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I am the IT guy in my house and I was wondering if there is any free software that would enable me to click a button or key combination and take control of another computer on the network. To clarify this is not for pranking or anything I just want it so I do not have to get up every time a new alert box appears.

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What OS are the computers? –  Ivo Flipse Jul 28 '09 at 16:24
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5 Answers 5

up vote 14 down vote accepted
  • LogMeIn (If you want someone else to manage everything, and trust them not to steal your passwords or record everything you do)
  • VNC (If you want to manage everything yourself)
  • Remote Desktop (if you're running versions of Windows that support it)
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+1 for the different alternatives –  Ivo Flipse Jul 28 '09 at 16:21
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I would recommend VNC. Remote Desktop has some additional options to deal with, and VNC you can have a shortcut for each computer. Especially on LAN, VNC works great. –  Brian Jul 28 '09 at 16:32
    
Thank you for the quick replies. I have heard of VNC and it seems like it will do the job. Thank you –  MESLewis Jul 28 '09 at 16:38
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Downside to VNC being that it's much slower than RDP. Even on a LAN it's sluggish. For just clicking off warning boxes, it's fine, but for continual use, VNC gets old fast whereas RDP is not too terribly frustrating. –  Brian Knoblauch Jul 28 '09 at 16:49
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Upside to VNC being that you don't kick the user off, which RDP does. –  hyperslug Jul 28 '09 at 16:55
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If the computers are all on you can easily set up a remote desktop connection to the other computer. Probably the easiest solution, though it helps if you have a properly set-up network

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If you're using windows, a shortcut to an MSTSC configuration file should work just fine.

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I use Microsoft Live Mesh to do all my management for my home network and my business pc. An added bonus is that you can share folders that sync across each computer (or you can set it up so that it doesn't sync to a specific computer).

-JFV

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+1 for live mesh –  ajma Jul 28 '09 at 17:18
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I would recommend using the MMC 3.0 framework and then install the remote desktop snap-in. This will allow you to keep one instance of MMC open and you can have as many remote desktop sessions open inside the application as you deem appropriate. You can keep the connection to this other system open all the time so you can just do an Alt-Tab to get back to it.

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=61FC1C66-06F2-463C-82A2-CF20902FFAE0&displaylang=en

The RDP plug-in should come with the MMC framework. The remote desktop snap-in for MMC is also available to download separately.

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