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-   -   Why Don't more travelers use remote desktop. (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/travel-technology/1180840-why-dont-more-travelers-use-remote-desktop.html)

FL2009 Feb 5, 11 8:27 pm

Why Don't more travelers use remote desktop.
 
A few years ago after getting sick of the small keyboard and no numerical keypad I got a real desktop computer and my laptop is a dumb computer that just connects via remote desktop to my office computer

If I lose my laptop or have it stolen it's just a hardware loss, no files

A good friend of mine had his laptop stolen on a trip which begged me to ask, if you travel so much why would you keep important files on a laptop that can be stolen?

Anyone else a fellow remote desktopper around here?

cordelli Feb 5, 11 8:59 pm

Because it can be slow

Because it will only work if you are online, you can lose eight hours of work on a plane if they don't have internet you could be doing stuff

Because some companies don't allow remote access to their desktops

Because many people have enough problems without trying to use remote access

There are other ways to protect your files besides remote access.

ByrdluvsAWACO Feb 5, 11 10:20 pm


Originally Posted by FL2009 (Post 15810877)
if you travel so much why would you keep important files on a laptop that can be stolen?

Anyone else a fellow remote desktopper around here?

I use it on occasion when I need to do something on my server, but I don't use it as a replacement for my laptop.

If you're that concerned about losing files, then a cloud based backup solution may be better for you.

joejones Feb 5, 11 11:29 pm

I use Dropbox to store documents and Google Chrome to sync browser plugins/history/bookmarks across the four computers that I regularly use. Works like a charm even when one of them is offline.

Error 601 Feb 6, 11 2:23 am

We have had a pilot project combined with iPad's, extremely mixed results. We also have some bandwidth problems in a couple locations that make it rather agonizing.

UAVirgin Feb 6, 11 10:09 am

I use VNC on an iPad within my own home but there can be issues (security and connectivity) when I am not at home so I don't do it off my own private network. The reality is that most people are not always connected and when they are you often encounter networks that block the ports needed to remotely connect to a home computer or network.

SEABrad Feb 6, 11 9:40 pm


Originally Posted by joejones (Post 15811444)
I use Dropbox to store documents and Google Chrome to sync browser plugins/history/bookmarks across the four computers that I regularly use. Works like a charm even when one of them is offline.

Dropbox is great. I had used Windows live before that, but it is no longer functional. I use DB for my 5 computers also, and share files with all 5 other employees in our company.

cblaisd Feb 7, 11 9:54 pm

I use a combination of the free versions of Logmein, Syncplicity, and Xmarks. Pretty well covers my needs.

godlovesugly Feb 7, 11 10:43 pm

I just use dropbox and flash drives. I don't know why, but remote desktop feels more like a "security risk."

wco81 Feb 8, 11 10:06 am

I've been using screen sharing programs for years.

But what I don't get are services like Go To My PC which charge monthly for the service.

Are they offering more than simple screen control?

The various screen-sharing programs on the iPad are among the most expensive.

Some hotel wifi networks are too poor for screen sharing, which is saying something because I used to be able to do it over dialup.

gfunkdave Feb 8, 11 10:15 am


Originally Posted by godlovesugly (Post 15823173)
I just use dropbox and flash drives. I don't know why, but remote desktop feels more like a "security risk."

I tend to agree with this assessment...I figure it's safe enough if you disable/rename the local administrator account and have a good strong password. But I just feel better with public key SSH.

cordelli Feb 8, 11 10:34 am


Originally Posted by wco81 (Post 15825543)
But what I don't get are services like Go To My PC which charge monthly for the service.

Are they offering more than simple screen control?

Back in the day they offered significant advantages over the free versions, things like FTP, more screen resolutions to pick from, remote printing, the ability to run under any user and not just the administrator, things like that.

When I first started using remote access, Go to my PC was significantly different than things like logmein that one was usable and worth it to pay for, the other was really not worth the effort of trying to get it to work.

Another huge advantage to things like gotomypc is if it's in corporate environment is you can get site licenses, track use, etc.

That was then, this is now, and things like the Microsoft Mesh product do pretty much everything I need for free.

piper28 Feb 8, 11 2:42 pm


Originally Posted by godlovesugly (Post 15823173)
I just use dropbox and flash drives. I don't know why, but remote desktop feels more like a "security risk."

While I don't necessarily disagree with that last part, I do find it a little ironic, given that with dropbox you've now allowed some company to have access to your files, and you never really know exactly what they might do with it.

I'm just not quite trusting enough of dropbox to use it for anything I'd consider sensitive.

whitearrow Feb 8, 11 4:58 pm


Originally Posted by piper28 (Post 15827398)
I'm just not quite trusting enough of dropbox to use it for anything I'd consider sensitive.

You could always put your file in a zip or even a TrueCrypt container with a good strong password. Not unbreakable, but pretty secure.

TravelerMSY Feb 8, 11 6:26 pm

Terrible performance over high-latency 3G or hotel internet.

godlovesugly Feb 8, 11 7:45 pm


Originally Posted by piper28 (Post 15827398)
While I don't necessarily disagree with that last part, I do find it a little ironic, given that with dropbox you've now allowed some company to have access to your files, and you never really know exactly what they might do with it.

I'm just not quite trusting enough of dropbox to use it for anything I'd consider sensitive.

I archive and password protect anything "sensitive" I put in Dropbox, and usually avoid it altogether with flash drives. I agree with you about not trusting dropbox for important/sensitive files.

gfunkdave Feb 8, 11 7:49 pm


Originally Posted by godlovesugly (Post 15828999)
I archive and password protect anything "sensitive" I put in Dropbox, and usually avoid it altogether with flash drives. I agree with you about not trusting dropbox for important/sensitive files.

Realize that the standard encryption you get with Windows zip files is a joke. Far better to use 7-zip's encryption, which uses AES-256. 7-zip is freeware.

FL2009 Feb 8, 11 10:03 pm


Originally Posted by UAVirgin (Post 15813114)
I use VNC on an iPad within my own home but there can be issues (security and connectivity) when I am not at home so I don't do it off my own private network. The reality is that most people are not always connected and when they are you often encounter networks that block the ports needed to remotely connect to a home computer or network.


I used to use VNC but I always had little quirks with it. I just use the remote desktop client now.

Allanf Feb 9, 11 2:49 am

Works for me
 

Originally Posted by FL2009 (Post 15810877)
A few years ago after getting sick of the small keyboard and no numerical keypad I got a real desktop computer and my laptop is a dumb computer that just connects via remote desktop to my office computer

If I lose my laptop or have it stolen it's just a hardware loss, no files

A good friend of mine had his laptop stolen on a trip which begged me to ask, if you travel so much why would you keep important files on a laptop that can be stolen?

Anyone else a fellow remote desktopper around here?

I sure use it all the time - right now from my iMac at home and from a MacBook Air on the road. MS has a great free download for Snow Leopard. I have an iPad and iPhone and in emergency can access from those as well but have not had to since i got a new MacBook Air. No problems to speak of for several years except occasionally when using some overloaded free airport WiFi systems (like MSY). Works good enough with GoGo in the air and usually great with Hampton Inn or better hotel connections and with the Delta SkyClub (T-Mobile) WiFi connections. It makes life simple and is indispensible for me.

bocastephen Feb 9, 11 1:11 pm

Since I'm in the industry, I can say that most corporate travelers *should* be using virtual/remote desktops when traveling abroad. *Every* corporation that gives even the slightest care about security and protecting intellectual property should be using this technology.

Virtual desktops are evolving - yesterday you needed to be tethered to the network to get access. Today we have virtual desktops that can be run while off the network, maintain complete security from the host device disk and sync with the data center when back on the network.

Customs or whatever espionage group wanted to steal information from such an employee laptop would have an impossible time.

It still amazes me that western companies are sending employees to China (and France, for that matter) with IP right on their local hard disk, just begging to be stolen.

KoKoBuddy Feb 9, 11 1:26 pm

Couple of points:

1. Using a desktop and a laptop is just an extra piece of complexity that I don't need in my life.

2. If the Chinese or French really want to steal your data, they'll find a way to do it. Best security in the world is never secure if someone truly wants to break in.

FL2009 Feb 12, 11 10:30 am

people are so lax
 
I had a vendor give me a USB stick with a file

I downloaded an undelete program and viola there was his proposal to my competitor!

gretchendz Feb 12, 11 7:03 pm

Dropbox
 

Originally Posted by joejones (Post 15811444)
I use Dropbox to store documents and Google Chrome to sync browser plugins/history/bookmarks across the four computers that I regularly use. Works like a charm even when one of them is offline.


Dropbox is fabulous---I use 5 different computers and my files are always perfectly synced.

chichow Feb 13, 11 8:47 pm


Originally Posted by bocastephen (Post 15833253)
Since I'm in the industry, I can say that most corporate travelers *should* be using virtual/remote desktops when traveling abroad. *Every* corporation that gives even the slightest care about security and protecting intellectual property should be using this technology.

Virtual desktops are evolving - yesterday you needed to be tethered to the network to get access. Today we have virtual desktops that can be run while off the network, maintain complete security from the host device disk and sync with the data center when back on the network.

Customs or whatever espionage group wanted to steal information from such an employee laptop would have an impossible time.

It still amazes me that western companies are sending employees to China (and France, for that matter) with IP right on their local hard disk, just begging to be stolen.

Vendors? Solutions? just curious...

bocastephen Feb 13, 11 8:59 pm


Originally Posted by chichow (Post 15858468)
Vendors? Solutions? just curious...

Citrix is the tech and solution leader in the virtual desktop market. VMWare also sells a virtual desktop product, but with far limited functionality.

Individuals can use GoToMyPC (simple, secure) or VNC (tech-savvy users) to connect their "empty" traveling laptop with a device at home that contains their files or critical data.

Another option is keeping sensitive data in a Cloud folder, like Dropbox or Amazon - but then you're relying on a third party to protect the security of your information.

wco81 Feb 14, 11 1:08 am

Timbuktu works well for basic screen control.

gfunkdave Feb 14, 11 3:02 pm


Originally Posted by bocastephen (Post 15858516)
Another option is keeping sensitive data in a Cloud folder, like Dropbox or Amazon - but then you're relying on a third party to protect the security of your information.

You're relying on a third party if you use SSH, VPN, VMWare, Citrix, etc. You're relying on them to ensure that they coded the software with correct implementations of encryption protocols. You're relying on them not to eavesdrop on your systems, or leave backdoors for access.

It's probably a smaller risk than Dropbox or Amazon, but not by much. And if you want to be truly paranoid, you can always encrypt files before uploading them to Dropbox or Amazon.

nkedel Feb 14, 11 8:18 pm


Originally Posted by gfunkdave (Post 15863205)
You're relying on a third party if you use SSH, VPN, VMWare, Citrix, etc. You're relying on them to ensure that they coded the software with correct implementations of encryption protocols. You're relying on them not to eavesdrop on your systems, or leave backdoors for access.

OpenSSH is one of the best-vetted open-source projects in the world, and I compile my own copy of it. IMO it's considerably safer than anything directly managed by a third party, and (once again IMO) somewhat safer than any for-profit software package.

JWZ954 Feb 17, 11 2:41 pm

good points.!

i only use remote desktop when i need to use some softwares on my desktop that i was so lazy to install it on my laptop.
For docs and stuff, i use google docs, and i heard dropbox is good also, but i haven't look into it.

matter of fact, i use google doc for majority of my docs needs. i can use google docs offline also, just whenever i have internet, it will auto update.

bcl00 Mar 1, 11 1:11 pm

I have a linux machine at home that I connect to from work, hotels, airports, flights with wifi, etc. I still keep all my important documents on my laptop but it lets me remotely connect to home to download torrents and from usenet. I use SCP to copy files to/from that computer to my laptop.

As far as worrying about losing my laptop and losing my documents, I take a backup once every couple of weeks using an incremental backup tool called backup professional. I store the files on my time capsule at home which can also be reached via my linux machine.

I also use something called free NX to connect to it so I can run applications that require a graphical interface.

stevenyoung Mar 1, 11 10:42 pm

Think Online When Youíre Offline
Your desktop can be your connection to the Internet on your behalf, downloading, backing up, and securing your home while youíre enjoying life offline in countries around the world. There are about multiple ways to perform the tasks above and several other ways to put your desktop (and Internet connection bill) to creative use. Itís certainly better than letting both computer and connection go idle; that time away from the Internet is reserved for you, not your desktop.

DMSFCA Mar 9, 11 11:52 am

I'm always curious about what people do for a living when they complain about Dropbox or Amazon AWS not being "secure" and "someone else has my data".

I guess I just keep presentation files and boring stuff on my DropBox, but are people really keeping military secrets and the like where they are concerned that Amazon's AWS service would get compromised and national security at risk?

Or is it just more of a case of having the company sales presentation in draft form (internal use only!) or sales figures? Is there really a legitimate belief that someone inside Amazon's hosting service is going to seek out your data and expose it to competitors? That risk seems incredibly obscure and are you just splitting hairs arguing between 3DES and AES encryption for this kind of stuff?

I mean, I use a full-disk encryption on my laptop and I always backup to an external hard drive before I leave home on a trip, but I think the risk of someone breaking in my house and stealing the data is much higher than someone breaking into a reputable cloud-based hosting service and taking my data or breaking the transport encryption. I guess I also don't work with military secrets and it sounds like some of you do.

When I read some of this I always wonder if there is a certain "fun" or "hobby" in making your environment incredibly secure, and I get that, rather than really worried that someone at Dropbox is going to see your unfinished manuscript of the Great American Novel...

boberonicus Mar 9, 11 12:08 pm


Originally Posted by DMSFCA (Post 16003042)
I guess I just keep presentation files and boring stuff on my DropBox, but are people really keeping military secrets and the like where they are concerned that Amazon's AWS service would get compromised and national security at risk?

To asses risk, you must determine the magnitude of the potential loss and the probability that the loss will occur. So you can't just say "what's the problem with the cloud?" Let's assume that the chances of your Amazon data being stolen/read/etc. are low. But if you could lose your job or your income due to a security breach, you'd probably wonder if the low risk was worthwhile.

piper28 Mar 9, 11 12:13 pm


Originally Posted by DMSFCA (Post 16003042)
I'm always curious about what people do for a living when they complain about Dropbox or Amazon AWS not being "secure" and "someone else has my data".

I work at a research university, and a large number of grants have some pretty explicit requirements for data access. Quite honestly, in general most of the cloud computing licenses are at best grey in whether they're adequate for some of the stuff we store. There's enough money at stake that it's just not worth it.

Obviously there's stuff that it's no big deal to have on services like this, but there's definitely things we don't want on these types of services.

(Sometimes the requirements that some of these places have don't necessarily make a lot of sense either, but even then, we generally have to follow them.)

DMSFCA Mar 9, 11 1:07 pm


Originally Posted by piper28 (Post 16003190)
I work at a research university, and a large number of grants have some pretty explicit requirements for data access. Quite honestly, in general most of the cloud computing licenses are at best grey in whether they're adequate for some of the stuff we store. There's enough money at stake that it's just not worth it.

Obviously there's stuff that it's no big deal to have on services like this, but there's definitely things we don't want on these types of services.

(Sometimes the requirements that some of these places have don't necessarily make a lot of sense either, but even then, we generally have to follow them.)

You guys make good points I didn't consider - sometimes your clients or customers put down strict requirements on you and the way you store their data or projects of theirs - makes more sense now. :)

pittpanther Mar 10, 11 11:38 am


Originally Posted by DMSFCA (Post 16003042)
I'm always curious about what people do for a living when they complain about Dropbox or Amazon AWS not being "secure" and "someone else has my data". ...

When I read some of this I always wonder if there is a certain "fun" or "hobby" in making your environment incredibly secure, and I get that, rather than really worried that someone at Dropbox is going to see your unfinished manuscript of the Great American Novel...

I think you're absolutely correct.

If the data which people on these threads are worried about is really so important and so private, wouldn't your company have rules in place that you shouldn't even be downloading that stuff to your laptops?

I work in the healthcare arena, and have access to some patient health information. It is a fireable offense to download that info to my laptop. Any work I need to perform using that data is to be done on our servers, or preferably on the clients own servers.

cbkcc1 Mar 11, 11 4:46 pm

i use LogMeIn Free for Remote
Spideroak for backup/share rooms(dropbox)/sync
Privoxy and Chrome with Hamachi for VPN surfing when needed (http://lifehacker.com/#!5763170/how-...hi-and-privoxy)
you could also use Neorouter with an Android device


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