At first glance Dell Remote Access looks like any other remote access product on the market. You open a portal Page, my.dellremoteaccess.com, login and you will see a list of the devices on the same network as the computer running Dell Remote Access.
The installation process was painless, and it came up with some items in the wizard that I was pleasantly surprised by.
A list of the components that might trigger a warning from your Firewall Software with a note to remind you to allow these programs access.
You also get the option to email the links that are used by the application to the email address of your choice.
I was a little disappointed to see that Dell Remote Access requires you to install either VNC or Microsoft Remote Desktop to enable full remote control of your computers. Other online remote access applications I have used do not require this.
The Basic Account allows you to access a single PC through the portal. Using a PC with a web browser will give you the ability to take remote control of your PC. While useful in itself there is more functionality available. You can choose to share via the portal areas of your computers storage and then access then files. So if you are, for example, running your own company you would be able to access you data while on site with a client or listen to your music with at work without have to drain the battery on your iPod.
Being able to take full remote control of your PC remotely is not new, neither if I an honest, is accessing your data from another computer. However if you sign up for the Premier package you can assess all of the PC’c on your network. Although you cannot use Remote Control with other operating systems, like Linux and Mac, you can in some cases access the shared areas of their data storage.
Dell Remote Access also allows you to access your Pictures, Music and Files using a mobile phone. They recommend the use of a phone with WIFi, but I was able to open documents and pictures over a GRPS connection on my HTC Diamond. While not the fastest way to look at a picture it is a simple way to access that data you must have an know is on the PC that is just a little bit to big to fit in you pocket.
I accessed data on my home PC using my work laptop and my mobile phone and I also used the remote control from the laptop. As I had chosen as recommended, VNC during the installation I was unable to use any of the remote control features on my phone and the Dell Remote Access Website does say that remote control is not available to mobile phones.
However by using a Netbook and either WiFi or Wireless Broadband it should be possible I believe, to get the most out of this application. A simple Web Portal to give access to you main data storage while you are mobile. The ability to take remote control of you home PC and use it to run applications and access data that would otherwise be unavailable could be quite useful on occasion. it might even be worthwhile being used in conjunction with a Redfly device and a mobile phone allowing you to update data at home from anywhere with GPRS connection.
To access more than one PC the Pro version is required, costing $10 an month not too much, $120 a year, to access and control your PC’s. This is about the average fee that is charged for similar services. If your need is to access only one PC, then I believe that Dell Remote Access is not up to the same level and some the other remote access services that are available. Being restricted to either VNC or Microsoft Remote Access limits the product. There is no support for remote control of either Linux or Mac machines.
Dell Remote Access is available directly from the manufacturer.
MSRP: $10 per month for the Pro version. Basic version (access to one computer) is Free
What I Like: The look and feel is friendly and easy to understand and navigate
What Needs Improvement: The addition of an integrated Remote Control component even if they OEM one.