Apple Remote Desktop is the award-winning OS X desktop management system for software distribution, asset management and remote assistance.
Apple Remote Desktop offers a wide range of high-performance features, including lightning-fast Spotlight searches across multiple systems, more than 40 Automator actions for easy automation of repetitive tasks, and AutoInstall for automatically updating software on mobile systems once they return to the network. Installing software or updates to your network has never been this easy.
Take an existing package, from either Apple or a third party, and simply use the Install Package to copy and install on your client computers. And it works with custom install packages as well. AutoInstall allows you to stage software on a Task Server, which then takes care of distributing the packages for installation on client computers.
You can even set a schedule for installation to occur at a time that is most convenient for your organisation.
And if a computer is not on the network, the Task Server will keep track and automatically install the package once the system is online. You have the VNC server typically a laptop, server, or desktop and the VNC client another laptop, desktop, or mobile device. The client generally connects to the server from port and allows the client to see the display of the VNC server.
Screens is using industry-standard technology, but with an easy-to-use and beautiful user interface. Both apps received quick updates for the new iOS 7 design a couple years back. The iPhone and Mac apps share a lot of similar buttons and layout functions, so users of both apps can swap back and forth without having to re-learn workflows. The apps look for available machines on the local network, and also shows you the ones available with Screens Connect more on that later. Once you are logged into a machine, you are free to use it like you would just sitting in front of it.
On the Mac side, using a remote machine feels extremely normal.
With that being said, Screens offers the best experience in my opinion. There is also an optional trackpad mode that turns your display into a trackpad and will make the cursor follow your finger around as you track. Both options work well, and it just comes down to personal preference. Since Screens is built on open source technology, it is probably always going to lose the feature check list game when compared to custom-built services like LogMeIn or TeamViewer. Companies that are building their own technology have the ability to do whatever their product managers can come up with.
Screens offers exactly what I want out of remote access without a monthly fee. It does lack a web access component, so if that is a feature that you need, then you should look at one of the other options below. Web access used to be important to me, but that was before I had multiple iOS devices in my bag.
Screens has a free service called Screens Connect that takes care of that for you. You create an account, install the Screens Connect app on the Mac you want to remotely access, and log in with your user name and password. On the client side, you simply log in with your Screens Connect account, and you see your logged in computers. In my experience, Screens has been rock solid. Screens is really the best of both worlds.
Regular updates help us feel more comfortable relying on this app day in and day out. We also recommend it for the times when VNC technology is blocked or a corporate firewall prevents Screens Connect from working. LogMeIn is easy to install and easy to use.
In fact, I use it on a few machines at work in order to always have easy access to them from offsite. LogMeIn allows me to keep my firewall locked down, but still get to these machines. It works from the web, but they also recently added a Mac client that is installed when you sign up. It allows quick access to a machine. LogMeIn also offers free iOS apps. One of the main reasons we chose Screens over LogMeIn is the price.
Some users have no issue getting it to work, while others have no success at all. I use remote access apps as much on my iPhone as I do other laptops.
It uses Kerberos with digital certificates to verify that you are authorized to connect to the Mac in question. Otherwise, everyone will be able to access it.
Although not the most reliable solution, AirDrop works fine for occasional sharing a file between Apple devices. The app works with numerous cloud providers, from Dropbox to Google Drive, and saves your files for sharing by simply dragging them onto its menu bar icon. The most technical but also the most robust way to share files from your mac is to use FTP, which you could do either through Terminal or an FTP Client, the latter being much more user friendly. There are a few popular FTP clients one could choose from.
Transmit by Panic has been around for a long time and is held in high regard within the developer community. Yummy FTP Pro is another full-featured file transfer app for Mac that combines speed and reliability, able to handle thousands of files, schedule backups, and even automate transfers.
Another file managing app ForkLift covers most of the FTP functionality but takes it to the next level and could be a viable replacement for the Finder altogether with its quick search, instant previews, and file comparison. At last, when it comes to sharing the same files on different devices, an app like ChronoSync Express becomes invaluable. ChronoSync Express is powerful tool for sharing and transferring files from Mac to Mac, or any another Apple device.
With a feature called Synchronizer Document, you can select which files need to be automatically synchronized and shared between devices, just like that:. Whether you are working on your Mac directly, logging into your Mac remotely, or sharing access with someone else, security should be on top of your mind.
As a rule of thumb, you should always use a VPN when connected to a public Wi-Fi network, as someone could log in and see the information you send just as easily as you do. And with remote access — even in the View Only mode — someone can see every file and document on your Mac, except those that are password protected. Unfortunately, if you leave passwords in a visible document, you expose yourself to immense risks.
A secure VPN client for Mac like Shimo is well worth using to stop unwanted eyes from lurking around, especially if you are sharing sensitive files, financial records or customer data. With full remote access and Mac remote control, the other person — or yourself connecting to another Mac — can have the same level of control as the person using that device.
Starting with Jump Desktop is easy: Once permission is granted at the other end, remote Mac screen sharing or control whereby you can use the iOS device as a remote mouse becomes possible. If your remote work starts on a patio hammock somewhere in east Asia, you should note that Apple iOS devices, such as an iPhone or iPad, can be used to control a Mac remotely, much like a mouse can control a desktop or laptop.
Apps that make this possible work on VNC.