This website is hosted on a dedicated server PC, which until recently was controlled by its own keyboard, monitor and mouse. In a strive to save power and space, I searched for a way to remotely control the PC across my network, and came across Anyplace Control.
Amongst its competitors, I have found Anyplace Control to provide me with exactly the features I need to administrate the server from a remote PC, and the software gives me an enhanced benefit of being able to do this across the internet too, rather than just from my own network. This is a very clever feature within Anyplace Control which I didn’t find in its competitors. This system allows you to control a server that is behind a hardware router from the remote PC without needing to know IP addresses, program port redirects, or set multiple firewall permissions to make it work. An account is set up with Anyplace Control, using a username and password of your choice, which has the details of the remote PC(s) you need to access. The server module includes an internet host facility, which allows your server to respond directly to connections through your internet account, rather than needing to connect directly via IP address. The internet account is a paid for option, but for a remote control PC behind a hardware router which does not have a "real" internet IP address, it makes configuration so easy that it’s worth every penny. Purchase of your license allows you to specify how many remote control PCs you need, so whilst you’re at it you can buy a license for any other PC that you may need to remotely administer – such as your parent’s PC at the other end of the country! Your download of Anyplace Control includes a free, fully operational, one month trial internet account, so you can see how it all works before you buy.
Anyplace Control comes in one installation package, which allows the user to install one or both parts of the software suite. The suite comprises the server module and the admin module, which can be installed to run when Windows starts or on an "as required" basis. The server module is, unsurprisingly, installed on the remote PC, and allows access to the machine to be remotely controlled by use of a password. This module can be installed remotely across your network too, although this is not a feature I have tried, since I set my system up before I removed the monitor etc. The admin module is installed on any PC that you want to use to access your host. It has an "address book", so it can be programmed with the details of all remote control PCs you may access and can save the IP address, web address, port numbers and passwords needed for each. The admin module also allows the user to access the host in a "view only" mode, where the remote keyboard and mouse has no control, for those instances where the software may be used to view a local user working on the server. Other features include built in file transfer, a chat facility (again, for where the remote PC may be used by a local user, such as in a support environment), controls for blanking the remote video or locking the remote keyboard and mouse, the facility to send CTRL-ALT-DEL sequences allowing the user to remotely access Windows task manager, and set up restarts, shut downs, log offs etc.
Anyplace Control has another massive advantage over the virtual desktop system – and that is that you access the existing session, with the existing user configuration, rather than needing a separate log in for your remote access. For the remote server application, this means I can access my server in real time, and perform software updates, web page edits, reboots, and any other task needed without having to actually be at the remote PC.
As computer hardware becomes ever cheaper, it is becoming a real possibility to run a separate, dedicated PC and web server to host your own PWS website. Anyplace Control allows you to do this with without increasing the desk space needed for separate monitors, keyboard and mice, and through PC remote control allows you to securely access your server from anywhere with an internet connection as though you were sitting in front of it!