Invite someone to connect remotely? On my computer? Can they do that?

If you’re new to “remote administration” or “remote computing”, the idea of someone working on a desktop computer from a distance may sound a bit strange at first.

After all, the media are full of horror stories about spammers and cyber criminals who would give an arm and a leg just to get to innocent people’s private data in order to steal their money. Or steal their identity.

However, there are tons and TONS of software companies that offer solutions for remote computing. Try googling the phrase “remote computer access”. You’ll be surprised by the number of “PCAnywheres”, “BeAnywheres”, “GoToMyPcs”, “Logmeins” etcetera etcetera that will come flying by.

Microsoft even offers a technology called “Remote Desktop” (closely related to Terminals Services) straight out-of-the-box in Windows XP and Windows Vista.

Why would you care?

Why would you care to invite someone to connect remotely to your computer? And more importantly: shouldn’t you be doing everything in your powers to AVOID that someone connects to your computer over the internet?

Maybe you’ve heard of remote computing, or maybe the concept is new to you. Whatever the case may be, as a valued visitor of this website, I want to help educate you. So that you no longer need to look at a person as if he has three heads when they are talking about remote computing.

There are a number of reasons why you may want to invite someone to connect remotely to your pc

  • Let a friend show you how something is done from a distance as if he’s sitting next to you
  • Let someone configure your email client / firewall / photo sharing software…
  • Work together with a remote techie to solve a nasty printing problem on your computer
  • Or you can use the technology to access / print a document that you left on your office computer when you are at home
  • Avoid traffic jams and work from home on your office pc

Keep cyber criminals out!

You might be wondering “Is this safe?” How can you differentiate between someone you trust for remote assistance and someone who is after your private data?

First off, you usually discuss things with the person that is going to assist you BEFORE the actual remote assistance session takes place. That can be in a phone conversation or during a chat session or so, but the important part is that you actually EXPECT to see someone connecting remotely to your computer.

You also need to agree on HOW the connection will take place. This remote computer access article discusses some of the most important and secure solutions for remote access.

Second, you should always ALWAYS pick a remote computer access solution that is protected with one or more layers of password protection. Use strong passwords.

Also make sure to use a remote control solution that communicates over a secure, encrypted connection.

Microsoft’s remote desktop connection would be a safe method to invite someone to connect remotely, but if your computer is part of a small network or if it is hooked up to a router or firewall, it might require some additional tweaking before the connection will actually work.

Learn more about how to invite someone to connect remotely