More and more people are looking for remote access to their office computers to run programs or work on files from outside the office.

Microsoft Small Business Server users have it best. The remote access offered by SBS works like a dream.

If you’re an individual or working in a small office that hasn’t graduated to a server yet, you have some tempting options.

GoToMyPC has been around for several years, and it has proven to be easy and reliable – my clients have had good luck with it in the last couple of years. There’s a $19.95 monthly fee, but it’s like anything else – if you’re going to use it, that’s a small price to pay.

Earlier this year a new service was introduced by WebEx, a huge company that dominates online corporate conferencing. MyWebExPC competes with GoToMyPC and some of the reviews are very positive. There’s a free service with some limitations, but even the paid subscription is only half the cost of GoToMyPC. Worth a look if you’re considering remote access.

A footnote: PCAnywhere became a widely-known name in the 90s and it’s still available today. It was always a pain to set it up correctly, and the job only got harder as firewalls became more sophisticated. Symantec dropped the ball and never put any effort into making it easier to configure. GoToMyPC and MyWebExPC are extremely easy to set up; PCAnywhere is difficult for tech folks and impossible for normal people. A shame, really.

NOTE: This is a more active field than I realized. There’s another service, LogMeIn, which is similar in price and features to the MyWebEx package. It is getting a lot of praise around the web – lots of positive reviews, lots of people have tried all of the services and prefer LogMeIn to the others. Do your shopping carefully!

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