Gotomypc v. Windows Remote Desktop

TechnoLawyer member Edward F. Harney, Jr. asks:

“I am somewhat baffled at why folks would want to use, especially in a small firm setting. We used PCAnywhere for years but switched to the Remote Desktop Connection application that comes free with Windows XP…

… It is incredibly quick and can be used on any machine that has XP. You just type in your static IP address and it is like you are sitting at your desk almost. Graphics take a bit of time to transmit but everything else is virtually seamless. With respect to, is there something I am missing here? Is there a reason to use instead of RDP with XP?”

Kelly Lupo responded on TechnoLawyer as follows:

“Honestly, from an IT perspective, that’s a bit scary! Imagine someone sitting on the outside decides to ‘break in’ to your computer, all he needs to know is your IP address! I would much rather have that option turned off and have the security of running a very small GoToMyPC server, and that gives me:

– 3 layers of protection (log into the page, log in to connect to your specific computer and finally log into Windows) – based on the personal version,

– with encrypted data (the server you run on the host computer sends the data, encrypted, to the GoToMyPC server which then gets forwarded (also encrypted) to the person logged in as a client),

– logging (not sure if this comes in Windows Remote Desktop),

– the ability to transfer files, copy/paste, and print to the client’s OR host’s printer,

– the ability of being able to draw on the screen to illustrate a point is kinda fun 🙂 (again, not sure if Remote Desktop does this too),

– ease of use,

– Linux and Mac support (client only at the moment), if your home computer happens to not be Windows,

– the ability to not have to upgrade the OS as half our host machines were still Win 2k when we went to it,

– the ability to not have to worry about emergency patches from Micro$oft or any of their known vulnerabilities,

– and the security of being backed by a name that has been for years, both widely respected and well known in the security and networking world (Citrix).”

Kelly, I couldn’t have said it better. Thank you.

See GoToMyPC. Also, see Seth Rowland’s response to this question in November 2005; see it in TechnoLawyer Archive.


Categorized in: