Following the launch of Windows 7, third-party developers have been busy adding support to their products for the new Microsoft operating system. Among them is Canadian developer 01 Communique, whose I'm InTouch hosted remote control service can now be used to remotely access Windows 7 desktops, with 256-bit SSL encryption and improved performance among other enhancements in the latest 7.2 release.
01 Communique supplied us with a couple of trial accounts for I'm InTouch, enabling us to evaluate its so-called Premium service. This adds central administration and remote power-on to the core remote control, chat and file transfer tools of the base product and, as such, is aimed at the business rather than ordinary home user.
To get started we logged onto the I'm InTouch web site using the credentials provided, then activated our licences, supplying user names and passwords to connect to each of our test desktops. For security the credentials are stored on the PC itself rather than the I'm InTouch server, and you can also assign a nickname to each computer to make them easier to identify.
That done, we simply followed the link provided to download client software onto the PCs we wanted to control, designated 'hosts' by the I'm InTouch people. This is fairly easy and there's support for all versions of Windows from 2000 onwards, including 32-bit and 64-bit versions of both Vista and Windows 7.
On the downside, the setup is a fairly lengthy process involving a great deal of code and requiring a lot of user input. Still, we managed to work our way through it all without any hiccups and, once installed, were able to connect to our hosts from the I'm InTouch web portal simply by selecting the computer we wanted. This we did either by typing its name or choosing from a list showing which of our hosts were online and ready to access.
There was no need to explicitly install any software on the controlling PC, although for full desktop access a Java applet will be downloaded. However, if Java isn't available or downloads are blocked you can opt to just transfer files or connect to Outlook on the remote PC instead (where available) to access email. You can also connect to a remote webcam, if configured.