Decided to play with different connections for my machines (The inspiration was in part this post at The Register): [Edit: added what they do]
1. SSH Tunnel using TunnelerX. Really easy to get going and just in case I forget what to do I have a screenshot of their page on the laptop. [Encrypts all data sent from your machine so no-one can eavesdrop]
2. Chicken of the VNC. Again easy to get up and running. My eldest is no slouch though – I installed it on her MB and from upstairs logged in to her machine, opened Textedit and started typing. She typed “Hi Dad” before I’d finished. Only have this running locally though. [Login to another machine and control it as if you were in front of it]
3. HamachiX. Still not difficult. I looked for some docs before just clicking New Connection and going for it. [Establish private network to link 2 or more machines anywhere on the net. I could let you browse my machine and take what you wished for instance.]
4. LogMeIn. Remote desktop. Free. Super easy to get working. [Login to another machine and control it as if you were in front of it]
As to what to use them for …
TunnelerX. I really should use all the time on the laptop and when J goes to the MB I’ll probably set hers up. Our home network is not encrypted at all – access to the router is by MAC address – so some sort of encryption would probably be wise.
Chicken of the VNC. I can better show J what to do with some apps probably and can use the laptop to see this screen I’m looking at right now but otherwise, no idea.
HamachiX. I could have done with this last weekend at my sister-in-law’s house. It was wanting that connection that made me look again at Hamachi.
LogMeIn. Reading IRC when I’m not in the house maybe…
I was pleasantly pleased with how easy these were to get working but the ability to spy on someone using Chicken was surprising. I would never ever check what the girls are doing on the net and I disagree with any parent who feels they need to spy so it was very odd when I did log in and saw her Facebook page, saw the IM client open, saw the background on her laptop changing – and she’ll not have known. That I could have sat and watched felt strange, very uncomfortable.
Anyway, it was all something I’d meant to get around to setting up and today I decided to play and see what happened – for once I’m not ending it frustrated.