GoToMyPC takes a radically different approach to remote access. Instead of requiring users to dial into the host PC, the host PC maintains a passive out bound only link with GoToMyPC's servers.
When you want to access the host PC, you make a web browser connection with the service's servers via the main GoToMyPC web portal login. It uses simple web pages to present the remote user with a representation of their host PC's screen.
Most of the hard work - including screen resolution resizing - is carried out by the host and client computers, and it allows users of almost any browser to access the host PC. There is also a version for PocketPC-based PDAs.
The service uses 128-bit AES encryption, making it the most secure remote access application we've seen to date. As you'd expect, logins are protected by a secure sockets layer session.
One of the downsides is the cost. Because the service is internet-based, ExpertCity will charge you from $14.95 a month for access, depending on how you choose to pay.
The service supports remote printing, as well as PC-to-PC file transfers. Security-wise, the software auto-blanks your screen and locks down the keyboard when you are away from the remote terminal.
We were impressed with the way the host PC interfaces with the GoToMyPC servers. Instead of listening constantly to the servers, or maintaining a passive channel into the service, the host PC pings the GoToMyPC servers every 15 seconds to check whether there is a remote session calling.
This approach makes the solution highly secure, since hackers using TCP/IP sniffing applications will not be able to 'see' the host PC - only the GoToMyPC servers can initiate a live connection.
The support lines are 24-hour in theory, but expect to have to leave messages at busy times. Calls are usually returned within four hours.
Documentation is relatively simple because the software and allied service is simple. But do not expect to be able to edit the host PC's registry if everything goes wrong.
On the other hand, if you want a service that takes around 10 minutes to get rolling, this is the package for you. With its 128-bit AES encryption, this is the ideal service for an office PC user who wants to access their machine whilst working away from home.
Simple to install and use. Very secure, running in minutes after a relatively light download.
Expensive in the long term. Requires a constant connection between the host PC and the internet.
Very easy to use, relatively bullet-proof with good support. Aimed at business users willing to pay a regular subscription for a comprehensive service.