• United States

LapLink’s LapLink Everywhere

Jan 13, 20033 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsRemote Access

Having users get their e-mail while on the road is a big challenge for small and midsize companies that don’t have a remote-access system such as dial-up modems or hardware/software VPN  over the Internet. Windows XP ships with a remote control feature, but there are security risks that many wouldn’t be comfortable with, such as the potential for malicious use of the Remote Assistance feature intended to let someone troubleshoot your machine remotely.

The LapLink Everywhere service hopes to answer the call for remote access in a simple, secure and inexpensive fashion. The basic subscription service lets you access up to three computers remotely. The company also sells a corporate version for larger companies.

LapLink Everywhere takes a slightly different approach than other service-based offerings such as GoToMyPC. LapLink Everywhere installs a small agent on the machine that you want the remote user to connect to. The agent reads the Outlook files to provide access to e-mail, contacts, calendar, notes and tasks, and then communicates with a server (the Web site ) over a secure link. It also provides access to local files and remote database applications.

To connect to a remote computer (say you want to connect remotely to your home computer), the computer must have an “always on” connection such as DSL or cable modem. In contrast, GoToMyPC implements a remote control program that lets you remotely access your machine as if you were sitting in front of it.

The LapLink Web interface is very clean, with a list of functions on the left side and a large working area displaying the current application (tasks, calendar, e-mail) in the main part of the screen.

Migrating through multiple firewalls is no problem for LapLink Everywhere. We installed the product on a desktop behind a NetGear router that implements network address translation and a firewall. Installing the software and connecting to the LapLink server took less than 5 minutes. We were able to access the machine from a variety of outside locations, including several behind a very strong firewall. Every location we tested from worked without a problem.

LapLink Everywhere also comes with basic monitoring tools that show connection requests, active connections, e-mail and e-fax activities, file transfers, processed forms and database requests. All this information is maintained on the local computer and is available through the client interface.

Overall, the program provides remote access very well, although you still might want to consider the security implications of leaving your desktop computer running all the time.

LapLink Everywhere
Company: LapLink
Cost:$89 per user per year
Pros:Easy to use, secure remote access to e-mail, contracts, calendar and files; uses standard Web protocols and a Web browser; no problem with firewalls.
Cons:Target computer must be left on — could be a security problem for some operating systems.

Bothell, Wash.


Paul Ferrill has been writing about computers and networking for more than 25 years. He's had articles published in InfoWorld, Network World, PC Magazine, and a wide range of other publications. He's also the author of two books and currently working on a third.

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