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5 ways to access and control your PC remotely

Chris Hoffman | Sept. 25, 2014
Your PC isn't really stuck at home. You can access the desktop, your files, and even gaming horsepower on the go. You can turn on your PC from halfway around the world!

Game streaming

When you're done being productive, you can also use your computer's graphics card's power to play games when you're away from it. Steam's killer in-home streaming feature allows you to stream games running on your gaming PC to other Windows, Linux, or Mac computers on your home network. You could try to stream games when you're out of the house by connecting your PC to a VPN server running on your home network... but even if you tricked Steam into streaming over the Internet that way, performance wouldn't be great.

Nvidia also offers its own GameStream feature, which only works with recent Nvidia graphics cards. Unlike Steam's streaming feature, Nvidia does allow you to access your home PC and stream games from it over the Internet, although this feature is in beta. The problem here is that this feature can stream games only to an Nvidia Shield handheld console or the Shield tablet. You can connect your Shield to a television and stream to a larger screen, but you need the Shield hardware to act as a receiver.

The mobile revolution may be marching on, but the PC is still important to many users' lives. Remote control is one area where the right tools let PCs, smartphones, and tablets be more powerful by working together.


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