PC Remote / Remote Desktop: Best apps to connect your phone and Surface to your PC?

coip

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Forgive my ignorance as I've never really done this before so I am as green as they come. Can someone explain to me what this PC Remote / Remote Desktop stuff is I'm hearing about? I see many apps in the Windows Phone store that appear to allow you to connect your phone to your PC and do what exactly? The screen on your PC appears on your phone and your phone basically turns into your PC? Then you can sit on the couch and play on your "desktop" on your phone, edit an Excel document or play a movie and it plays on your phone (or your PC? or both simultaneously?)

What is the difference between PC Remote on the phone and Remote Desktop on a tablet (I see there is an app called that for my Surface RT, but it seems not to work with my Home edition of Windows 7. Haven't tried yet on my Windows 8 yet, though. Do I have to install something on the PC too?

What apps are the best ones to do this? I've seen some in the store ranging from free to $10.
 

boshkop

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I vote for TeamViewer too! Awesome app. I even sometimes use it as a remote control when I want to watch a movie on my PC. :D
 

MikeSo

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I use the app PC Remote when I want to use my phone as a remote... It turns the phone into s touch based remote so I can control my htpc for playback in various apps as well as mouse/keyboard control. It requires installing a small program on the PC you are controlling, but it's easy and you never have to touch it again.

Isn't Teamviewer a remote desktop app? I've never tried it, but I use the app called Remote Desktop (I think) for that and am really happy with it. It puts the PC desktop on the phone.
 

coip

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Thanks for the replies. I guess I am still confused about what the difference is between Remote Desktop and PC Remote. Are they the same thing? What do they do?
 

MikeSo

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Thanks for the replies. I guess I am still confused about what the difference is between Remote Desktop and PC Remote. Are they the same thing? What do they do?

No, the Remote Desktop app (or Teamviewer, I believe) literally puts the desktop of the computer it's controlling onto your phone screen, and lets you control that computer as if you were sitting at it, using a virtual keyboard and mouse to do so. You do not need to be anywhere near your computer for this, you can be anywhere you have an Internet connection, provided your router is set to forward any connection to it on port 3389 (commonly used for Windows Remote Desktop) to the computer you wish to control.

The PC Remote on the other hand works as a touch screen remote, and you do need to see the screen of the computer you are controlling, just as if you were using a wireless keyboard and mouse. It just lets you control the computer from your phone, for example while you're watching Netflix or Windows Media Center on it, instead of from your keyboard and mouse.

Hope this explains the difference.
 

coip

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No, the Remote Desktop app (or Teamviewer, I believe) literally puts the desktop of the computer it's controlling onto your phone screen, and lets you control that computer as if you were sitting at it, using a virtual keyboard and mouse to do so. You do not need to be anywhere near your computer for this, you can be anywhere you have an Internet connection, provided your router is set to forward any connection to it on port 3389 (commonly used for Windows Remote Desktop) to the computer you wish to control.

The PC Remote on the other hand works as a touch screen remote, and you do need to see the screen of the computer you are controlling, just as if you were using a wireless keyboard and mouse. It just lets you control the computer from your phone, for example while you're watching Netflix or Windows Media Center on it, instead of from your keyboard and mouse.

Hope this explains the difference.

Okay, so it sounds like I can do everything I can do with a PC Remote on the Remote Desktop, and more. So, that is the one I should get? Or are they complementary (i.e., i should get both)?
 

BRLOhio

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Splashtop. I use it mainly to view and work my home Foscams running on Blue Iris on the desktop. It will connect my 822 and wifes 928 (and before, my Galaxy Fascinate) over the internet to any computer you download and install the Streamer on. It allows you to do anything on the desktop or laptop via the phone as if you were sitting in front of the PC.
 

eroselim

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Teamviewer for me :) really works great and it doesn't crashes on my Lumia 620. The only problem is that, It will automatically disconnects you when your mobile gets to sleep ( lock-screen mode ).
 

coip

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I see that Splashtop is free till the end of the day today, so I snagged that one so that I'll always have it 'purchased'. I'll check out Teamviewer too.
 

DavidinCT

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Thanks for the replies. I guess I am still confused about what the difference is between Remote Desktop and PC Remote. Are they the same thing? What do they do?

Remote Desktop or RDC is a Microsoft protocol for connecting to desktops and servers. If you have Windows 7 home, you don't have it. If you have access to a desktop that has port 3389 open and supports RDC, Topperware makes a fairly nice Remote desktop app if your using Windows Remote desktop.

Personally, I think remote desktop should of been part of Windows Phone like it was back in the Windows Mobile days but, that's just me...

Teamviewer, logmein or VNC would be good options of you wanted to connect to your desktop over the internet.
 

coip

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So, it seems that none of these apps can connect a phone to a Surface RT. It seems that all of them require software to be downloaded to the PC (which Windows RT) cannot install. So, while I can use my Windows Phone and my Surface RT to connect to my Windows 8 laptop, I cannot use my Windows Phone to connect to my Surface RT. What a pity.
 

coip

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I'm not impressed with TeamViewer or Splashtop. Splashtop won't even work (claims my phone and PC are on separate networks, even though they aren't, and demands I upgrade) and TeamViewer is lags really bad and the controls aren't optimized for Windows 8. I should be able to swipe around like exactly on my Windows 8 PC.

Maybe I'll try to figure out a solution to Splashtop and give it a fair shot, but I'm a tad disappointed so far.
 

coip

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Okay, I tested out Teamviewer and Splashtop on both my Lumia 928 and Surface RT, connecting to my Windows 8 Pro laptop. Splashtop is definitely better than TeamViewer (which lags, badly), so I'm going with Splashtop for now. But I'll also look into Mocha VNC as suggested (since it's available for both WP and Windows RT, but I see I'd have to buy it for both, so maybe not), and will also try Microsoft's Remote Desktop app for Surface RT (though, not available for Windows Phone, so maybe not).
 

coip

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I also checked out PC Remote, which I downloaded to both my Windows Phone and Surface RT. I like it a lot, especially the built-in sub-app for Windows Media Center. Read my latest response to this thread to see how I use PC Remote as TV remotes when running Live TV on my HDTV via Windows Media Center on my PC.
 

coip

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Can any of these apps--TeamViewer, Splashtop, PC Remote Pro--wake up a computer that is sleeping? I know PC Remote Pro can put a computer to sleep, but can't seem to wake it. I see no such options for Splashtop or TeamViewers, though.
 

mmcpher

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I just got a Lumia 1520 and Teamviewer works really well. But one disappointment so far is that WP won't allow you to be part of a Windows Homegroup even though you can add Android or Blackberry phones to a Windows Desktop Homegroup. Must be some kind of strategy thing for MS, to wall off its own devices from a Windows based home network while allowing access to rival devices. Not an incentive to buy a WP.

But I'm really liking my first WP otherwise. One more serious issue is, along these baffling MS lines, there is no Remote Desktop Control feature in WP, apparently. I rely on RDC to access our work server remotely and it would be great if it were an option. RDC works very well on the Desktop side of my Surface Pro, so I'd hoped that the same would be true for the 1520.
 

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