By Anne Chen  |  Posted 2006-03-13 Print this article Print

The latest version of Citrix Systems popular hosted remote control solution, GoToMyPC Corporate, has been enhanced in ways that users are bound to appreciate, with the addition of drag-and-drop file transfers, true 24-bit color support, and improved performance when in session and when connecting to the host computer.

As with previous versions of the product, GoToMyPC Corporate 5 requires that the host machine run on Microsofts Windows 95 or later. A computer running any operating system with a Java-enabled browser can be used to access the host computer. eWEEK Labs has heard rumors that Citrix is working on a version for Apple Computers Mac OS X. We hope theyre true, as Mac support is something wed really like to see in the future.

The price for GoToMyPC Corporate 5, which was released in January, is based on the number of host PCs supported. For 20 PCs, an annual plan would cost about $300 per month.

Click here to read a review of GoToMyPC Corporate 4.1. GoToMyPC Corporate 5 is not the only remote control solution available to enterprises. eWEEK Labs analysts routinely rely on alternative remote control technologies such VNC (virtual network computing) and 3SPs SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Explorer, or on VPN programs such as Applied Networkings Hamachi, in conjunction with remote desktop programs. Unlike GoToMyPC Corporate, these solutions are free.

While the fee for GoToMyPC Corporate 5 is relatively high, especially when compared with the free solutions just mentioned, the interface is clear and intuitive, and setup is minimal. For example, GoToMyPC Corporate 5 allows IT managers to easily create and manage user groups, establish password enforcement rules and use third-party authentication tools.

And, unlike solutions such as SSL Explorer, GoToMyPC Corporate 5 is hosted and therefore does not require a static IP address or a dynamic DNS (Domain Name System) router. This allows remote workers to easily access information regardless of the host machines location. Since no client is required, GoToMyPC Corporate 5 also allows users to access a host machine from locations where they dont have administrator rights—such as at an Internet cafe or a library.

Speedier performance

In tests of GoToMyPC Corporate 5, connection time to our host PC was noticeably faster than with previous versions. Our in-session performance was also better.

We used the new drag-and-drop capability to copy a 5MB file onto a desktop on a different network, and we were impressed by the speed with which the file was made available. A new performance diagnostics tool allowed us to review the performance history of our last 10 sessions to determine any potential bottlenecks.

Version 5 also let us view our remote desktop in true 24-bit color. In fact, when viewing the host desktop in full screen mode, the true color was so true that it was almost difficult to tell we were viewing it remotely.

Another feature that makes working on a remote machine more elegant is the in-session reboot function, which let us reboot our host PC—after installing software or Windows updates, for example—while remotely connected.

GoToMyPC still lacks the robust security of Symantecs PCanywhere, but connections are secured end-to-end with AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) 128-bit encryption.

New administration tools also allowed us to provide details on host PCs, terminate unauthorized remote access connections from the Administration Center and audit information on users who have shared access to PCs.

Next page: Evaluation Shortlist: Related Products.

As a senior writer for eWEEK Labs, Anne writes articles pertaining to IT professionals and the best practices for technology implementation. Anne covers the deployment issues and the business drivers related to technologies including databases, wireless, security and network operating systems. Anne joined eWeek in 1999 as a writer for eWeek's eBiz Strategies section before moving over to Labs in 2001. Prior to eWeek, she covered business and technology at the San Jose Mercury News and at the Contra Costa Times.

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