Remote Utilities 6.10.10.0

A full review of Remote Utilities, a free remote access/desktop program

Command Prompt in Remote Utilities

Remote Utilities is a free remote access program for the Windows operating system. You can connect to as many as 10 computers at no cost either from your mobile device or from an app you install on your computer.

Remote Utilities gives you 15 tools for connecting to a remote computer, which makes it one of the better remote desktop applications out there. Keep reading for the pros and cons of Remote Utilities and information about how the software works.

This review is of Remote Utilities version 6.10.10.0, released on July 2, 2019. Please let me know if there's a newer version I need to review.

More About Remote Utilities

Remote Utilities gives you so many options. Consider the following features and capabilities:

  • Remote Utilities works with 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.
  • It also supports Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2003.
  • You can launch the Viewer and Host apps from a USB drive (like a flash drive) without having to install software.
  • You can view a remote screen in View Only mode so that you don't interfere with anything on the remote computer.
  • Remote Utilities works well behind routers, so you don't need to make any port forwarding changes to your router's settings.
  • You can run the Host app without having to install it, which means that you can provide spontaneous support.
  • You can launch some remote tools without displaying messages or prompts on the remote computer.
  • The address book of remote connections is backed up every day. You also have the option to back the address book up online to a self-hosted server.
  • Supported tools include Power control, Task manager, Voice and video chat, remote Execute, and Screen recorder.

The Pros and Cons of Remote Utilities

Given how many many tools Remote Utilities has, it's not surprising that the program has many pros.

Pros:

  • Remote Utilities is 100% free for both business and private use on up to 10 computers. (You can use it on more than 50,000 computers if you purchase a license.)
  • Print remotely.
  • Provide spontaneous support.
  • The utility supports text chat.
  • Transfer files.
  • Access the Command Prompt remotely.
  • Connect from software you install on your computer or by using an iOS/Android app.
  • Remote Utilities supports Wake-on-LAN.
  • Take advantage of unattended access.
  • Easily shut down running processes remotely.

Cons:

  • Configuring the host software can be confusing.
  • Remote Utilities doesn't work on macOS.

How Does Remote Utilities Work?

Remote Utilities creates a connection between an administrative computer and a remote computer. You install the Host app on each remote computer; the Viewer app is the administration module, and you install it on the computer you use to control all the remote computers. In other words, the computer running Viewer is the one from which you connect to the remote computers.

Two versions of the Host app are available from the download page:

  • Host. This version installs the Host app on your remote computers.
  • Agent. This program, which you don't have to install, enables you to connect to the host computer quickly.

When you launch the Host app for the first time, you'll be prompted to set a password to secure your computer against unauthorized access. The Viewer app uses this password to access host computers. Then, the Host app on each computer uses the Internet-ID connection setting option to generate a nine-digit code that the Viewer app needs to access that computer. Like Host, you can download a portable version of Viewer.

When the connection has been established, the computer with Viewer can launch remote tools on the remote computer.

If you use many different administrative computers but can't or don't want to install the Agent app on all of them, download and run the portable Viewer app, instead. You don't need to install portable Viewer, and you can copy its address book to a portable drive to take with you.

Thoughts on Remote Utilities

Remote Utilities includes some great tools that push it over the edge compared with other, similar remote desktop software. The Host app's security options are a bit confusing, but when you've figured them out and Viewer can connect to remote computers, the tools are great.

You can take full control of the remote machine or simply view the remote computer's desktop in View Only, which is helpful if you're providing remote support and just want to watch what the user is doing without interfering. With a few clicks, you can change the mode during remote sessions.

File Transfer mode in Remote Utilities is a nice feature because it doesn't prompt the user of the remote computer for confirmation. In Viewer, enable File Transfer mode: You can transfer files to and from the remote computer without having to see see the remote computer's desktop. This capability really speeds things up when you just want to access remote files.

The Command prompt feature in Remote Utilities looks just like a typical Windows Command Prompt window, but it runs commands against the remote computer instead of the administrative machine. Finally, Inventory manager provides details of the host operating system, hardware, and installed software, complete with version numbers and manufacturer names.

As you're installing the program, select Free license during setup to avoid the 30-day trial.