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If you have computers in the lab that you would like to access from home, this might be for you.
LogMeIn.com offers a free remote desktop service that allows you to take control of a remote computer. Perfect if, while relaxing after dinner, you remember that you forgot to turn off the HPLC at work (yes, I did that tonight).
The service is very easy to set up. You simply create an account at LogMeIn.com, download a small file and install it on your lab computer, then set up secure passwords for the lab computer to restrict access to it.
When you are at home you just log onto LogMeIn.com, enter the password for your lab computer and open a browser window that displays your lab computer desktop.
From the remote desktop you can open files, run programs, switch off HPLC pumps etc. from the comfort of your own home.
A number of password security levels are available to ensure that no-one else can access your account, and once a connection is established, SSL encryption, the technology used for online banking, ensures that your connection is secured from prying eyes. More information on security can be found here.
As I said, this great service is completely free of charge. Of course there is a also pay version, which has extended functionality, allowing you to transfer or print files from the remote computer and a whole bunch of other stuff. But for me, the free version does just fine.
If you give it a go, or already use something similar, let us know your thoughts!