Previously in this blog we wrote about myths of NAT traversal techniques. We said that “hole-punching” in itself does not guarantee a direct connection in all possible cases. If you want to access a remote PC over the Internet in today’s IPv4- and NAT-ruled world, you will inevitably have to use some kind of intermediary server to connect. In Remote Utilities this feature is called Internet ID and it has already saved our users tons of time and frustration because it allows them to bypass firewalls and routers easily.
As you have probably noticed, there is an RDP connection mode in Remote Utilities. You can use the Viewer as an RDP client and connect to an RDP server using a direct IP connection. This ability is very handy for those administrators who may wish to use RDP instead of Remote Utilities in some circumstances.
One of the most interesting features in Remote Utilities is the ability to connect to a remote computer’s camera and watch what is happening in the room. The camera can be an external webcam attached to the PC or a built-in camera in a notebook. This connection mode is very handy, for example, when you need to look after your kids playing while you’re at work. You can also capture sound from the camera microphone, allowing you not only see but also hear what is happening in the room.
The remote webcam mode, however, has one notable privacy feature that some may consider a limitation. During the “remote surveillance” session the program displays a warning banner on the remote computer screen that reads: “Attention! Video surveillance is activated!” This alerts the user sitting at the remote PC that surveillance is turned on, and someone may be watching them (or listening to what they say).
The ability to print a remote document on the local printer has long been asked for. Today we’re happy to announce that this feature has already been implemented and will be available in the next minor update - version 5.4. This post is a sneak peek into how remote printing works in Remote Utilities.
When it comes to accessing a remote desktop over the Internet, there are basically two options: a direct IP to IP connection or a mediated connection. In recent years it has been an increasing trend among major remote desktop software vendors to provide the latter connection type. For a customer it is much easier to use a simple number (an ID) for connecting rather than configuring a router and grappling with port forwarding.
Given the popularity of this technique, many users started to ask: “Is the traffic routed through the company’s mediation servers all of the time or is the mediation server used only once to initiate the connection?” This question is often followed by an immediate answer that such-and-such company utilizes a NAT traversal technique, such as UDP hole punching, in their software. And that with NAT traversal the mediation server only initiates the connection and then leaves both sides alone to communicate directly to each other.
The problem of mistakenly identifying a particular program as a virus is as old as the Internet, especially for developers of remote access software. For example, we often receive complaints from users that an antivirus program has blocked Remote Utilities.
The antivirus program's extensive authority over the user's computer lies at the root of the problem. Moreover, the user usually trusts the antivirus program completely. A user doesn't continue installing or launching a program marked as "suspicious". On one hand, the user is indeed protected against launching malicious programs. On the other hand the antivirus program degrades the user's experience when it prevents him from accessing a remote computer or places executable files into quarantine -- or even deletes them.