Chrome Remote Desktop

chromerdpWith LogMeIn moving from a free version to a paid version, a lot of people are looking for a free, easy way to access computers remotely. I have used TeamViewer in the past, but have run into limits with it. Another great option that I have come across is Chrome Remote Desktop.

Chrome Remote Desktop is a browser app for Google Chrome that will allow you to share your desktop with another user remotely. Or you can even use it to remotely access your desktop from another location. Once installed, you will have to grant it access to your Gmail account. Then it will show up as an icon under your Chrome Apps. Once luanched you will have the option to Share or Access another computer. If you click Share, you will be given a number that you can give to someone else to access your computer. They need only choose Access in their Chrome Remote Desktop and enter the number to remote into your computer. You can also setup unattended access under My Computers in Chrome Remote Desktop.

There are some downsides to using Chrome Remote Desktop. The primary one being you, and the computers you want to access must use Google Chrome and have a valid Gmail account in order for this to work. Another problem with this can be the need to keep your Chrome browser open in order to access your computer remotely. One fix for having to keep your browser open is you can set Chrome services to run in the background, so even if Chrome is not open Chrome Remote Desktop will still be running. Just go into Chrome and open Settings, then Show More Advanced Settings. Under System there is the option to Continue running background apps, this will allow Chrome Remote Desktop to run, even if Chrome is not open. Of course another big draw back for me, is the fact that there is no mobile app for Chrome Remote Desktop, meaning I cannot access my computer from my mobile devices.

While Chrome Remote Desktop is not the perfect tool, I have definitely found that it fits the need for me in being able to remotely access the computers for my family and friends. If you are looking for a good alternative to LogMeIn or Teamviewer, I would suggest checking out Chrome Remote Desktop.