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I want to monitor my kid's home PC usage.

Here's what I'm looking for:

  1. To be able to turn on a home PC remotely from laptop at work;
  2. Remote access the same home PC. Transfer files, open browser logs, email, etc;
  3. Close and turn off the home PC after session;
  4. Leave no footprint on the home PC (no record of access or host program running on toolbars, etc... total invisibility);
  5. Be able to load Host software to home PC via an USB flash drive. Looking for something that I can plug into home PC, auto load and setup Host program, then plug into laptop. No other setup needed. Quick and easy;
  6. Freeware is preferred, but I'm willing to pay a reasonable fee.

I vaguely recall reading about a Home Security Spyware product that does this, but a web search has been fruitless.

Does anything like this exist?

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4  
Why do you need to turn the computer on remotely to monitor usage? Are you planning to check some sort of logs from your office? I don't know what you mean by "load Host software to home PC via a USB flash drive." Do you mean "install"? If you're the admin of the PC, all this is possible. If not ... I wonder if you aren't really stalking your ex or something, this sounds hinky to me. –  CarlF Aug 22 '11 at 20:10
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There is a good meta post about how it does not matter why someone is asking for something, it should be answered anyway if it is on topic and otherwise meets the requirement of the FAQ. I cannot seem to find it, but perhaps @Random can. –  soandos Aug 22 '11 at 20:29

2 Answers 2

Depending on what you call reasonable price...

PCAnywhere has all the features you asked for and much, much more. Its not cheap though. You might be able to get an older version for less from an online vendor.

It works great, however I did have a site license available to me.

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  1. There is something called wake on lan that can wake up your computer.
  2. Some remote access software like logmein could do this, but there are others
  3. Shutdown through logmein
  4. Leaving no traces is something that is up to you. Don't modify anything, and you should be alright (unless they check the last accessed time)
  5. Logmein can do that
  6. Should all be free

There very well might be a package that does all this for you. If you can't find one, this combination should do the job.

NOTE: If neither your NIC (network interface card) or you motherboard support wake on lan, this is impossible.

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Wake on LAN is remarkably difficult to use over the Internet, probably impossible. –  CarlF Aug 22 '11 at 20:08
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If you shop around you can find some routers with a web interface that will send out a magic packet. Worst case would be to flash with ddwrt which can do WOL. –  Zoredache Aug 22 '11 at 20:14
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@CarlF: While I have never done it myself, it seems that there are many people that have with no issues. NAT and firewall issues are the most common though, and if the OP has a problem with either of those, feel free to post the issue (though look at the link provided by MaQleod first) –  soandos Aug 22 '11 at 20:15
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@CarlF: Subnet-directed broadcasts; many routers let you "port forward" to 192.168.1.255, for example. –  grawity Aug 22 '11 at 20:20
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@CarlF: Such a block would be very pointless and generate many false positives (and would be rather easy to verify, by the way). –  grawity Aug 22 '11 at 21:39

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