What the Tech? How to Access Your Home Computer from Anywhere
As the Delta Variant of COVID-19 begins spreading more across the world, many companies are re-thinking their employees working in the office. Many people are working from home or remotely again.
If you’ve ever been away from your primary computer you may have run into a situation when there’s something on that computer you need. Maybe it’s a file you need to send someone or a photo you’d like to get on your phone.
But it’s on a hard drive back at home.
If you use Google, there’s a free tool that gives you almost complete control of your computer from anywhere in the world. I’d almost forgot about Google Remote Desktop until I needed to move a file from one folder to another at home and send it to a Dropbox, but here I was in a coffee shop across town.
Chrome Remote Desktop is a web and mobile app that will let you see, send and share anything on your desktop PC or Mac when you’re away from home. The computer just needs to be running Google Chrome and be connected to your account.
Here’s how it works: install the Chrome extension on your home computer. You’ll find it in the Google Chrome Store. If you’ve never browsed through the Chrome Web Store it’s worth the visit to find extensions to make using Chrome much easier.
You’ll find the store by clicking on the “Apps” tab on the far left of your Chrome browser window. Google Remote Desktop will
connect to your Google account though your email address to give you access on a mobile device or another computer.
It’s passcode protected with 6 digits you’ll need to know to log in from your other devices. You’ll also need the Chrome Remote Desktop mobile app for iOS and Android devices.
The next time you need something on your home computer just open the mobile app, or log in to Google Chrome on another computer. It’s super simple.
From that coffee shop, I managed to control my home computer from a laptop, iPad, and smartphone just like I was sitting at my desk. Well, sort of. The interface may be simple but it’s also a bit confusing when you’re trying to swipe a phone’s screen to see what you’re looking for.
You’ll need to think of your pointer finger on the screen as your mouse pointer, so to move to the right side of your home computer screen you’ll need to swipe left on the phone.
I was able to search for and move files just like I’m sitting at my home computer. To get a file or photo from my computer to my smartphone, I can find it on my home computer, open and create a new email, and mail it to myself. I use it to move video files to a Dropbox folder to send to someone else.
The home or work computer just needs to be turned on. You can’t do that of course. But you can do anything else. If you work remotely, it’ll save you a mad dash back home