Ever wish you could take control of another PC? For example, maybe there's a salesperson in the field who needs help resolving an Outlook problem. Or you need to connect to your own system to retrieve a document, but you're working from home today. Whatever the situation, remote control is the answer.
PC World explains how to control a remote PC from anywhere using capabilities built right into Windows. Well, not all versions of Windows -- but there are third-party alternatives available to everyone.
If you're running XP Pro, Vista Business, or Vista Ultimate, you're in luck: You can configure your system as a "host" machine, one able to accept connections from any Windows-equipped remote PC. (This is also known as virtual network computing, or VNC.)
The author explains how to set up a host system, how to connect to it remotely, and even how to configure wake-on-LAN (meaning you can leave the host system in sleep mode and wake it when you want to connect).
You also get the scoop on virtual private network, or VPN, solutions, which add an extra measure of security to your VNC. (Yeah, there's a lot of alphabet soup here.)
Finally, there's info on some third-party VNC solutions, including my longtime favorite, LogMeIn. Definitely some worthwhile reading if you're looking to get set up for remote computing.