GoToMyPC (finally) goes to your Mac
After nine years, Citrix blesses Apple fanbois
At long last, Citrix has squeezed out a version of its GoToMyPC remote access service that lets you both connect to a Mac from a distant PC and connect to a distant PC from a Mac.
GoToMyPC debuted on PCs nearly nine years ago, but this is the first time the service has provided Apple fanbois with remote access in both directions.
“With this new release, we’re giving Mac users what they’ve been asking for - a reliable remote access service built specifically for the Mac,” reads a canned statement from the general manager of Citrix Online, Brett Caine. Citrix Online is the Citrix subsidiary that offers GoToMyPC alongside similar services such as GoToMeeting and GoToAssist.
Citrix has also added a native viewer for accessing remote machines from a Mac desktop. In the past, if you tapped a remote system from a Mac, you were limited to a Java-based "universal viewer" that offers fewer tools than the full-fledged native viewer available on a PC.
But before you fanbois get too excited: There are still some tools unavailable with the Mac. When accessing a distant Mac, for instance, you can't do file transfers or file syncing or remote printing. Plus, GoToMyPC still lacks the ability to access remote machines from an iPhone or iPod touch, something you can already get from LogMein as well as PCNow, the remote control app from Cisco's WebEx subsidiary.
Speaking with The Reg, product manager Michelle Knab did not address the iPhone specifically. But she did say: "We are exploring a number of mobile options."
Once you install a small agent on your local desktop machine and register the system with GoToMyPC.com, you can then gain remote access from any web browser running on a Windows, Windows CE, Mac, Linux, Unix, or Solaris machine. Data is encrypted with 128-bit AES keys, and passwords are set both for your master GoToMyPC account and for each machine set up for remote access.
The service comes in three flavors: a personal version that starts at $19.95 per month for one remote computer; the professional version, which provides remote access for between two and 20 machines for $12.95 a month or between 21 and 50 machines for $10.95; and a corporate version that includes additional admin tools. Citrix does not publish prices for the corporate version but volume discounts are available, Knab said.
According to the market research types at IDC, GoToMyPC controlled 77 per cent the $148.4m remote access services software market in 2008, well head of LogMeIn's 18.3 per cent. But LogMeIn offers its base service for free. And over the past year, the company has seen great success with its iPhone app. According to chief executive Mike Simon, LogMeIn made more money during its first week in the iPhone app store than it expected to make all year. ®
Update: Due to an error on Citrix's website, this story originally said that GoToMyPC does not provide cut, copy, and paste when accessing a remote Mac. But cut, copy, and paste is available in such situations.
Some of us have been able to do this for years with OpenSSH and X forwarding.
mymatespc:/home/guest $ xhost +
mymatespc:/home/guest $ ssh -X email@example.com
myownpc:/home/myownlogin $ display .digikam/pr0n/dscf0001.jpg
Nice to see OS X getting a bit more like a proper Unix. And who knows, maybe Windows 8 will have a feature where if you know exactly what you want to do to a file and you know exactly where the file was saved, you could type a command on the keyboard to save several minutes' worth of fart-arsing about clicking on icons and menus.
Because it is bloody useful to be able to use my iPhone to log-in to the MacPro in the office to kick off a task or check on something. I always have my iPhone with me, like when I am walking the dog or down the pub. I don't carry a laptop with me when I am doing that.
Oh and the keyboard is right there on the screen. As I have normally dextrous hands and trust the rather good predictive input I have absolutely no problems with it. I find an open mind is a good asset when faced with new technology you can't cope with, try it some time.
Goes the Neighbourhood.
Cheaper and quicker
Instead of downloading more crapware to your computer mac users can just do this..
CMD-K in the Finder
And hey presto.. a vnc session offering probably all the functionality you need.
I use mine with a free dns service on my £30 router and I can always access the computers at work or home.. (to save energy enable Wake On Lan) and you're away!