Splashtop Update: Although Splashtop states Internet Discovery as an experimental feature, I have found it to be highly reliable. I have a Windows XP Pro desktop and a Windows 7 Ultimate laptop both running Splashtop Remote client and Internet Discovery always locates both computers on WiFi at home and on 3G when I’m outside. It no longer matters whether you have static or dynamic IP address!
There are far more uses for these two Apps than I care to mention and if you take the time to read their exhaustive list of features, you may even think surely they’re too good to be true. What did it for me was simply the confidence I got from strong positive reviews from happy users so taking the plunge wasn’t as daunting an experience as what many remote desktop software in the past had failed to inspire. If you’re an iPad user like me who takes work on the road a lot working out of coffee shops, hotel lobbies, overseas assignments sometimes you have an urgent need to access files stored on the home computer.
By files, I mean digital images, Microsoft Office documents, etc. We all know how incredibly powerful and convenient the iPad 2 is so there’s no need to get into all that brochure talk. But instead, I recommend LogMeIn Ignition and Splashtop Remote Desktop. I have both and use one or the other depending on whether “access” means simply browsing the files/documents online or downloading them for offline use later. Best part is their desktop “agent” Apps happily co-exist so they can be left inconspicuously running in the background.
Splashtop Remote Desktop works on iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android and WebOS
This is the ONLY remote desktop app that streams video and audio from your PC or Mac, allowing you to interact with your PowerPoint, Keynote, Word, Excel, Outlook, Quicken, IE, Firefox, Safari, World of Warcraft, and other PC / MAC applications. — Splashtop on iTunes
LogMeIn Ignition which is priced a lot higher than Splashtop Remote (6 times more to be exact) has the advantage of working on both WiFi and 3G network connectivity. The folks at Splashtop Inc has done an excellent tutorial to help those with Linksys Wireless-G Broadband Router connect from outside via 3G. There’s a small catch — static and dynamic IP address. If you’re a home user, chances are Dynamic IP is part of your data plan (those with Static IP need not read on beyond the step-by-step guide. If you one of the majority like me who has to deal with ever changing IP address, there’s a way to overcome this shortcoming by using DynDNS service (I’ve prepared my own tutorial to walk you through this).
On a side note, if you’re looking for a way to print a document on your home printer over 3G from the iPad, you’ll have come across many reports that this is not possible. This is in fact possible and I’ve done it to share with you.