Download of the Week: Chrome Remote Desktop

By on October 10, 2011, 1:39 AM

Call it an obsession of ours, in the past two years that we've had our Download of the Week feature, we've recommended several different applications to remotely manage a range of PCs or hardware around you.

Chrome Remote Desktop is your typical remote connection software with a small difference: it lives in your browser. I have no doubt this app was inspired by the need of extending functionality to Google's highly-touted Chromebooks that purposely come with a closed environment. However, on the upside, as a browser app Chrome Remote Desktop is cross-platform and can connect PCs running Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS.

Chrome Remote Desktop has its share of limitations on its current beta form. For example, it requires you to grant access each time you connect to a computer. This scenario works if someone is giving you one-off access to a machine, but not if you are away from home and want to connect to one of your own PCs (this functionality will be added soon according to Google). I tried the app a couple of times connecting different machines in my house and only one of the two connections was successful.

I've personally had my share of positive and negative experiences with RDC software and to be honest, none is perfect, especially when you are going cross-platform. That said, we applaud Google's novel approach and due to the simplicity of installing this on a computer already running Chrome we think it's an app you should keep an eye on if you regularly use remote access software.

Similar app that we recommend: TeamViewer.




User Comments: 5

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DSP8000 DSP8000 said:

Yesterday I tested this extension in Chrome Dev 899. Main PC Win7 and kids Laptop Linux Mint 11. Tried several times, no dice. Looks good for now, but I hate the fact that you have to sign in via gmail first. Also, a simple pinned/application tab to access the interface would have been better. I have been using TeamViewer for over 2 years now and so far has been great. Yes novel approach, but in raw, unfinished form.

Staff
Jesse Jesse said:

I haven't tried this, but there are definitely alternatives that work better (from the sounds of it) and are also free. Logmein is a really solid RDC that works both via browser (for free) or via desktop client (ignition). You can create a desktop shortcut or bookmark that will automatically log you in to your computer, the only password required would be one that you set to access your computer. There are no limitations such as those in the current version of the chrome rdc, and if you use firefox, you can install a plugin that drastically increases performance. I'm not sure if there are logmein plugins for other browsers that do the same. Anyways, it's a great client.

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

prismatics said:

I haven't tried this, but there are definitely alternatives that work better (from the sounds of it) and are also free. Logmein is a really solid RDC that works both via browser (for free) or via desktop client (ignition). You can create a desktop shortcut or bookmark that will automatically log you in to your computer, the only password required would be one that you set to access your computer. There are no limitations such as those in the current version of the chrome rdc, and if you use firefox, you can install a plugin that drastically increases performance. I'm not sure if there are logmein plugins for other browsers that do the same. Anyways, it's a great client.

I have to agree. I love the logmein Remote Access free. I have it on all the remote windows machines for work so when someone from another store calls me with tech questions I can walk them through it instead of just trying to explain it over the phone. Only complaints about it are you have to install the little program first for the free one, and it only works on Windows - so I can't install it on our Linux servers in other stores.

apocjunk said:

are you talking about a separate plugin for firefox for Logmein or just the one Logmein installs into firefox itself? If it's separate what is the name of that plugin because I use Logmein all the time and wouldn't mind a performance increase.

matrix86 matrix86 said:

DSP8000 said:

looks good for now, but I hate the fact that you have to sign in via gmail first.

it's google...what did you expect? Lol. The only thing of theirs that doesn't require you to have a gmail account is their search engine.

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