Need files from your PC? Try the iPad’s remote-access apps

February 6th, 2013


You can use your iPad for just about everything: from laughing with the kids at 'dogs jumping on trampolines' on Youtube, to keeping your eye on the weather, catching the news or your favorite bits from SNL, contacting relatives and buddies....endless possibilities. But if you use your iPad for work, you may be frustrated. As handy as the iPad is, it’s still not quite as powerful as a Workstation or macbook. This is where remote-access apps may help. Developers have made several applications that permit you to access and control your desktop or laptops from the iPad. You can access your files, folders and contacts. Some allow you to stream the videos and music you store on your PC on your iPad. Controlling a PC or laptop from your iPad isn’t perfect. The iPad’s screen is large for a tablet, but it’s small for a desktop or laptop. Sometimes things get a bit cramped. But when you need emergency access to your computer’s desktop, these three apps can do the trick.

GoToMyPc: Citrix has long offered GoToMyPC, a way to access your home computer when you are traveling. In fact, Citrix was offering the service before tablets and smart phones had become the favored toys of tech-savvy consumers. Today, you are able to sign up for this service for $9.95 per month for basic service or $99 for one computer for a year. When you sign up, you’ll be given a free app for the iPad that allows you to run GoToMyPC from a tablet. As the name suggests, use this service to remotely access your Word and PowerPoint documents, e-mail folders and file folders. PC Magazine just reviewed the service and praised it for convenience and effectiveness. The cost, though, is high. Many iPad users will get more cost-effective services that work equally well for their needs.

SplashTop Remote Desktop: The SplashTop Remote Desktop has long been a top choice for iPad users. That is because the product, as rated by CNet writer Matt Elliott, is not difficult to install and use. Additionally, it is fairly economical, costing just $4.99. It also lets you stream both video and audio, something that other remote-desktop applications don’t.

LogMeIn Ignition: Elliott also tested LogMeIn Ignition and gave it good reviews. It’s a bit more costly than SplashTop Remote Desktop. But it includes a feature that might justify the additional price for business users: You can use this application to remotely wake a sleeping or shut-off PC, a job other remote-access apps can’t do. You can also use this app to copy or move files from a remote PC to the iPad, another feature that other remote-access apps can’t duplicate.