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Lifehacker: The Guide to Working Smarter, Faster, and Better, Third Edition by Gina Trapani, Adam Pash

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Hack 79: Remote Control Your Computer with Your Phone

Level Advanced

Platform iOS and Android

Cost Free

In Hack 74, “Remotely Control Your Home Computer,” you set up a VNC server on your home computer so that you could control it from anywhere as though you were sitting down in front of it. VNC is a great tool when you need access to your computer from another one, but when you don’t have your laptop or an Internet connection handy, you can still access your home computer from the always-connected smartphone in your pocket.

In this hack, you learn how to access and remotely control a computer running a VNC server using a free VNC client app called PocketCloud (www.wyse.com/products/software/pocketcloud/).

NOTE This hack assumes that you set up a VNC server on your computer, as detailed in Hack 74. If you haven’t, you need to do so before proceeding. You’ll also get more mileage from this hack if you give your home computer a dedicated Web address and open port 5900 (the default VNC port) on your firewall.

Set Up PocketCloud

PocketCloud is available for both Android and iOS devices, so download the client that suits your smartphone from either the Android Market or iTunes App Store. The app is available as both a free and paid app. The most important difference between the two is that the free app is limited to saving one connection. The PocketCloud Pro ($15) is ad-free, can save multiple connections, and includes a few other advanced features.

After you install PocketCloud to ...

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