Laplink made its name with a single piece of software that connected two PCs together so you could copy files between them. In a way, Laplink Everywhere 4 still does exactly the same thing. The difference is that it connects any computer on the Internet to the PC it’s run on, securely and uniquely, so you and only you can get at your programs and files.
Laplink Everywhere 4 is a two-part application. First you install the Laplink Everywhere server on the PC you want to be able to control remotely – the base PC. Under Windows XP Professional or Windows 2000, the program automatically integrates with Windows’ Remote Desktop Protocol, Microsoft’s own mechanism for remote control. With Windows XP Home, Me or 98, Laplink has its own routine to do the same.
Second, there’s an ActiveX control that downloads from the Laplink 2 Go site each time you want to link with your PC remotely. You have to set up an account before you start using Laplink Everywhere 4 and log into it before you can do make a link, so you have user name and password protection, which prevents anybody else linking to your base PC. The Laplink servers use 128-bit SSL encryption, so should be pretty secure.
Once you’re logged in, a link is established between your remote PC and the base PC running the server. At this point you see the base PC’s desktop (though with a standard, plain blue wallpaper) and can operate it as if you were sitting at its keyboard. Outlook or Outlook Express can download e-mail and you can view files by opening their corresponding applications. You can make a connection to your base PC from a Web-connected PDA, too.
All this happens pretty slowly, though the speed will be governed by the data rate of your broadband connection: 1Mbps or more is good. If you need to transfer files between the remote and base PCs, you can run a ‘classic’ Laplink, twin-pane file copy application, which is faster than controlling things remotely.
Of course, to be able to contact and control a PC remotely, it has to be left turned on and with a permanent broadband connection to the Internet; a dial-up connection is too slow for useable remote control, though might be acceptable for file transfer. Some BIOSes enable power-up from standby on an incoming call, but that will depend on the system board in your PC.
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