Need files from your PC? Try the iPad’s remote-access apps

Ever needed to access your computer or laptop while you were on the road? Ever needed that particular special file from your desktop computer while you were on the opposite side of the country from it? Using your iPad along with a remote-access app, you can easily access your desktop or laptop wherever it is or you are. As the name indicates, these apps enable you to make use of your iPad to take command over your computer or laptop. Once you’ve gained this control, you can easily open files, explore folders, access contact lists and, in some instances, watch movies or videos that you’ve saved on your Desktop or laptop. The best news? There are several remote-access apps available. While remotely managing your PC isn’t as smooth an experience as working with it directly, these programs can help out in an emergency.

GoToMyPC: Citrix, the company behind GoToMyPC, is a veteran of the remote-access business. Actually, GoToMyPC is older than the iPad itself. Consequently GoToMyPC has ironed out the bugs sometimes regarding remote access. This is the reason the service earned a solid review recently from PC Magazine, whose editors praised this service for its simplicity of use and intuitive controls. As the name suggests, iPad users – through an application – can remotely access their desktop and laptops using this application. They are able to open Word documents, access Excel spreadsheets and comb through the contact lists stored on their remote computers. The sole negative? The cost. This can be a fairly pricy service, costing, in general, $9.95 a month or $99 a year. If you are a more typical iPad user who’s and not on the road too frequently, you may prefer one of many lower-priced remote-access programs out there.

SplashTop Remote Desktop: The SplashTop Remote Desktop has long been a top choice for iPad users. That’s because the product, as rated by CNet writer Matt Elliott, is not difficult to set up and use. Additionally, it is fairly inexpensive, costing just $4.99. It also enables you to stream both video and audio, something that other remote-desktop programs don’t.

LogMeIn Ignition: LogMeIn Ignition is another lower-priced alternative to GoToMyPC, though at $30, it is more costly than rival SplashTop. This program has also been praised by CNET for its simplicity of use and effectiveness, but also for two nifty features. First, you can utilize LogMeIn to remotely wake up a sleeping or shut-down PC. Secondly, you can use the application to remotely move files from a PC to your iPad.