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I'm looking for some software that will allow a remote desktop connection from a Windows 7 machine to an iMac (OSX) across the internet.

I use the term "remote desktop", but the primary requirement is simply to be able to view the Mac display from the Windows machine in order to provide basic support to another (technophobe) family member - non-commerical.

Someone will always be present at both ends of the connection.

We previously used LogMeIn (Free) which worked quite well (possibly a bit overkill). A small client was installed on the Mac end (the machine to be controlled) and I could view/control the Mac from Windows via the browser (later via a Chrome Extension). However, LogMeIn no longer offer a free version and we can't really justify the cost at the current time.

  • Try any VNC client, they all work. If you want something more user friendly, try TeamViewer – Huey Feb 16 '14 at 2:21
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Team Viewer is a great remote desktop tool that works on Mac, Windows and Linux, it is also free for non-commercial use it is also very easy to set up just install it on both machines. Enter the id and password of the PC you want to connect to, and you up and going. It also has a feature to connect to your machine that you are not near (eg. on is at work and the other is at home).

I have found it to be very easy to setup and use and quite reliable. you can also set it to open on boot so it is always ready.

It is:

Very easy to set up (login optional), Free (for private use), Very secure, Ad free, Works with IPs outside of you local network One thing though it is not open source.

You can download it free here

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What about Google Chrome Remote Desktop extension ?

I use it for work to control a bunch of Windows boxes and Mac and to remote help my parents with their Windows 7 laptop.

This extension is free and can be installed on Chrome OS, Linux (with limitations), OS X, Windows, Android, iOS but it needs Chrome browser to be installed on both computer.

Quoting wikipedia:

Chrome Remote Desktop requires the use of Google Chrome, along with the installation of an extension from the Chrome Web Store. It supports both a remote assistance mode, allowing a user to control another person's computer (typically to diagnose or troubleshoot a problem) as well as a remote desktop mode where a user can connect to another one of his or her own machines remotely.

  • This might be a good solution but you don't give us much to go on. Why are you recommending this over other solutions? What are the pro's and con's and how would the user know when to choose this? See What is required for an answer to be high quality? for more tips on what we are expecting out of answers. – Caleb Feb 25 '14 at 9:13
  • Details added, link to wikipedia article. – Damien Debin Feb 25 '14 at 9:43
  • Since posting this question I have started to use Chrome RD and was going to recommend it myself once I'd used it some more. However, one problem I find with it, when simply viewing (not controlling) the Mac desktop from the Windows machine is that the mouse pointer is not visible. There seems to be many reports of a similar problem, however, they seem to be when "controlling" the remote Mac. When controlling it I see the mouse pointer OK (since it is my mouse pointer that I see), but when simply watching the Mac desktop there is no pointer!? Have you experienced this? – MrWhite Feb 25 '14 at 16:15
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If you mainly need to see the other desktop, a simple video conferencing tool like Skype and Google Hangouts should do the job. I've used both in the past for this purpose.

Sharing your Screen with Google Hangouts

Call somebody using Google Hangouts. On the left side of your Hangouts screen, you should see a "Screenshare" link. Click on it. You will be asked which window you want to share. Pick one, and you're done.

The YouTube Movie Google Hangout Screen Sharing - How To Share Your Screen shows how this works. If you need more information, read the document Share your screen or desktop with others on support.google.com.

This requires the people on both ends of the connection to be reasonably proficient with computers, and have a Google or Skype account (depending on the solution you choose).

If you need a solution that is easier for the person on the other end, specialized options like Fog Creek Copilot or GoToAssist are available. They allow you to support people that don't have Google or Skype accounts, are easier to use, and require less proficiency. I've used both in the past, and they work fine.

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