A remote desktop utility allows you to connect to any computer through a remote desktop connection – as long as both the computers are connected to the internet. There are a good number of scenarios when a remote connection saves the day – following is an example:
You are providing tech support to one of your clients and he needs your help in fixing something. Sure, you can send all the instructions via an email message, but a remote desktop utility will allow you to use his computer directly from your computer itself. The result is that both you and your client can see his computer screen simultaneously. Additionally, you can completely control the remote computer with your own mouse and keyboard, create files and folders, change Windows settings and do any other possible system task.
A remote desktop connection lets you do everything on the remote computer from your own computer, as if you are operating just another system kept on your table.
Windows XP and Windows 7 both have built-in support for remote desktop connections, so if you know how to get that working, you don’t need a separate remote desktop utility. You might want to read our previous tutorial on setting up remote desktop connection in Windows XP .
However, if you are no geek and need a really simple way to access another remote computer from your browser, try the Google Chrome Remote desktop extension . This extension is a free download and lets you connect to any remote computer from Google Chrome, without having to install another application and go through rigorous setup procedure.
Here are the steps that needs to be followed:
1. Once you have installed the Google Chrome remote desktop extension on the host computer, click the wrench menu at the top right corner and choose Tools > Extensions.
2. This will open the extension page, click on “Launch app” to continue.
3. Sign in with your Google account and grant all the necessary permissions. Don’t worry – you will only have to do this once.
4. Click “Allow access” on the next page and you are done.
Important note: For the remote connection to work, ask your friend to install the extension and set it up as you did on your own computer. Both the host computer and the remote computer needs the extension to be installed and working in Google Chrome.
Sharing Your Computer With A Remote Partner
Sharing your computer with a remote partner is easy – launch the extension and click on “Share this computer”. The remote desktop utility will provide a 12 digit access code, as shown below:
Copy the 12 digit access code and email this to your friend with whom you want to connect your computer. Do not share this code publicly as anyone who knows this code can connect to your computer and do any activity (e.g delete files, change settings). Please note that this code is generated randomly and it will not be valid once the remote desktop session has expired.
Connecting To The Remote Computer From Your Desktop
If you want to connect to the remote computer of your friend from your desktop, ask him to use the extension and send you his unique 12 digit access code. When you have his access code, launch Google chrome on your computer, open up the extension page and click on “access a shared computer”.
Next, enter the access code ID of your friend and you are done. Both the computers will be connected via Google Chrome’s remote desktop extension and the host user will be able to completely control the remote computer using his own keyboard and mouse. This YouTube video  provides a complete walk through of the steps and the remote control environment on host and remote computers.
And since Google Chrome works on Windows, Linux and MAC, it doesn’t really matter which operating system your friend is using. Give this a try!