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
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 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.
J. Peter is a Microsoft MVP (Office Servers and Services) and has received this award for 7 consecutive years. He's an internationally published author and technical speaker. J. Peter is a technical journalist for InfoWorld and has cared for the Enterprise Windows column for nearly a decade. He's the co-founder of both ClipTraining and Conversational Geek and a strategic technical consultant for Mimecast. Follow him on Twitter @JPBruzzese