There had to be a better way. I searched for how to use RealVNC that I had used on my SageTV system but to do this across the Internet required setting up SSH that was way over my head. pcAnywhere seemed like a good idea but their web site talked mostly about a corporate implementation behind a firewall. GoToMyPC looked like it would do it but costs $19.95 per month.
Then I ran across an article that said that WebEx was introducing a remote control service. My company uses WebEx for intercompany conferencing so I was familiar with their other services. The best part was that you get unlimited access for up to 5 PCs. Here's what you get for free.
Here're some excerpts from their FAQ:
How hard is it to set up and use?You do have to use IE to access the remote PC as MyWebExPC uses an ActiveX control.
It is really simple:
You do not have to:
- Download and install a small MyWebEx PC agent on the remote computer you want to access
- Make sure the remote computer has an always-on connection to the Internet and the MyWebEx PC agent is running
- At the remote location bring up the browser, login, and setup your remote computer
- A small browser plug-in will download automatically and within seconds you will be set up and ready to access your remote computer, virtually, from anywhere
Is it secure?
- Open any ports or configure your firewall in anyway
- Know any IP addresses or other technical networking details
- Install any software or drivers on the computer to view
MyWebEx PC is extremely secure:
- No need to open any ports in your firewall
- End to end SSL encrypted.
- Two levels of authentication.
- Unique phone authentication for very high security.
- You can protect your privacy
- Blank the screen of the remote computer so no one can see what you are doing
- Lock the keyboard and mouse of the remote computer so no one else can interrupt it
- Logout or screen-lock the remote computer after your session is complete- MyWebEx PC will let you log back in
I made one more trip to my parents' and installed MyWebExPC. It works like a charm. I used it to install the February Windows Updates and reboot their PC. Hooray!