remote Utilities or making changes to its settings. While other similar applications have been carefully designed to offer a UAC-free installation and configuration process, Remote Utilities prompted me three separate times during setup and each time I accessed its server settings. There's also no server application for Mac or Linux systems, something competing applications like Teamviewer, ISL and Remobo can provide.
The settings interface is also a bit clunky, with a solitary button displayed inside a popup window. Rather than offering a single window with all its settings offered on individual tabs, Remote Utilities uses a separate window for each item on the drop down menu you see above. It's an unintuitive setup, and one which isn't ideal for less savvy users.
While Remote Utilities does what it sets out to do very well, providing remote access to your computers' desktops, its interface needs to be reworked. Right now, a free option like TeamViewer is a better choice for the average home user. For power users who crave features like command prompt access and a visual connection dashboard, Remote Utilities is worth a closer look.