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Symantec pcAnywhere

Accessing computers remotely over a network or over the Internet is becoming an ever increasingly thing that people like to do. It allows you to use remote computers as if you were sitting in front of them and the best part is that you don't have to get up and walk or drive to that computer's location.

Symantec pcAnywhere provides secure, remote access to computers and servers. Symantec pcAnywhere supports network connections over a local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), or the Internet, modem-to-modem connections, and direct cable connections using a serial or parallel port

Common uses for pcAnywhere include managing computers remotely, supporting and maintaining servers, transferring files between computers and working from a remote location.

If you support multiple computers in a networked environment then you can connect to a specific computer and control it as if you were sitting in front of it. It is similar to Microsoft's Remote Desktop and Remote Assistance except pcAnywhere supports older versions of Windows that Remote Desktop and Remote Assistance do not. The only downside is that you can only have one concurrent connection to a particular computer at a time.

If you need to demonstrate how to do a specific procedure on a remote computer, you can take control of the computer while other people watch as you demonstrate.

You may also need to access files or email on a remote computer such as your home PC. Simply log onto your home computer and use it just like you were at home.

You can even install or modify software on the multiple computers from one location rather than having to go to each individual workstation. pcAnywhere lets you have multiple sessions with different computer open at the same time. There is an option to perform file transfers between the local and remote computer as well.

There are several different components of pcAnywhere that allow you to perform specific tasks. These include:

  • pcAnywhere program - this lets you access computers and servers remotely
  • Host Administrator - a tool that lets you manage pcAnywhere hosts on your network.
  • Host Administrator Agent - a component of the Host Administrator tool that provides the files required for remote management of a host computer using Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) technology.
  • Remote Access Perimeter Scanner - a tool that lets you scan your network for unsecured hosts.
  • Symantec LiveUpdate - this allows installed Symantec products connect to a Symantec server automatically for program and virus definitions updates.

The pcAnywhere Manager is the main window for pcAnywhere. From the pcAnywhere Manager, you can manage your connection items, start a session, access pcAnywhere tools, and customize preferences. The navigation bar on the left of the window lets you access pcAnywhere session options, configuration files, and tools.

Quick Connect
Quick Connect lets you connect to another computer with minimum setup. Use this option for one-time or infrequent connections to a host computer. Before connecting, you must know the computer name, IP address, or modem number of the host computer and the logon information.

Setting up a Host computer
pcAnywhere lets you set up a host computer to receive a connection by modifying an existing connection item or creating a new one. pcAnywhere provides the three default connection items, which are pre-configured to optimize security and performance.

  • Modem Connection - this is used to dial out to a connection over a phone line.
  • Direct Connection - this is a connection where you use either a parallel (LPT) or a serial (COM) port and a null parallel or null serial cable.
  • Network, Cable, DSL Connection - use this type for computers on your network or to connect over a broadband Internet connection.

Once you setup your remotes you can access them simply by double clicking on their name/icon to start the connection. You can even copy pcAnywhere configuration to another computer running pcAnywhere instead of having to setup all the remotes again.


Related Tips:
Using Windows Remote Desktop Connection
Accessing Shared Resources
Using Remote Assistance


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