Product Reviews

Sam I Am—Anywhere!

Take Control with Remotely Anywhere 4.

In writing this review I couldn’t help but think of the famous Dr. Seuss story, Green Eggs and Ham, in which Sam-I-Am keeps asking about eating them on a train, in a plane, with a goat, on a boat. Location does matter, especially to network administrators. For example, you need to reboot the server and you’re sitting at it. No problem. What if you’re home or at another location? On a train, with a goat, on a boat? Well, with RemotelyAnywhere, location isn’t a concern.

RemotelyAnywhere provides the freedom network administrators need, especially if they spend time away from the network (which is recommended for at least eight hours a day). RemotelyAnywhere allows you to administer systems without the need for client software to be installed, so long as the system you’re using has a Java-based application installed. In addition, RemotelyAnywhere allows basic command and control for WAP-enabled Pocket PCs, Palm Pilots and cell phones. The features become somewhat limited to command-prompt access (thanks to the smaller screens), but the system you have can be rebooted in a box, with a fox or on a boat.

What’s really cool with RemotelyAnywhere is its long list of administrative abilities. Through the Web browser, you’re given basic data for the system to which you connect. You can then pick from another set of options, including Administration. At that point, you can select any number of options, including user creation or registry edits for the system. You can also choose to reboot the system (through a normal, hard or emergency reboot) or restart the service.

Security is also well supported within RemotelyAnywhere. There are six levels of security, including IP filtering, IP lockout, NTLM or password authentication, firewall support, SSL and SSH and SSH2 with 128-bit or stronger encryption. In addition, RemotelyAnywhere supports the download and upload of files through an FTP server, which is nice when you need to grab files on a server in your network. Telnet and Secure Shell Server are also included in RemotelyAnywhere’s feature set.

Speed is always a concern with remote administration and remote control software. I had no complaints, but I was running it over a DSL connection. Running it over dial-up speed was slower, but workable. The fact that you can complete many tasks through the administrative tools without becoming involved with taking control is a benefit. RemotelyAnywhere isn’t simply a terminal service wannabe. Its ability to administer without taking control shows its strength.

So, what can be done to perfect this product? Well, one thing on the horizon with RemotelyAnywhere is the ability to print back on the local machine. Currently, you can connect and print from the system to which you’re connected. You can also copy a file down to the system you’re on and print it. However, what if the file format isn’t supported by the system to which you copy the file? It would be nice to just open the file on the server and print it to the local system. That feature is on the agenda for future releases (but may require a client side). Additional concerns are being shown for the ability to use remote control software as spyware, allowing individuals to look into your system without permission. Currently RemotelyAnywhere asks permission, so the debate concerns whether or not this feature should be modifiable (currently it’s not) to allow situations where permission isn’t needed.

Remotely Anywhere
Remotely Anywhere gives you a plethora of administrative options through the Web browser.

So, I feel good about this one. This application functions well and lives up to its claim—to administer a system remotely from anywhere. RemotelyAnywhere really shines in the field of remote administration. Its strength isn’t from any one feature but in its ability to provide so many options for a reasonable price.

About the Author

J. Peter Bruzzese (Triple-MCSE, MCT, MCITP: Messaging) is a longtime contributor to Redmond, an InfoWorld journalist and the Exchange 2010 instructor for Train Signal. You can reach him at peter@trainsignal.com.

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Reader Comments:

Tue, Aug 9, 2005 Q UK

ITS WICKED PROGRAME ALL I CAN SAY

Sat, Oct 2, 2004 Guillermo Gonzalez Puerto Rico

We use this product for support in Puerto Rico and ther Caribbean

GG
Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer

Tue, Aug 3, 2004 Bill Van Horn Golden, CO 80401

Installed but unable to remove disabled

Tue, Dec 9, 2003 ionel brasov

I want this program

Sun, Sep 7, 2003 jasonb new york

this product blows pcanywhere and any other remote tool out of the water in no way can you rate this below a 5 star!
face it the other reviews for 1 star are fakes from other companies selling thier remote tool product!

Tue, Sep 2, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

I am trying to use RA since weeks , if it works it is a great tool , but i hada lot of problems with dynamic IP, everytime i have to restart RA so that it can accept connections from different IP , and suddenly it crashed and i can't just uninstall it !!!!

Sat, Mar 1, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

Great:
1. I can use WAP-enabled smart phone to watch my server now.
2. SSL

Bad:
1. File transfer not working sometimes (likely after I installed some patches of Windows 2000)
2. www.remotelyanywhere.com's new face does not contain "whatsnew" now.
3. WAP functions need to be advanced.

Tue, Jan 14, 2003 Dan Lundqvist Stockholm

I have been using RA since v3.5 and i'm
still finds things that makes me smile,
"how brilliant they have solved this and
well thought userinterface".
I would really recomend this software
to anyone.
Worth every $ i spent registering.

Tue, Jan 7, 2003 Nobell Sweden

As a Helpdesk product I have seen them better. As a remotecontrol product I have seen them better. As a remote administration product, product for technician they don´t get better. GREAT Product

Mon, Oct 28, 2002 Marty Yinzer Pixburgh

This is the jernson I've used RA since the 1st release, and while I've never actually paid for a license, I must've sold a few hundred to clients! Thanks for a great product - it rules!

Thu, Sep 12, 2002 Steve Samples New York

I cannot agree with the author- I used to have this tool and it is nothing to write home about...and the support was not very good - go ahead take your chances, I 'll get your job next.

Thu, Sep 12, 2002 Sam I Aint Anonymous

What a stupid analogy - Dr. Seuss and remote software. Do too much acid in your youth? I am surprised you can actually write a complete sentence coherently.

Wed, Sep 4, 2002 Jeetesh India

Its really a good software. I feel It is one of the best software made in this field.

Wed, Sep 4, 2002 Jeetesh India

Its really a good software. I feel It is one of the best software made in this field.

Sun, Aug 25, 2002 René Spain

Very good... It´s fast, user friednly, very complete and sichronizes with other software excellently, what more can you ask for. The newer version shows all effort made in previous versions, generating an excellent product at the end. thank for the evaulation copy sent to me, I admire the company´s perception on the globla market, and its perspective trhough emerging internet E-Commerce that is rapidly expanding in Europe, at the present time I live in Southern Spain, with a well defined and stablishedd advantange over the local competitors. Keep with the hard work, and once moree, thanks for your support and understanding....

Tue, Aug 20, 2002 Mark Texas

In addition to Sam I am, it's "Look, ma, no client!" It out-features and out-performs the others I have tried, both inside and outside our network. Double thumbs-up.

Tue, Aug 20, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

A very catchy article for a very ingenuous program. The ability to be at several computers at the same time from anywhere is awesome.

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