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Sometimes I work from home and I use either of these 2 methods:

  • Teamviewer
  • VPN + Remote desktop

When I connect with VPN I am however unable to browse any websites on my own computer, which can be very inconvenient when I am basically waiting an hour for somebody else to finish his job to do a 5 minute job. It would be nice if I could still continue browsing.

A solution for this is Teamviewer. With Teamviewer I can manage the other computer, without suffering the restrictions of using the VPN. Everybody in the working area however, can see me using my computer remotely and this is not a good situation either, especially during work hours.

I would like a solution that allows me to continue browsing normally and still control my remote workstation, without other people seeing every move I make on the workstation.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

LogMeIn Free allows you to blank the screen and/or lock the keyboard with a single mouse click.

It offers the fastest and overall easiest experience of any remote control application I have ever tested.

It's extremely fast to connect, secure, and even the free offering is feature-rich (Wake on LAN works perfectly, but only if there is another machine in the office with LMI installed too). It allows you to copy and paste text and images from the clipboard between the remote and local host- but not actual files.

There is a lot of overlap with what Teamviewer offers: on slower internet connections you tend to find LogMeIn manages to offer a better experience than Teamviewer. The advantage of Teamviewer is that the free version can send all audio back to your home PC so you hear sounds originating from the remote PC (not very useful in reality- I tend to mute it) and it also offers a very powerful built-in FTP client so you can move files back and forth once you are remotely controlling a PC.

Despite all that, I rely on LogMeIn primarily for remote support as the actual remote support experience it offers is the best- hands down. For most people, that is the most important factor- not the bells and whistles. LogMeIn sessions are often able to reconnect if there is a connectivity blip, and it feels slightly more responsive.

The free version of Teamviewer automatically disconnects you periodically, without warning- even if you are still actively using it. LogMeIn do not kick free users offline in the middle of long remote control sessions.

Also, every time you close Teamviewer (if you aren't paying for it) it throws up a "thank you for playing fairly" nag screen. LogMeIn starts and stops sessions without any such popups. They don't need to nag people to get them to pay. I was a free user for 3 years, then finally subscribed to LogMeIn Central so I could add an unlimited number of computers to my account for my business (otherwise you are restricted to "only" 10).

Once you're done, just log out again using the Start Menu, then hit "disconnect". By default, I believe LogMeIn will lock your Windows session if you disconnect or lose the connection anyway. You can also do a regular "lock" by clicking the ctrl-alt-del shortcut key (visible in my screenshot as button 4th from the left with 3 grey squares) then choosing "Lock this computer" from the regular Windows menu. It's very user-friendly.

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With the free version you can only access your remote computers via the website www.logmein.com? I would much rather use an application, but that seems impossible. –  ujjain Aug 11 '13 at 10:15

An appropriate forwarding table setup would allow you to continue browsing the web. After connecting to to your VPN server your forwarding table probably looks like this

Destination         Nexthop          Network Interface

VPN server IP       home router IP   ethernet adapter
default                              VPN tunnel

while it could be set up this way

Destination         Nexthop          Network Interface

PC@office IP                         VPN tunnel
default             home router IP   ethernet adapter

Of course, you can add additional PCs from the office network if you have to reach them from your home pc.

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When using TeamViewer, they have an option to "Show Black Screen" which does exactly that. It will show a black screen on the actual PC, but your connection will be normal. So for your workmates happening to walk past your PC will only see black screen.

If you want to prevent your workmates to bug you (by moving the mouse or tapping keyboard to check up on the screen) you can also use "Disable Remote Input" which will prevent that.

Hope this helps.

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