It’s not always possible to be in front of your PC or Mac at all times. Sometimes, you’re going to be out in the field with just your iPhone or iPad, and you desperately need to check something on your computer. That’s where remote desktop apps come into play. Here are 10 apps that are perfect for helping you access your computer, no matter where you are.
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1. Splashtop 2 Remote Desktop ($4.99) - Available in two varieties, Splashtop 2 allows you to access your PC either via the local network or via the internet. In both cases, you can stream video content, as well as view and edit various Microsoft Office based files, as well as PDFs. You can even play sophisticated games through the app, as well as view flash and java content via the full desktop browser of your choice.
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2. GoToMyPC (Free) - A subscription based service, GoToMyPC prides itself on simplicity and reliability. You can use it to easily access anything on your PC or Mac, no matter where you are in the world. You can use it to copy and paste between your computer and phone, multi task effectively, and quickly access important files. It even offers a 300% zoom feature, so you won't have to struggle with seeing anything on your phone screen.
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3. LogMeIn (Free) - Another subscription based service, LogMeIn is also remarkably simple. It offers an array of tweaks for getting your virtual mouse working just how you want it to, as well as a zoom and magnifying tool. If you've got a limited network connection, the ability to adjust display colors, resolutions, and speed, is a particular advantage.
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4. Screens VNC ($19.99) - With the convenience of a one-off payment, Screens VNC works across your Windows, Mac, and Linux based systems. Synchronized options mean you can carry on where you left off between multiple different devices, with support for gestures, hot corners, and clipboard sharing. Its flexibility is sure to entice users in.
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5. Jump Desktop ($14.99) - Jump Desktop is a simple to set up remote desktop app, compatible with RDP and VNC for added ease. Its real selling point is its Bluetooth mouse support, though. While it requires a specific type of mouse, for those willing to invest, it could be a real game changer. Server settings can be protected via Touch ID, and Jump Desktop is also one of the fastest clients out there. It's got all the bases covered.
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6. VNC Viewer (Free) - From the makers of VNC, the open engine that so many other apps embrace, unsurprisingly, VNC Viewer is pretty effective. Offering a free license as well as a more advanced premium one, there's flexibility when it comes to what you want. Typing is intuitive with support for special keys, and you use gestures and your finger as a mouse. It's straight forward and efficient.
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7. Microsoft Remote Desktop (Free) - It makes sense that Microsoft would have its own remote desktop app, although obviously don't expect there to be a Mac client available. The app does make it easy for Windows users though, offering a secure connection and seamless audio and video streaming. It really is quite like having your Windows PC in your pocket.
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8. TeamViewer: Remote Control (Free) - With a focus on teamwork, TeamViewer is there for you to access your PC, as well as your colleagues, and even work servers. It'll work behind firewalls and proxy servers, with high security standards protecting you. Multi monitor support is there, along with touch and control gestures, and wake-on-LAN options.
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9. Parallels Access (Free) - Parallels Access requires a subscription fee, but it's pretty useful. Besides allowing you to easily open up desktop apps as if they were native apps for your iOS device, it offers Apple Watch support for some basic settings. Its customized interface means you'll always be able to browse what's going on with your desktop, without straining your eyes, too.
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10. Chrome Remote Desktop (Free) - Google has to offer its own solution for everything, and it comes in the form of Chrome Remote Desktop. The app isn't perfect, with limited support for special keys, but it is handy if you just want to log on to retrieve some files or photos.