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accessing a distant computer

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#1 millipede


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Posted 29 August 2011 - 07:07 PM

Wasn't sure where this belonged, or what to title it.
Basically, my mom lives in Massachusetts and I live in Arkansas. She calls me from time to time to ask me about this or that... today, among a few other things, it was about a popup warning she gets from antivir about a file html/afriem.S (I don't want to turn this into an asking for virus help topic but, this only happens when she clicks on an email, any email, through juno, and only on her home computer, not at work.)
googling, I found nothing but lists of antivir's virus definitions.
So, I start running her through different things... look here, look there, run CCleaner, check this... etc.. etc...
But after a little while, it starts to get frustrating. I want her to download something, she asks "where" and I have to explain everything. It's just time consuming.

I know there are programs that a person can use so that I can gain control of her desktop all the way over there... But I've never looked into them. I'm going to go browse a trusted download site and see what those applications look like but, I wanted thoughts and/or advice from people that might already know about them.
Is this a good option? Is it safe? Program recommendations? Anything.
There's several things I'd like to look at on her computer that would be so easy if I could just be sitting there...

Oh, if this is in the wrong place, sorry. Feel free to move it.

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#2 Nanobyte


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Posted 29 August 2011 - 11:44 PM

I believe the most popular software is TeamViewer (freeware). I've used that and RealVNC. I found that TeamViewer was by far the easiest to set up regarding firewalls. The only thing I don't like about TeamViewer is that it uses their server to make the connection, like a DNS server. You can control the PC and transfer files (subject to the connection speed). I use RealVNC on my local network so I can operate all the PCs with only one monitor running. You can't do very fiddly things like graphic editing due to the time delay in screen update.

You can set up TeamViewer several ways including VPN. You can get the other party to set up a fixed password. That would allow you access any time the PC was on and connected. Alternatively, if the other party only wants you access with their permission, you can use the normal password system. When they start up TeamViewer afresh, a new password is generated and they would have to phone or email that to you so you can connect during their current TeamViewer session.

There may be some limitations applicable to all applications. I found that ZoneAlarm firewall settings can only be accessed by the mouse and keyboard of the local computer; no remote changes possible.

There is a lot of other software out there too.

#3 Bazcaz


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Posted 30 August 2011 - 12:48 AM

As suggested above "Team viewer" is excellent use it all the time for helping friends etc who are a long way away.


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