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Ask Slashdot: Best App For Android For Remote Access To Mac Or PC?

timothy posted about 3 months ago | from the not-gonna-have-to-ask-you-to-come-in-on-saturday dept.

Android 165

An anonymous reader writes "Hi, I need to get remote access to my home Mac and Windows PC. At home, it's basically for watching TV, whereas at the office, I need it to work on files I am not allowed to take out when leaving. I know there's a lot of choice out there, but I need something free and reliable. What do you all recommend?"

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Easy (3, Informative)

mog007 (677810) | about 3 months ago | (#45846833)

TeamViewer. It's free and easy.

Re:Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45847517)

VNC. It's truly free, open source, non-proprietary and easy.

Re:Easy (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 3 months ago | (#45847633)

It's not as easy as Teamviewer.

Re:Easy (1)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | about 3 months ago | (#45847759)

As much as I would love to disagree with that I honestly can't. TeamViewer has a lot of advantages over VNC. Though I'm not sure it would be easier if you had a really restricted network like in a locked down office. I've run VNC over an SSH reverse tunnel disguised as HTTP traffic on a closed network with a proxy server that only allowed HTTP and only outgoing connections. Since the tunnel was already established VNC was trivial to run. But as long as you don't have any super-locked-down proxy setups designed specifically to defeat remote access *cough* TeamViewer is just dead easy and surprisingly reliable.

Re:Easy (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 3 months ago | (#45848295)

VPN home over https port. I've shot straight through every single corporate security I have encountered, it's not hard to get through.

Re:Easy (1)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | about 3 months ago | (#45848433)


I wouldn't consider setting up the SSH reverse proxy difficult either. I forget what I used to mask the traffic as HTTP but it was something that was bundled with SSH to begin with.

How do you do this VPN setup? I've never used VPN extensively so I'm acutally not sure where one would start. If you have a link to a howto on the tools you are using I'd be quite interested.

Re:Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45847843)

It's easier than Teamviewer and it's free. Teamviewer is proprietary malware that probably steals information from you, but you'll never know because you can't even get the source code.

Re:Easy (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 3 months ago | (#45848095)

VNC is not easier than Teamviewer. If you've got internet access, Teamviewer will just work from anywhere to anywhere, and it gives you all the information you need to establish the connection. VNC is not that simple.

In fact, Teamviewer can be too easy. I had to completely lock a computer down so it could only access anything off the local network through a VPN - but Teamviewer still worked, even when the VPN was off. It either discovered, or remembered, a proxy server on the LAN and used that to make itself available.

Re:Easy (3, Informative)

zugmeister (1050414) | about 3 months ago | (#45848565)

On the plus side it's open, runs on everything (server and client), and free. I use it as the failover from MSTS (mac client sucks) or ARD (which has no PC client).

On the minus side, it's not fast so remote admin is fine but movies mostly unwatchable. No sound. No file xfer or printer sharing. It doesn't tunnel, so you are looking at a minimum of a VPN tunnel (or piggyback it off a ssh tunnel is you wanna be geeky) should you want access while off the server's network. DO NOT PORT FORWARD VNC TO THE WORLD! It does not have strong security (8 character pw no username) and the VNC data itself is not secured.

Note that there are proprietary versions of VNC that address some of these issues.

Re:Easy (5, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | about 3 months ago | (#45847811)

TeamViewer has issues you should be aware of.

A friend showed me how easy it was to use, and we decided to give it a try at our shop, where we do computer sales and service. Being able to do remote support would be very useful, we have several customers that live a good distance away from us and that occasionally need to schedule us to come out and help them, and this would allow us to help them at significantly lower rates.

We set up team viewer 6 (iirc) and bought one license. Come to find out that it could only be installed on one physical computer. We were used to remote apps that only allow one simultaneous USE at a time, and that's all we needed. Too bad the GM installed it on his computer before we could stop him. So now we have to go into his office to do remote support. (or HE has to do it)

I discussed this with teamveiwer and they basically told me to buy another seat or get lost. More on principle than cost I think, we continued to use it from that machine. They have a nice tool to create a wrapped installer that you put on your web site and your customers just click to download. It installs, and immediately launches, configures, and connects to us. I must admit that's slick. Too bad it only connected to the GM's computer.

So more frequently lately I just connect from my computer to the customer the more manual way. It pops up a "for non commercial use only" note on launch but hey we already paid for our license and I'm the only using it so whatever, it works fine. We never use more than one instance at a time, so as far as I see it, we're playing fair, we paid for one instance and are using one instance,

I had been seeing an update notice for teamviewer and I made the [i]mistake[/i] of running it and it upgraded me to version 7. Now it disconnects me after 15 minutes. Back to 6 I guess. Finally found the old app in a backup and reinstalled it. Nope! They "upgraded" my account online and now I can't use teamviewer 6 anymore. Bastards. I really hate it when computer software actively fights me trying to get my job done. (6 is compatible with 7, the only difference apparently is the timeout they added, so don't be a fool and "upgrade") So they're not on my Good List anymore. I have to pay twice to use once, and they absolutely do NOT care to work with me on it. Greed wins over customer service with them, unfortunately.

I hate to see that happen with good products. Alsoft DiskWarrior is the same way, incredibly useful product, horrible customer service.

Re:Easy (0)

lxs (131946) | about 3 months ago | (#45848133)

Use VNC to connect from your PC at home to your machine at work. From your work PC use Remote Desktop to take control of your GMs computer and use then Teamviewer to connect to the customer. Easy!

Re:Easy (1)

profplump (309017) | about 3 months ago | (#45848319)

Only if you're okay with your remote access solution registering with a third-party that writes all of the software involved and with whom you don't have a contract.

How about for chromebooks? (1)

goombah99 (560566) | about 3 months ago | (#45848579)

Got my mom a chromebook which is almost perfect for her. There's 3 current problems for the chromebook I have to solve:

1) unlike her old mac, I have no way to remote desktop to her machine to fix her problems. Is there any Remote desktop that lets me view a chromebook's screen. Google's own chrome remote desktop runs on everything except chromebooks it seems. Oh the irony.

2) Chrome books can't print to any USB connected printer. They require a compliant mac or PC to be in the household that they can piggy back off of. Either that or you have to buy one of a very few and not cheap choices of Cloud ready printers google has specified.

3) I need to find an modest priced ~20" external display for this computer that has easy to adjust brightness and tilt. I have an acer screen sh is using but like most screens these days the controlls to ajust brightness are so asinine menu you have to toggle through. The problem I have is that since I don't live near a best buy or a target I have no way to go test drive screens for simple brighness controls. The manufaturer's haven't seen fit to add to their descritpive features the notation: "Does not have jackass menus that old people can't use to do obvious things like brightness controlls". The also should advertise "does not take two hand and two feet dexterity in a standing position to simply adjust the goddamn tilt of the crappy plastic screen stand". Seriously, apple products fit and finish for these little details is seriously underrated. it's so easy to tilt an apple screen with one hand and have no danger of it toppling.

4) the fourth problem I have with chromebooks is not really germain to my mom's needs--- just my own. It appears that despite being a so called cloud computer there's no easy way to mount a local network disk on these things.

I really do like the chrome book idea however so I'm tying to work through this. I tried to go the the Linux route to fix the network issues but Chrombooks are not meant for running linux due to the crippling limitations imposed by having to run in developer mode.

Re:How about for chromebooks? (1)

goombah99 (560566) | about 3 months ago | (#45848647)

btw: I tried to use team viewer but team viewer needs java so it doesn't run on chromebooks.

shills and crap marketin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45848909)

Mmm very suspect. The first comment to get up is about Teamviewer. perhaps Teamviewer paid someone to write this question and start a remote access war???? TViewer, Logmein or NoMachine. Take your pick.

Teamviewer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45846859)

Something something SSH if you don't need remote desktop, something something Dropbox if you need to share files between machines.

Dropbox? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 3 months ago | (#45846919)

He clearly stated he cant take files off premise. Going off that fact, by accessing his PC remotely i bet he is also violating a few rules in the process.

Re:Dropbox? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 3 months ago | (#45847079)

Really? I find most organizations have done a good job of setting up VPN access to their systems that don't break any rules.

It's a largely solved problem.

Re:Dropbox? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45847155)

Is that you Edward Snowden?

Re:Dropbox? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45847295)

Circumventing the company's security would probably violate a lot of rules. Accessing the files from home would however constitute copying, which very well could be considered illegal.

My solution: Ask the IT-department if there is a permitted remote access solution in place already. If not, bring up the issue with your boss. If your boss is sane, (s)he will realize how it will improve productivity. Otherwise, change jobs or move closer to the office.

Re:Dropbox? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 months ago | (#45847557)

Otherwise, change jobs or move closer to the office.

How would that help if it would involve moving farther from the significant other's office?

Re:Teamviewer (1)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | about 3 months ago | (#45847785)

Something something forget Dropbox if you have SSH access something something or if you need DropBox like syncing and have SSH access make a git repo and use SparkleShare.

stream video? (1)

neghvar1 (1705616) | about 3 months ago | (#45846885)

Are you saying that you need a remote access app to stream video from your home PC to a work PC?

Re:stream video? (1)

Barsteward (969998) | about 3 months ago | (#45846921)

I have no idea what he's talking about. If he only uses his home PC for watching TV, why does he need to remote into it for work when the files are at work and he can't take them away?

Am i having a post new year brain fault?

Re:stream video? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 3 months ago | (#45846991)

Yeah, for viewing videos at home, a simple file share would work just fine. As far as files that are supposed to remain at work, accessing them remotely from his android device would probably go against the entire policy. If you can't bring them out on a USB drive, there's no way they're going to set you install a custom server on your work machine. Anything that doesn't require a custom server like DropBox would be out of the question as well.

Re:stream video? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 3 months ago | (#45846993)

Both of these sound like he needs some sort of "cloud" solution that is local to his home and work environment. Remotely accessing the PC is just overkill.

Share files? Samba/CIFS.

Watch TV? Install client for your streaming service or cable provider.

Re:stream video? (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 3 months ago | (#45847099)

Perhaps he has a media center PC which he'd like to drive from his smartphone? Only thing that makes any sense in my mind.

Re:stream video? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45847891)

Hehe, just goes to show how the slashdot editor (timothy) values his customers (i.e. us).

"Hey assholes, we feel it's the best use of _your_ collective time to figure out how this dude can steal documents from his work. The dude has a job, but mommy doesn't give him access to the credit card, so only free HIGH QUALITY solutions! (sorry, can't be bothered to create a more coherent description - just figure it out/waste some additional time speculating as to the real ask)"

At least in the old days when someone demanded it was free, you could assume it was not in the free-as-in-beer meaning, and a lot would be forgiven.

Okay, maybe a bit harsh, but I'm not too tolerant of the "gimme gimme gimme" type questions. What person holding a job can't afford a couple $$ app?

VNC works quite well (3, Funny)

3.5 stripes (578410) | about 3 months ago | (#45846889)

I don't know if I'd want to use it to watch tv though..

Re:VNC works quite well (2)

rwa2 (4391) | about 3 months ago | (#45847173)

"VX Connectbot" for ssh / tunneling setup. It has a few useful fixes from the regular "ConnectBot" app, primarily with keybindings you need to send ctrl keypresses, etc.

I just use androidvnc for occasional VNC access to my boxes. Use UltraVNC server on Windows, and I think "Chicken of the VNC" server for OSX (it's been a few years, there might be better servers now). And play around with tigervnc on Linux.

Of course, VNC doesn't do audio... but I imagine you're using it as a remote control for your settop PC? There's an Android app for XBMC or whatever that you could probably connect to your samba share somehow.

Team Viewer (4, Informative)

alta (1263) | about 3 months ago | (#45846893)

I use teamviewer. Free for personal use. Does what you need.

Drive my kids nuts when they're on the computer and Daddy randomly connect to see what the heck they're doing. Keeps them on their toes and off questionable sites. With the help of opendns... I'll eventually put in a proxy when they get older though. Preserving what innocence I can...

Re:Team Viewer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45846927)


Re:Team Viewer (5, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 3 months ago | (#45847061)


Fascist is but one of the duties of a parent who actually cares about his children's upbringing. Obviously, a duty your parents failed to fulfill.

Shame, that.

Re:Team Viewer (0)

jedidiah (1196) | about 3 months ago | (#45848255)

Spying is fine. The real problem is the fact that your hiding it. What this really shows is that you are just as ashamed of it as everyone else here expects you to be. You're not man enough to do this kind of stuff out in the open.

It's like uniformed police in marked cars versus the Gestapo.

Re:Team Viewer (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 3 months ago | (#45848493)

Yea, I loved how my parents did everything out in the open; made it a heck of a lot easier to work around all those restrictions since I knew what they were.

(This actually isn't true - my parents were smart enough to know better)

Your problem appears to be that you are conflating parenting with running a government, when the two couldn't be further opposed. A parent has every cause and need to secretly monitor their legal charges, AKA kids, for reasons that should be made obvious by the use of the term, "legal charges." Since the government has no vested interest in making sure every citizen follows every law (much the opposite, in fact: the government depends on law-breaking for fund-raising purposes), they do not have the same cause nor need.

Plus that whole, pesky "Constitution" thing.

Re:Team Viewer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45848733)

Yes, every good parent plans to remotely spy on their grown children. That's not creepy at all, and sure won't create a plethora of developmental and behavioral issues in children. Why would 'I'll never trust you and you are not allowed privacy because I see you as more of a Hallmark card than a person' cause any problems?
Why, I had a friend with an overbearing mother; no matter how innocuous the activity, she would find a way to spin it into a potentially fatal one. Every mistake he made would be turned into a cautionary tale of how it could have killed someone. And he turned out just fine! Sure, he dropped out of middle school, never leaves the house, and doesn't have a job, and he's so terrified of failure that he never does anything riskier than watching Youtube, but he's more innocent that way.

Re:Team Viewer (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45847171)

I'm intreged by the idea of parenting in the same political philosophy that you would apply to governments. Libertarian children would be interesting. I'd love to see an infant earn his wage, rather than just sucking off his parents teets like a litte socialist rat.

Re:Team Viewer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45847201)

Keeps them ... off questionable sites


Ah, I see, urban dictionary deffinition 5:

5. facist
a person who has a bias against facebook and people who use it. this bias can either be rational or irrational.

Re:Team Viewer (2)

detritus. (46421) | about 3 months ago | (#45848553)


He just wants to destroy the concept of privacy for his children early since they'll live in a society with none. It's for the security of the entire nation as his kids could be terrorists.

Re:Team Viewer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45848659)

Do you have a job? Guess what... they decide what you watch on thier connections. Same should go for home... why should a 15 year old be allowed to look up porn?

Re:Team Viewer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45847791)

I use teamviewer. Free for personal use. Does what you need.

Drive my kids nuts when they're on the computer and Daddy randomly connect to see what the heck they're doing. Keeps them on their toes and off questionable sites. With the help of opendns... I'll eventually put in a proxy when they get older though. Preserving what innocence I can...

All you are doing is alienating your children.

You say it "drives them crazy". The translation for that in teenager-speak is "dad is
a paranoid jerk and I can't wait to move to my own place where he won't be able to
fuck with me".

How do I know this ? My father used to spy on me like you are doing. It didn't stop
me from doing anything, and it caused a rift between us due to the profound lack
of respect he showed me when he violated my personal privacy.

Your behavior is sad and wrongheaded. And it is especially ironic in light of how the American
people ( the ones who are paying attention at least ) detest the US government for
spying on them. You are acting like an amateur version of the NSA toward your CHILDREN !

By the way, the intelligent way to protect your children is to TEACH them how to
make wise choices, not to teach them they are under surveillance and need to
live in fear of being caught while they may be merely exercising normal curiosity
as is the manner of all children. When you teach them to be wary of your surveillance,
all you are doing is lowering the probability they will come to you and talk openly and
honestly with you when they have problems they imagine you won't find acceptable.


Files... Not Allowed to Take? (4, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 3 months ago | (#45846905)

I need it to work on files I am not allowed to take out when leaving.

Are your bosses going to be cool with you transmitting all that data over innumerable, unsecured pipes they have no control over? Because if they don't want you sneaker-netting the stuff out...

Re:Files... Not Allowed to Take? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 3 months ago | (#45846971)


If his IT people are on the ball, he will run into blocked ports and get reported to management, then let go.

Re:Files... Not Allowed to Take? (3, Informative)

pr0fessor (1940368) | about 3 months ago | (#45847381)

I was reminded of a time when I had to do exactly that... It was an awkward situation where an entry level {hourly wage} employee had already placed a request for remote access but had been been denied by his management.

I like go getters that are willing to put in some extra time to do a good job but if the company doesn't want you taking files home and won't give you remote access then chances are you shouldn't be looking for a way to do it.

Re:Files... Not Allowed to Take? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 3 months ago | (#45848393)

IT cant block 443 and encrypted traffic through there is expected.

IT cant cope with us worker drones that know way more than they do.

Re:Files... Not Allowed to Take? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 3 months ago | (#45848525)

Its trivial to block that port except for connection to trusted remote addresses. its also trivial to see any attempt to connect to an unauthorized IP, call it a breech, and fire your sorry ass on the spot if you cant explain yourself well enough. ( oh and if you try to install any sort of client that pops up too, if you could even get it on your PC without ringing the alarm, also easy to do )

Want to try again, loser?

Re:Files... Not Allowed to Take? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45848739)

Exactly.. I have to block youtube all the time (HTTPS). The destination and source are not encrypted.

teamviewer.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45846907)

I am a fan of Teamviewer, it is free for personal use and allows for access to both PC's, Mac's, and some Linux distros from other computers or through iOS, Winodws 8 and Android devices

HR will have that pink slip ready for ya. (5, Insightful)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | about 3 months ago | (#45846913)

> I need it to work on files I am not allowed to take
> out when leaving

Where I used to work, this is grounds for immediate termination. I'm sure there's a reason you can't take those files home in a portable/flash drive (trade secrets, etc) and you want us to help you cirumvent that restriction?

Re:HR will have that pink slip ready for ya. (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 3 months ago | (#45847103)

I've got 2 theories about whoever posted this question (submitted as AC? Shocked, I tell you, shocked.):

1) They want to commit industrial espionage for whatever reason, but aren't smart enough to do it themselves

2) They work for some sort of group or agency that has an inherent interest in getting internet communities to accidentally help someone commit a crime, thus creating an illusion of culpability for said internet communities.

5 years ago, #2 would have been too tin-foil-hat crazy even for me; today, I just don't know.

Re:HR will have that pink slip ready for ya. (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 3 months ago | (#45847211)

#2 is kind of weird in this context though. It's not like Slashdot is a closed community. Anybody can join at any time, and you don't even have to create an account to post. Slashdot could only be defined as a "community" in the same respects as "people who visit the mall" could be called a "community".

Re:HR will have that pink slip ready for ya. (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 3 months ago | (#45847339)

Slashdot could only be defined as a "community" in the same respects as "people who visit the mall" could be called a "community".

Politicians, or rather people with political machinations, regularly use the term "community" to refer to any group of people they feel like lumping together arbitrarily.

To that end, AC could post a question of something, er, questionable here, an AC could answer it (maybe even the same AC who asked), and Senator Dumbfuck would spend the next day pontificating how Slashdot is a den of terrorists, and that every member of the site should be extra-judicially 'dealt with.' And the MSM would jump right in behind him.

Like I said, before the days of questionable LEO techniques such as parallel construction, [wikipedia.org] I too would have found such a theory too left-field to take seriously, but now...

Re:HR will have that pink slip ready for ya. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45847223)

I've got a simpler one (Occam and all): the submitter is a spergie and so is the "editor" that greenlit this pos.

Thanks Timmy!

Re:HR will have that pink slip ready for ya. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 months ago | (#45848985)

I need it to work on files I am not allowed to take out when leaving

Where I used to work, this is grounds for immediate termination.

Perhaps they mean that they're not permitted to actually copy the files, but the rules don't prohibit them from logging in and working on them remotely. This is really not all that unusual. They're probably already allowed to log in with the MSRDP client on windows, and they're just looking for the best client to do the same sort of thing from their phone so that they can solve quick problems without even leaving the bar.

RDP (4, Informative)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 3 months ago | (#45846929)

Microsoft's built-in remote display technology.

The best RDP client for Android is Remote RDP [google.com]

For the MAC, you could install xrdp [xrdp.org] which provides the same protocol to access linux/osx.

RDP is a very lightweight protocol, originally created by Citrix way back and bought or licenced by Microsoft, as they do with the bits of Windows that are any good.

Re:RDP (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45847167)

The RDP protocol is terrible. You should use xpra [winswitch.org] instead.

Re:RDP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45847249)

Give credit where credit is due. RDP is developed by Microsoft. Originally, Microsoft used Citrix MultiWin to support simultaneous logons back on NT 3.51 and 4.0, but Citrix did not create RDP.

Re:RDP (4, Informative)

Guspaz (556486) | about 3 months ago | (#45847285)

Microsoft's new RDP client is pretty fantastic. They bought out some company that made a cross-platform RDP client: I've tried both the OS X version and the iOS version (primarily on my iPhone, but also on my iPad), and overall it's worked extremely well. Better than the Windows client, dare I say. It's also available on Android.

Two big advantages for me on the iPhone: it's very fast (and seems to support some sort of progressive image compression that leads to low latency for getting something up on screen but still high quality as it loads in higher res imagery after) and has a very nice trackpad-like control option. For that mode, you basically can use the screen of the phone as if it were a touchpad, moving around a cursor. This works far better than the usual method most RDP clients use where you just tap on the screen where you want it to click. That's super inaccurate on a phone, while the trackpad style lets you be sure of where you're clicking.

I don't want to say that there aren't other clients supporting all this stuff, just that I've tried Microsoft's new clients and they work pretty darned well.

Re:RDP (1)

Princeofcups (150855) | about 3 months ago | (#45847553)

For the MAC, you could install xrdp [xrdp.org] which provides the same protocol to access linux/osx.

And you would get an X session on the Mac. Not too useful. VNC seems to be the preferred choice in the real world.

Re: RDP (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45847583)

WTF???? Why RDP?? Just use what's fast and free. Not SLOW. Not RDP nor VNC. I just read from another user that they use NoMachine. I suppose they're better late than never.

Er? (1)

Philip Mather (2889417) | about 3 months ago | (#45846931)

Is it me or does that rather sound like you're watching TV while in the office and working on company documents at home? Confusing summary perhaps but if not then my recommendation isn't going to involve an Android app! ;^)
"...whereas at the office, I need it to work on files I am not allowed to take out when leaving..."
...sounds like it would violate your contract and get you fired but IANAL.
To at least try and provide some useful response however I tried the one and only android implementation of XServer with SSH tunnelling, it sucked. Hard. I'd try a VNC app if there is one.

Not Free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45846955)

I use VNC Viewer from REALVNC. It costs a couple bucks, but works wonderfully.

2X Client RDP/Remote Desktop (3, Interesting)

BingmanO (1365957) | about 3 months ago | (#45846957)

I find 2X Client RDP/Remote Desktop to work very well on the Android. It has full support for RDP in Windows. not sure about Mac, never had to use it.

Re:2X Client RDP/Remote Desktop (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 3 months ago | (#45847021)

I also use 2X to avoid being a bypass tray "printer sprinter" for custom photoshop print jobs. I don't think it works past a LAN though but I've never tested it.

Re:2X Client RDP/Remote Desktop (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 3 months ago | (#45847661)

My only annoyance with it is that I can't use the keyboard of my choice. I do like how they do the mouse, though.

Re:2X Client RDP/Remote Desktop (1)

DdJ (10790) | about 3 months ago | (#45848501)

I find 2X Client RDP/Remote Desktop to work very well on the Android. It has full support for RDP in Windows. not sure about Mac, never had to use it.

RDP will not connect to MacOS. This should not be surprising -- it's the built-in protocol from Microsoft.

The remote display protocol that Apple built in is based on VNC, and can be configured to work with standard VNC clients. So my answer to the original user's question would be "use your favorite RDP client for the Windows boxes, and your favorite VNC client for the MacOS boxes".

On iOS, I use iSSH for both. It's an SSH client that has a built in RDP client, VNC client, and X11 server (remember that server and client are "reversed" for X11) and tunnels all three protocols over ssh. I do not know if there's a similar program for Android, but for iOS this one has been awesome.

Logmein + Plex (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45846963)

I have been using Logmein Professional for the past month and it has been awesome, it will steam HD video but I use a Plex Media Server for that (especially with cloud sync).

Worst submission of 2014 already? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45846973)

My god, I've read the "summary" 5 or 6 times and still can't parse wtf the submitter is looking for.

- Android is only mentioned in the title, nowhere in the rest of the submission
- They need to use remote access to their home machines at home to watch TV
- They need to access files at work that can't be taken off-premises? Ignoring the assumed company policy violations, how does remote access to their home machines help that at all?

4 incomprehensible sentences and we're supposed to suggest solutions? Holy shit...

Re: Worst submission of 2014 already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45847777)

It's obvious. Home and work means he's self employed. Not all of us out there work at the IBMs and Microsofts of the world. What's wrong with wanting a free solution for both multimedia streaming and for working on files?

You mean VPN? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 3 months ago | (#45847039)

Depending on how your organization has set things up, I installed the Juniper Pulse client on my Android.

The 2X RDP client used to work and then stopped, but I suspect that's more on the VPN side than the RDP side.

For us, since we're already using the Juniper VPN stuff, the Android access was pretty darned easy. Awfully handy for keeping tabs on emails while on vacation.

Confused, so here's a cross platform solution (5, Funny)

PNutts (199112) | about 3 months ago | (#45847041)

Watch TV while at home. Work on files while at work.

Splashtop does a fine job. (3, Insightful)

Maximalist (949682) | about 3 months ago | (#45847083)

Splashtop works, but isn't free. I do find it is smoother and less buggy feeling than the free VNCs. There's supposed to be a google chrome RDP plugin too, but I've not played with that yet.

RealVNC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45847289)

RealVnc is encrypted and easy to use, you can customize it easily from both Mac or PC side.

I currently run a lab of 40 servers PC and MAC and from the comfort of my couch I have control everyone of them from my Nexus 7 tablet, Ipad mini and my nexus 5 phone if im on the go!

The app is a few dollars but worth every penny for me that is...

if you want something that works and does the job i'd go with RealVnc.

How about an enterprise solution...? (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 3 months ago | (#45847297)

Assuming this is going to be a company official solution, the IT department should look at Citrix Marketplace and XenDesktop. This will allow use of Citrix Receiver on PC Web browsers, Android devices, and iOS devices.

This is up to par with security, it can be configured to whatever security policies a company has, even including a gateway that one uses a SecurID token to get past, and it is a system that is engineered to handle various corporate and governmental regulations.

Yes, there are other ways, but this is an "official" solution that will pass audits and the legal eagles.

NoMachine for personal and enterprise use (1)

BillBrains (1686056) | about 3 months ago | (#45847497)

An enterprise solution like Citrix is hardly a solution for a home user. We've been using NoMachine for the past six months and now they've released their Android app, my wife and I are well chuffed for sharing files and doing remote work (we are both architects)

re: Best App for Android For Remote Access to PC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45847379)

NoMachine have finally released their app in beta. For streaming TV from your PC it beats Teamviewer. For access to files, I've used them since they started out and what with servers for mac and pc, I think the other solutions should watch out.

The summary clear as mud. (1)

westlake (615356) | about 3 months ago | (#45847421)

I need to get remote access to my home PC. At home, it's basically for watching TV, whereas at the office, I need it to work on files I am not allowed to take out when leaving.

The best sense I can make of this is that you want to watch TV on the job and work at home on documents you are not cleared to access outside the premises. Security at that level comes with teeth that bite. Hard.

mac == pc (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45847425)

If you think otherwise, you drank too much kool-aid...

VNC but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45847507)

...any good administrator is going to know what you are up to, are there no devices that can filter and monitor outside traffic by port and application?

Remote access vs. taking files home (2)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 3 months ago | (#45847641)

If your security policy forbids removing files from the workplace, are you sure remote access isn't going to get you hot water as well? From a security standpoint, remote access to the same files you're not allowed to bring home is pretty much one of the same.

That said, the best free way of accessing a remote desktop is going to be VNC running on the localhost endpoint and then an openssh connection of some sort (forward or reverse) to authenticate and tunnel. You could also use FreeNX but configuration has historically be a PITA.

SSH (2)

carp3_noct3m (1185697) | about 3 months ago | (#45847697)

SSH is what you should be using as your connection core, and then using VNC on top if you want a gui. On windows, I've found the cygwin based SSH servers superior (have tested almost every single windows SSH server that is FOSS).

Side note: Wow it's been a long time since I logged into /.


Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45847795)

Use MSTSC, built in for Windows

LogMeIn (3, Interesting)

RedBear (207369) | about 3 months ago | (#45848899)

Kind of surprised nobody has mentioned LogMeIn. It's free for personal use on up to 10 computers. There's a LogMeIn app for iOS and Android, which is free*. Then there's LogMeIn Ignition ($30), which lets you do file transfers, printing and other useful things if you're using LogMeIn Pro on the computers, which I think is something like $70 per computer per year. I bought LogMeIn Ignition for my iPad a couple years back and I've been using the free version of LogMeIn to connect remotely to Windows and Macs for years. Seems to work well even on relatively slow connections and on networks with fairly restricted firewall setups on either or both ends. I've even used it over a 3G connection, connecting to a 27" iMac no less.

LogMeIn are the ones who bought Hamachi, which lets you easily set up secure private networks between collections of Macs and PCs. Also free for personal use, up to five computers or something like that. Been using Hamachi to get secure remote access to certain oddball ports/services on remote computers for several years now. Hamachi however seems to have trouble connecting if certain ports are blocked on the network, so I've had much better luck using LogMeIn for remote desktop connections.

Not affiliated, just a satisfied user of both products. I haven't had any significant experience with TeamViewer so I can't make any direct comparisons, but I do know that when I was checking them out I didn't much care for how anal retentive TeamViewer is about licensing.

* I can't find the free LogMeIn app for Android. Maybe there isn't one. So I guess that leaves LogMeIn Ignition for Android, which is $30. It's one of the most expensive apps I ever put on my iPad (1st Gen), but it's been helpful enough and reliable enough that I think I can recommend purchasing it for Android if you like LogMeIn, especially if you want to do easy file transfers between your computer and your device.

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