There once was a time when the fax machine and landline were our primary business communication tools. Today, many businesses have migrated to voice-over-IP (VOIP), mobile and web applications to manage their day-to-day communications with the outside world. Companies also use these tools to help better manage their information technology. Two of the biggest reasons being cost savings and ease of data access.
It's now easier than ever to access data on your home and business computers. Companies such as Citrix, LogMeIn, VMware and Microsoft offer software applications that enable you to access your network remotely via an internet connection anywhere in the world. Some of the apps are free while others come with an up-front or monthly subscription cost. Licenses that are purchased are usually a more robust or enterprise version of the application with added functionality and security features.
Let's look at an example of how remote access has helped me. I own a small business with a less than ten computing nodes. (PCs and servers) We license LogMeIn Pro which enables our sales, accounting and executive teams to share and transfer files, print, share desktops, remotely monitor and remote control desktops and servers from home or while out in the field from their PC or laptop. The days of having to be in the office are over!
The ability to remotely access my network on a secure connection from my Google Nexus 7 tablet enables me to be very productive while away from the office. I simply purchased and downloaded LogMeIn Ignition, logged in and immediately had access to the servers and workstations at our headquarters. There was a time when I had to be in the office to access my accounting system or web server. Not any longer. Now I have access to information that customers or vendors may need while I'm on the road. It can be the difference between winning and losing a deal.
Remote access software can be a great tool for the home user, too. Access files, pictures and other media that's on your home PC with your laptop, iPad, SmartPhone or other mobile device while away from home. GoToMyPc is a great application for the home user looking for an easy to use interface and relatively inexpensive solution.
Sean Gallagher is a technology enthusiast or as his wife calls him, a geek. He owns Sierra Microproducts, Inc., a small business based in Oceanside, California that specializes in enterprise computing solutions.