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Need Suggestions for Alternative to PCanywhere
gotta help daughter support PC while she is at college!

 7:43 pm on Aug 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Please, are there any "cheaper (much cheaper)" alternatives to PCanywhere available?

Just need to help my kiddo with her computer problems while she is away at college.

Anyone had any direct experience trying to do this same thing, where you have to log onto a PC remotely that resides on a college network?



 7:48 pm on Aug 25, 2005 (gmt 0)


PCAnywhere is probably slicker, but this is free.


 7:56 pm on Aug 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

There is also Sunbelt Remote Administrator.

I've been using it for years and really, really like it.

OF course if she's using XP you can turn on the free, built-in Terminal Services.


 8:05 pm on Aug 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Remote desktop works for me, super easy to set up, I am not sure if you need a VPN or not though.


 8:24 pm on Aug 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

RealVNC. It doesn't do file transfers, but it's free and works great. It needs some combination of ports 5700, 5800, and 5900 open on the remote end.


 11:00 pm on Aug 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

"where you have to log onto a PC remotely that resides on a college network?"

It's doubtful the college network will allow the ports that some of these things require to be forwarded to the pc in question.

Pc anywhere wouldn't work, nor would any other remote access program that requires port forwarding of any type, unless the college network admins are totally incompetent of course.


 11:07 pm on Aug 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

You may want to setup a vpn connection from your daughters computer to your network. At that point you can connect to whatever ports you need. Some broadband routers will act as a VPN server via 3rd party firmware. Such as the Linksys wrt54g using sveasoft firware.


 11:20 pm on Aug 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

If the person is within a college network, they won't have any control over the routing, that runs through the network routers. And most college network admins won't allow custom port forwarding through their systems since that creates a nightmare situation in terms of managing it all.

There may be a way around it, can't remember the technology, but nothing standard would work I think, maybe vpn as you say if done correctly.


 1:32 am on Aug 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

True. PC Anywhere will use a dialup connection, and there are cheap copies available on eBay.


 3:57 am on Aug 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

We use GotoMyPC at work. Works great - supports file transfer etc. Works especially good when using it on my XDA to handle urgent situations.


 1:32 pm on Aug 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

mcavic sid:
PC Anywhere can use a "dial up".

Is that the secret to doing this?

Do any of the other products mentioned work via dial up, rather than trying to go through the networks?


 1:52 pm on Aug 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

> help my kiddo with her computer problems while
> she is away at college.

Actually, and it's gonna be a tad hard to do, ya need to let her figure out that every college student needs to develop a new friendship with a student who is very much a techie. It's just another mini lesson on the adulthood highway that as much as we may wanna, we canna always be there for them post secondary school.

Every college student, male or female, needs a techie friend and a musician friend to pal around with while wearing a great pair of kicker shoes, an old pair of perfectly comfortable no matter how ratty blue jeans, preferably with a tad bit of pizza money in the pocket.


 3:00 pm on Aug 26, 2005 (gmt 0)


Very wise statements and I have been telling her that for a good while.

I just need to get her past some humps until she can find that college geek friend.


 3:08 pm on Aug 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

gotomypc .com is a great tool for this. Inexpensive and works like a charm. Have used it all over US as well as Europe and love it. You can get 30 days free if you go to the site and click on the microphone and type in xmradio. It should be unlimited use if not just call support which is also great by the way and they will make it unlimited for that time period. No more issues with carrying laptops through airports etc. One of the best little programs I have come across besides trillian.


 3:29 pm on Aug 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Is that the secret to doing this?

It may be. With network security, it'll be hard to get an inbound network connection. PCAnywhere is the best dialup product that I know of ...

GoToMyPC should work too, but the monthly fee will cost much more than a copy of PCAnywhere, even just for 1 year.


 4:31 pm on Aug 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks all...

Turns out that 4specs may get the vote
http://ultravnc.sourceforge.net/ PCAnywhere is probably slicker, but this is free.

because the university computer support guys like and use VNC! Of course they use it inside the university firewall so there may still be some issues.

The VNC site mentions "dial-up", but I can't find any documentation or confirmation on their site that convinces me they support it. Any comments on this?


 7:55 pm on Aug 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Remote access through dialup is horrible, I'd say barely useable, but when I tried it once, I have to say totally unuseable. Every time you move your mouse all that graphical gui data has to transfer over a phone line, it would drive you crazy to wait for the results of each motion you made.

That's why it isn't even mentioned I'd guess, it's just not practical.


 8:03 pm on Aug 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Actually, PCAnywhere does pretty well on dialup. Of course it's slow, but I'd say very usable. It helps to have a good phone line. You need a connection speed of at least 42,000 bps or so. Some phone systems are noisy, so they limit the speed.


 11:35 pm on Aug 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

I use GoToMyPC to get through my corporate firewall. I've been using it for several years and it's the only solution that can count on.

For internal networks I use VNC variants. My current favorite is Ultr@VNC. It has finally reached version 1.0 and it's quite stable. The only problem I've encountered is getting through some of the stricter firewalls.

A third alternative that hasn't been mentioned here is the Windows XP Remote Desktop. This is built in to WinXP so there's no cost involved. Given the right network conditions it's a very stable platform. It all depends on the school's network.

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