With today’s mobile and connected world it seems that everyone wants to be able to access their computers or other devices at any time from any place. If you have been using Windows for some time you most likely have used or at least heard of Remote Desktop which allows you to control one computer from another one over the network or internet. The problem with that is if you want to do it over the internet you need a VPN connection to do so which most people don’t have at home.
There are some easier options out there for doing remote connections such as JoinMe which is good for a one time connection or LogMeIn which is good for repeated connections to the same group of computers. Now it seems that Google has gotten into the remote access game by using a plugin to their Chrome web browser called Chrome Remote Desktop.
Chrome Remote Desktop has two different access methods, one lets you make a quick one time connection using an access code and the other lets you add computers to your account for accessing whenever you need to. Setting up Chrome Remote Desktop is pretty easy and once you answer a few questions you are ready to go.
The first thing you need to do is to sign into your Google account using the Chrome web browser and then go to the Chrome Web Store and add the Chrome Remote Desktop to the browser itself by clicking on the Add to Chrome button. After that you will have a Chrome Remote Desktop icon on your Chrome home screen. Then you need to click that icon and choose what type of connection you want to make.
The Remote Assistance option lets you connect to another computer for a one time session using a code that the person on the other end gives you. They will have to have Chrome Remote Desktop added to their browser as well to generate the code. Then when you enter the code in your browser you will connect to their desktop and be able to use their computer as if you were sitting in front of it. The person on the other end can see everything you are doing as well as disconnect you at any time. This is very similar to the way JoinMe works.
The My Computers option is where you setup your computer(s) so that they are always ready to be connected to and controlled assuming they are on and connected to the internet. You will be asked to come up with a PIN number for an access code to be able to connect to any of your stored computers. You will also be asked to enable remote connections in order to use this feature. Then once you have your computers configured you can sign in and view your listing of remote computers and connect to whichever one you choose and control it the same way you do with the Remote Assistance method. This is very similar to the way LogMeIn works.
One other thing you will notice when you begin is that Chrome Remote Desktop will want permissions to perform certain tasks on your computer such as:
• View your email address
• View your Chrome Remote Desktop computers
• View and send chat messages
• Know who you are on Google
• Perform these operations when I’m not using the application
So if this is not something you want done then maybe Chrome Remote Desktop is not for you. You can however disable the Chrome Remote Desktop extension by going to the menu icon in Chrome and clicking on About Google Chrome and then going to the Extensions setting on the left. From there simply uncheck the box that says Enabled.