Everywhere 2.0 is described as a “remote and mobile access Web service” designed to bring your desktop to any browser-enabled device. It uses 128-bit encryption and two levels of passwords for remote desktop access. The client software is now available in the US for download from LapLink.
The company offers a free 15-day trial of the service. Subscriptions cost $US89.95 annually, or $US9.95 on a monthly basis, and include 6MB of storage on LapLink’s servers. That price allows access to three PCs.
Adelaide-based Saragota Distribution — which has exclusive rights on Laplink products in Australia — is currently evaluating the product and expects to release price lists in the second week of May.
LapLink Everywhere uses “intelligent display formatting depending on device,” LapLink chairman and co-founder, said Mark Eppley, said. “It recognises most devices — phone, PDA, full screen — and automatically formats accordingly.”
Security is enhanced in this version, which adds a remote control feature. For this, LapLink has developed a full 128-bit Secure Sockets Layer version of virtual network computing (VNC) security, an open-source standard. LapLink’s SSL VNC version supports existing VNC clients, version 3.3.6 or later, but it does not yet support WAP phones and PDAs.
A LapLink Everywhere subscription includes one hour per month of connection using the standard VNC client or the LapLink Secure VNC windows client. An add-on subscription allows unlimited remote access, for $US4.95 monthly or $US29.95 yearly.
Version 2.0 adds support for POP3 and other email services, instead of requiring use of Microsoft Outlook. The program supports other email clients when installed as the default for sending file attachments under the LapLink files option. It also supports multiple file attachments, and can draw address book information from PDA applications.
Other new functions include better formatting on PDAs (through a “PDA View” selection) and simpler file transfer. The session automatically logs off after multiple file transfers, and LapLink Everywhere now supports file transfers through HTTP proxy servers, a stumbling block in the initial release.
Hands On With 2.0
I tested the newly released LapLink Everywhere 2.0 to see how well it worked for accessing my email, files, and desktop while I was away.
Since you download the software from LapLink’s website, it doesn’t take long to get up and running. The main installation program is only 6MB in size — and since you’ll want a broadband connection to use LapLink Everywhere, it was a fast download. The remote desktop addition is only 1.5MB. It took less than 10 minutes to install both programs.
It took a bit of configuring to get LapLink Everywhere running through a firewall, but setting the connections was effective on the first try.
To connect to a PC remotely, you simply go to the LapLink Everywhere site, enter a user name and password, and connect to the PC’s files.
Once connected, I could browse through text folders on a desktop or PDA, transferring and opening files as needed. LapLink Everywhere’s Work Flow Automation capabilities allow it to synchronise with a Structured Query Language (SQL) database or process forms, services that a mobile corporate sales force might find attractive.
Spreading beyond its Outlook support, LapLink Everywhere integrates into your email client, so you can see any messages already downloaded. Since Web-based email only lets you view messages still on the mail server, this definitely came in handy.
Using the remote control application, LapLink’s SSL VNC, requires downloading a small Java application to the remote system. (It’s only usable with full-screen devices — you can’t control your desktop via your WAP phone or PDA).
A new file-sharing function makes it possible to share files with other users, letting them “see” only those files on your system for file swapping or project collaboration. You can also send one-time secure SSL download links to files on your system — a great way to send files larger than email can handle.
If your only remote activity is checking email on your ISP’s server, then LapLink Everywhere may be more than you need. But if you have multiple systems and files to which you need access, it’s an inexpensive and easy way to keep them within your cursor’s reach.