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Summary:

You can work from anywhere, but sometimes you need to access apps or files living on your desktop machine. And not all web workers (my brother, for one) likes the idea of their information floating around in the cloud. I’m InTouch offers an easy-to-use solution that […]

You can work from anywhere, but sometimes you need to access apps or files living on your desktop machine. And not all web workers (my brother, for one) likes the idea of their information floating around in the cloud. I’m InTouch offers an easy-to-use solution that allows you to connect with your own desktop machine through another computer, notebook or mobile device.

I'm InTouch BlackBerry

Accessing desktop files on a Blackberry

If you’ve checked out a past version of I’m InTouch, you may want to look at it again as it has improved considerably from earlier versions. The latest version adds support for 64-bit Windows computers and an easier remote printing process that allows you to print documents living on your remote computer to a printer in your current location.

I'm InTouch OptionsI didn’t get off to a good start with I’m InTouch. I tested it by using a laptop in a different room from my home office. I’m InTouch freezed a few times and it’s not obvious that the app has a menu that appears at the top of remote desktop screen. Because of my experience in using Remote Desktop, I moved my mouse to the top of the screen thinking something would pop up. It didn’t work until I clicked the “I’m InTouch” title bar; it’s a feature that should be more intuitive.

In my first test of the app from a remote location, I’m InTouch indicated that the desktop computer was offline. It turned out that my desktop lost its connection to the network (not I’m InTouch’s fault). However after fixing that snag, it behaved very well — just like I was sitting at my computer albeit with the small delay between my taking action and the computer’s response that is typical of many remote control apps.

Upon accessing your desktop, the default screen setting looks funky. I’ve used other remote control applications before and they also had the old 8-bit color mode look. This speeds interaction with the desktop, but you can change color mode to 16-, 24- or 32-bit if you prefer. You can also change the monitor view settings to fit window, full screen or actual size (clearest).

I have two monitors on my desktop, and the “fit window” option shows everything on both monitors in a small window. Using the other viewing sizes, you can scroll left to right and back to move from one monitor to the next as the next image shows the two monitors. I’m InTouch also has an option to view all monitors, Monitor 1 or Monitor 2, which is handy if you have a multiple monitor setup.

Two Screens

Scrolling from Monitor 1 to Monitor 2

How does I’m InTouch compare to GoToMyPC and other remote control apps? I’m InTouch provides more features for wireless devices including Outlook access, new email notification and webcam access. I’m InTouch also gives you direct access to your files, which works faster than trying to access them through the desktop and opening File Explorer in Windows. Those using Windows Mobile devices can use it to view and remote control their desktop machine. BlackBerrys, Palms and other select cell phones can access My Outlook and My Files to find and view files. To access your desktop from a mobile device, open the web browser and go to http://locator.01com.com (note the “s” in “https”).

The service comes with two plans: Standard and Premium. Premium requires having at least two licenses at $12.95 per month per computer, or $129.95 per year per computer. Premium includes the ability to remotely wake up a shut-down PC, central administration controls and a dedicated account manager. Standard edition costs $9.95 per month or $99.95 per year for accessing one computer. A free 30-day trial is available.

What remote access app do you use?

  1. Hi,

    I’m using a real VPN (virtual private network) over a UTM (unified thread management) appliance. The community edition of endian firewall is free for usage and offers the main features necessary.
    Accessing the network you can use openVPN which is free of charge also.
    Installation time approx. 2 hrs, up and running.
    Having a vpn installed you can use all the stuff you are used to. VNC for remote access, file browser, ftp, web-access, media server, …
    Read more about it: http://eine-minute.blogspot.com/2009/04/endlich-ein-sicherer-zugang.html (german only)

    Stefan

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  2. I’ve used the free version of LogMeIn for about 5 years now and it’s never let me down. As long as both ends are on a broadband connection, I can tap into the remote computer quickly and easily. I’ve used it to get to my home PC when I’m traveling, my Dad’s PC when he breaks something, my daughter’s laptop, and clients’ computers when they needed help. I have zero affiliation with the company. I’m just a satisfied user confused why others would use and actually pay for other products when there’s a perfectly good free alternative.

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  3. [...] Web Worker Daily just posted an article written by Meryl Evans about I’m InTouch 7.1 remote access.   Meryl wrote in the article that “I’m InTouch offers an easy-to-use solution that allows you to connect with your own desktop machine through another computer, notebook or mobile device.”  Read the entire article here. [...]

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  4. I wanted to respond to Scott. I’m actually affiliated with proxynetworks, and we get some converts from the free options. We’re more business oriented, but some smaller businesses try to use free rdp programs, and some are successful. But every new layer of network is a new layer of complication. Fixing your dad’s pc probably doesn’t involve getting through firewalls. Tech support is a great reason to pay for software, whether that’s in the form of a professional faq or talking live. That’s more true for business where downtime is a serious problem, but also true for individual consumers. -Alex

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  5. I have used the “I’m in Touch” tool for remote support servicing clients for years. I also use RealVNC and UltraVNC, but the tool I go back to is I’m in Touch for the situations where the client also needs to login remotely, as well and the ease of use of not having to muck around with other people’s firewalls and routers. “I’m in Touch” work virtually every time.

    Their “I’m on Call” service is reliable too. The thing about the free versions is that I have is who at the free version development offices is going motivated to answer the telephone during the time framwe of my client’s emergency when there is a problem. I would say that the I’m on Call service works about 99% of the time and then only fails where there is an unknown security application.

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