Skype for Business: Significantly Save Your Time by Mastering These Hidden Features

Ever since Skype Communications was acquired by Microsoft in 2011 for an impressive sum of around $8.5 billion, the popular video-chat application has been integrated with a range of Microsoft operating systems such as Windows 8 and Windows RT. Now, with the release of Skype for Business on 22nd of September, the new video conferencing application combines elements of the free consumer version as well as Microsoft’s Lync, providing a range of enterprise-specific capabilities for professional use.

Skype for Business can prove to be an extremely productive application, helping organizations enhance activity and process efficiency and functionality.

Quotation Mark


Skype for Business is based on the familiar Skype experience that more than 300 million people use every month to connect with friends and family. It is built right into Office, so features like presence, IM, voice and video calls, and online meetings are an integrated part of the Office experience. And with Skype for Business, you can search for and connect with anyone in the Skype network–inside or outside your organization

— Microsoft

If you are keen on making the most out of the new application, here are four features you should know and master.

Have large meetings

Organizing large meetings is never a restriction in Skype for Business. Unlike the free consumer version that has a conference call limit of 25 people, Skype for Business allows up to 250 people to join a conference call, well suited for live webinars and company-wide meetings. Another advantage is that participants need not necessarily have a Skype account to join a meeting. The service can supports calls from both mobile phones as well as landlines for extra fees and participants can even be invited to join a meeting via e-mail.

Setting up a meeting is only a few clicks away. Simply click on the ‘New Skype Meeting’ button to pop up the Outlook Meeting Request. Then add the team members whom you wish to have a meeting with including the time, duration, and title of the meeting and then finish. Now the meeting notification will be displayed on the Skype menu on the right hand corner. During the meeting, if you find that one of the participants has still not joined the meeting, you can type in their name to prompt them to join the meeting.

Benefit from sophisticated conference tools

Now that you are at grips with organizing a meeting using the app, you also want to ensure that you have access to the right tools to have a truly engaging conference experience, especially if there are a large number of participants. The Skype for Business lets you use standalone cameras, Polycom audio gear, monitors, as well as an online whiteboard that can be used via ink or touch from Microsoft Surface Hub. The application has an additional benefit of integrating with a wide number of PBX systems, allowing you to route calls a lot more quickly over VOIP.

Sharing tools allow you to display your desktop from a variety of options. This can allow you to share your presentation and discuss a specific presentation slide.

Integrate with Office apps

The integration with Office 365 makes the Skype for Business application stand out as a remarkable addition for enterprises. Business users can seamlessly use Outlook, which will archive all meetings with each of your contact, with Skype for Business’ voice, instant messaging, and video features. More importantly, sharing Excel’s spreadsheet data or PowerPoint presentation can be done from the Skype for Business window. This means that you will not have to open separate applications and attempt to copy and paste it, which can help save a lot of time and frustration when running a conference meeting. In the case of PowerPoint, for example, you can download a presentation either for yourself or for everyone in the meeting and then choose to view the presentation by clicking on the Present Now button.

Perhaps, the most essential need in meetings is to have a record of meeting notes. With integration with OneNote, Skype for Business can instantly pull the meeting details, including the participants, date and subject of meeting, and duration. The meeting notes can then be shared with other colleagues via e-mail.

Record meetings

If you plan on conducting a meeting that you wish to share with others, you have the option of recording the meeting. Whether it is a live webinar with other clients, which you will upload on your company YouTube account, a record meeting button can provide you with a lot of convenience. To record your meetings, simply start the recording by clicking on the options button. Once recording has started, everyone present in the meeting will be notified that the meeting is being recorded.

End note

The features of Skype for Business for meeting the needs of enterprises look promising. With its close integration with Office 365 and a number of conference meeting tools, businesses can save considerable time, allowing increased productivity and efficiency.

A Beginner’s Guide to Office 365

The requirements of operating a small-to-medium sized business (SMB) is increasingly revolving around the concept of cloud computing data, speed of access and organization wide use, and lower operating and running costs. Now that the cloud computing models are perceived with greater business cost savings and higher operational efficiencies, it is only natural that office applications such as word processing, spreadsheet, and database management reflect the trends and preferences.

This is why Microsoft responded with its Office 365 to help businesses leverage their online, cloud-networking operations to the next level. Office 365 has already surpassed Google Apps as the preferred cloud-based productivity suite. According to an in-depth review article from PCWorld, Office 365 is the clear winner among online productivity suites and email tools for businesses.

If you are a SMB that intends to use Office 365, then the following guide will prove to be a major help.

Office 365 – What is it?

Office 365 is an online application suite developed by Microsoft to let businesses enjoy the same set of software applications that we are all used to – Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and more. The purpose of the Office 365 is to let businesses use the software applications on a needs-basis through a subscription pricing model instead of purchasing the entire application suite.

Getting started

Getting started with your Office 365 involves undertaking a number of steps after you have signed up for your Office 365 account. The steps are as follows:

1. Select your domain and create user accounts

You can easily add your own domain to your Office 365 if you intend to access e-mail from your official company account. You also have the option of selecting the domain provided by Office 365. Once you have selected your option, you will then need to create user accounts with password protection to be able to log in and access Office 365 programs.

2. Set your e-mail account

The Office 365 is accessible via an Exchange Online and Outlook Web App. The Exchange Online App allows you to manage your contacts, e-mail, and calendar all-in-one in a single application via the Outlook Web App. When you create your user accounts as outlined in the previous step, Office 365 provides mailboxes for each user account you create.  However, you as an administrator have control over the settings for each user account and the mailboxes.

You can also choose to import your e-mail contacts to your Office 365 e-mail account, depending on which e-mail provider you use. For instance, if you had been using Outlook, you can simple move all the data through your account. It will also let you copy the details and numbers of your contacts.

3. Set up team-site and the necessary documents

Next, you need to set up a team-site, which will contain all the important information and documents that will be accessible from anywhere. Office 365 automatically creates one team-site when signing up so you will simply be required to add the relevant documents and allow your team members access rights to be able to use it. The team members will then also be able to use Office 365 applications such as Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint, and Word.

4. Organize your mobile access

Data storage in Office 365 is done in the cloud. This gives you immense convenience and flexibility in accessing data from the comfort of your mobile phones and other devices such as tablet PCs. To set up your personal mobile devices, you will be required to set up Lync for mobile devices or go through the Mobile Phone Setup Wizard.

5. Select online communication channels

Through Lync, a real-time communications tool, you can see which of your coworkers are online and available for messaging, audio and video calls. You even have the option to make presentations using a virtual whiteboard. This has tremendous business opportunities for remote-working and collaborating with teams.

6. Create a public website

Using SharePoint Online, you can create your very own professional-looking website for your organization. If you already have a website, you can simply point Office 365 to your current website.

7. Make everyone familiar

As soon as the setup process for Office 365 is complete, you can let your team members know and provide them with the relevant instructions and guidance on how to make the most out of it. You can notify them via e-mail and let them know of their user access rights and permissions.


5 Cloud Tools That Can Help with Your Next Presentation

Visual aids are a part of any successful presentation in business today. Thanks to projectors and slideshow software, even the most complex concepts can be broken down in a way that’s easy to understand. But the cloud has made it even easier to create visually-appealing presentations that you can access from anywhere, using your laptop or mobile device. But which tools are the best? Here are some of the best cloud-friendly tools available to businesses.

Cloud-Capable Projector

When it’s time to shop for a new projector, you’ll likely notice that cloud-connected projectors have hit the market in a big way. Mitsubishi is one of the early versions of these, with a line of projectors that can connect directly to the cloud–no PC or mobile device required. As these projectors continue to get more sophisticated, the need to hook up a computer or mobile device will likely disappear altogether.


SlideShare is an online tool that allows users to upload and share PowerPoint presentations, infographics and different types of documents. It also makes easy for individuals or organizations to organize large amounts of presentation documents and promote them online. Users can tag presentations, download or embed them into their own websites or blogs. Users can also share documents and conduct presentations privately. SlideShare lets its users to join groups to connect with SlideShare members who share similar interests. Business presentations make the most of the content. SlideShare also has a Facebook application for uploading documents.


eMaze is a new cloud-based application that makes it easy to create fantastic presentations. Its key features include tons of cutting edge graphics, plenty of beautiful sample presentations, and collaboration tools that make easy for people to work together on an engaging presentation. It also allows people to view and edit presentations on any device: desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone.


This cloud-based software makes it easy for anyone to create presentations. During the presentation, presenters can zoom in on specific items to emphasize points or size and rotate items during the creation process. Using Prezi’s collaborative mode, up to ten users can log in and view a presentation in real time. Additionally, Prezi can be deployed on an iPad for one-on-one presentations.


With GoToMeeting, you can conduct presentations from your desk or home office with people located around the world. The cloud-based service is free for up to three people and meetings can be joined from a PC or mobile device. In addition to presentations, meeting participants can interact with each other via video chat and collaborate with each other.

Using these cloud-based tools, you can take your presentations to the next level. With mobile devices having freed up business professionals to work from anywhere, cloud collaboration will continue to be an increasing part of doing business.

Get The Most Out Of Your IT Costs: The Dos and Don’ts

As IT Managers and CIOs cut their IT budgets in response to the growing economic pressures, they are also pressured to invest in emerging technologies that can help their company or organization secure greater cost efficiencies and competitive advantages to enable higher business growth.

Organizations today have to continuously strive to control costs better in order to increase their operational efficiency due to the intense competition from new entrants, making a grab at their existing market share. It is hoped that by keeping costs in control through a budget, funds for investing in new technologies and applications can be secured helping organizations compete more effectively with their rivals.

The challenge of calculating IT costs

However, calculating costs for determining an IT budget can be more difficult than it seems. IT managers and executives in particular, are required to implement various technologies and tools, the value of which depreciates drastically over time.

In other cases, there are many cost-efficiencies that organizations benefit as a result of an effective transition to or implementation of a technology, cloud computing services being one example. Therefore, pinpointing the exact cost of each component or tool can be very challenging, limiting the extent to which an IT budget can prove useful in keeping costs under a strict watch.

Today, we intend to address this challenge, going into how firms can get the most out of their IT costs along with the dos and don’ts that have to be taken into account.

How to calculate IT costs

It is essential that IT executives look at costs on a monthly basis and not on an annual one when creating a budget. Include monthly charges such as internet subscription charges, IT support charges, and cloud services charges.

However, before you set your monthly charges, you need to take many considerations into account to ensure that all costs are allocated properly. These include analyzing your budget of previous years or months and detect the spending pattern, how many of those budget were successful in keeping costs low, and more importantly, what sudden or unexpected costs resurfaced that had to be paid for immediately or in the longer term.

Next up is defining the scope of your IT budget, arguably the most important factor. Should IT personnel training be included in the IT budget or the HR budget? What are the boundaries between the IT and other departments such as marketing and finance? This will help to identify your costs a lot more clearly.

Moreover, your hardware and software costs also need to be calculated after careful evaluation. It is important to determine how much exactly it costs to maintain hardware devices such as PCs, laptops, printers, etc. Keeping a sufficient portion of maintenance charges in your budget is vital for your hardware to continue working smoothly in the long run.

Software costs such as software applications, security programs, and the like also need to be considered. Analyze past records to determine the monthly cost you’re paying for services. It is also important for you to set aside a sufficient amount for hardware and software upgrades, whether it is replacing corrupted servers, upgrading outdated programs and computers.

Dos and Don’ts

In addition to the above methods of calculating costs, there is also a set of dos and don’ts to help you ensure your IT budget is effective in furthering your organizational goals and objectives.


  • Fail to understand your organization’s strategic goals

Many a times, the overall corporate strategy can be decided without consulting the CIO. It is no doubt that technology is playing an ever more important role in helping businesses propel themselves to greater profits and market share. However, IT budgets need to be a reflection of the overall corporate strategy and not just a tool to lower costs which will only hamper the organization’s efforts. It is important for the CIO or the IT executive to discuss the implications of the corporate strategy on the IT process and ways to improve it.

  • Make your budget too complicated

It is also critical that budgets need not be complicated. Setting too many targets can be daunting for employees and may even be demotivating for them. It is highly important that past IT performance be used as a guide to determine what the most critical aspects that need working are.

  • Ignore latest technology and services trends

It can be difficult for the CIO to stay informed of every latest technology or service model. Employees, therefore, are required to fill the gap and keep in touch with the latest outsourcing models, suppliers, subscription models and so on in an effort to cut costs.


  • Review your suppliers

CIOs need to always review and assess the quality of their suppliers. Attempts need to be made to determine which suppliers are offering cheaper services. CIOs can further categorize IT requirements into essential and non-essential areas. For the former, high quality needs to be emphasized and the resulting cost efficiencies highlighted. In the latter, on the other hand, the cheapest alternatives need to be sought out to keep costs low.

  • Consider software plus services

Software plus services can provide immense IT cost savings for using common software applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, and email. Companies spend hefty amounts in buying individual software applications and then upgrading them.

With software plus services packages such as Microsoft Office 365, a significant proportion of IT costs can be reduced.

  • Minimize paper as a way to reduce costs

Company executives can also convince CEOs to digitize most or all of their paper records. The more paper you have, the more you have to account for maintenance and depreciation of hardware such as printers and other devices.

Having a paperless company can not only help you be more environment-friendly, but also help streamline processes and increase efficiency.

Upgrade to Windows 10 – A How-To Guide For Busy People

The highly anticipated Windows 10 is finally here. It has been several years since the last time Windows released a new version, and Windows 8 wasn’t well received. The interface issues with Windows 8 probably make you wonder if it’s worth the hassle again. If you decide to proceed with the upgrade (if you are a current CS customer please make sure to let us know before you begin) here is a quick How To guide.

  1. Check System Requirements to make sure your device is compatible.
  2. Backup your data!
  3. Go to the Download Windows 10 If you are on a 32-bit version, then you need to download the 32-bit tool; if you’re on a 64-bit version then get the 64-bit tool.


If you need to check your Windows version:

Right click on My Computer or This PC in File Explorer ->

Go to Properties ->

Find it under System – System Type.

Upgrade to Windows 10 - Check Windows version 1

Upgrade to Windows 10 - Check Windows version 2

  1. Run the 32-bit tool or 64-bit tool, and select the Upgrade Your PC option. Windows 10 will begin downloading.
  2. Select Keep Personal files and Apps to ensure that you will have your files and applications in place after the upgrade.
  3. The installation will start and reboot automatically as needed.
  4. You will have a chance to customize system settings, depending on your preferences and needs.
  5. After the upgrades is done, you can enjoy the new Windows 10 immediately!


If you need to restore previous Windows version:

Go to Settings – Update & Security ->

Choose the option “Go Back to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1”.


7 Reasons why Financial Services Companies Need to Archive Email with A Hosted Service

Do you know the one word that will cause your financial services company a catastrophic disaster? “Just.” Often it’s used by IT managers suggesting, “Why don’t we just host our email on our own servers?”

It’s cost effective and makes sense right? Wrong.

Every CFO knows email communication is vital to their organization. Last month Home Depot suffered one of the largest email data breeches ever when 53 million email addresses were stolen from their systems.

Read the Wall Street Journal story. Hackers posing as HD vendors were able to bypass their onsite email servers accessing the database.


Ask any financial services company about checks and balances. They’ll tell you it’s accounting 101 to separate your accounts receivables from your payables departments.

The same protection is a must for your archived email. Too many companies make the mistake of ignoring security safeguards protecting their email on a third party hosting provider.

The first benefit is obvious. Security. Imagine your in-house servers are hacked. While your IT team troubleshoots the gateway breech, your email is protected offsite. Hosting your email with an expert host provider ensures your data is safeguarded 24/7.

Litigation Protection

Financial services companies need to protect themselves from liability. Therefore, archiving all email offsite safeguards their communications for search and indexing. Don’t forget you’ll also be able to easily pull reports of user messages, attachments and timelines.

Regulatory Compliance

Financial compliance regulations require that all email communications must be safely stored in original form. Hosting your email locally puts your organization at risk if your servers suffer threat.

Disaster Recovery

We’ve all seen news reports of natural disasters. It’s no longer whether your community will suffer a tropical storm or power outage, it’s when.

Archived email hosting by an offsite third party provider gives you the ability to safeguard your email and maintain banking operations.

You’ll provide services to your customers virtually while your local branches await emergency services to deem your hometown safe and ready to open your doors for business again.


Accessing your archived email communications for audits is a breeze when you use an email host. Due to litigation and compliance regulations, your organization must safeguard all email communications for up to seven years.

Storage Management

As your company grows, your email quotas will require more storage. We often see an increase of our client email data storage increase by as much as 25% per year. Plan on allocating at least 150-200 MB per user.

By archiving your email with an outsourced provider, you no longer need to invest capital in onsite servers.


Your onsite servers are best used for your users, core business products and services. The concept allocates your capital on profit generating revenues rather than expenses.

It’s far less expensive to archive your email communications with an offsite host taking advantage of their server space. It’s economical and as your storage quota grows, you’ll save thousands of dollars letting your provider invest in resources to service your needs.


5 Outside The Box ROI Tips On Outsourced IT

Last week one of our clients, Margaret, called our support staff. “We’ve saved more than 43% on our IT expenses in the last six months thanks to your outsourced IT,” she told us. How?

Look at your IT department’s hardware and manpower expenses. These are two line-item costs most finance managers ignore as they’re mission-critical factors in your core business. In the last three decades, too many companies have given their IT department’s a pass on expense management. However, new trends in expense management are catching the attention of many CFOs.

Outsourced IT Tip #1

Smart CFOs are investing in virtual outsourcing.

We’ve helped many of them develop a plan to win over their IT department senior technicians to consider the concept. But don’t ignore the human element. Face it, you’ve invested years of time and capital building loyalty among your IT team. The minute you suggest you’re considering outsourced IT, they’ll worry about one thing: job security.

It’s a delicate process. One that requires your IT team to feel as if they’ll remain on the payroll despite your efforts to cost-control your technology. The benefit of virtual outsourcing is that it offers your staffers to be empowered in the process rather than feel like an expense. Ask them to get involved in the vetting process when interviewing prospective off-site contractors.

Outsourced IT Tip #2

Negotiate rather than place orders for new technology products.

Your IT people have years (perhaps decades) of expertise keeping your servers and softwares working. Guess what? They almost always lack the necessary negotiating skills when ordering from vendors.

Are you paying retail? If so, it’s time to give up merely placing orders online and think about negotiating better prices. Have your IT gurus meet with your senior management. Develop a plan to negotiate all future purchases with a projected 10-15% discount.

Outsourced IT Tip #3

Let professional IT services help.

Professional IT services can pinpoint areas in your technology that can be reduced by implementing their outsourced IT protocols. Most of the time they can relieve your IT headaches much faster and more cost-effectively than having your in-house IT resources to do it. Why? Considering the limitation of a usually small in-house IT department: will having one or two part-time IT personnel(s) solve the problems quicker and better than a large and dedicated team of professional IT services?

The only challenge here is how to choose a really good professional IT service vendor – check out this list to get some ideas: although it talks about evaluating in-house IT team, it works equally well for IT outsourcing qualifications.

Outsourced IT Tip #4

Evaluate whether or not your company can benefit from cloud computing. It’s no surprise your IT resources can be scaled by consolidating your storage. Many firms discover by converting their server needs to pay-as-you-go streamlines their initial out-of-pocket expenses.

Read our outsourced IT recommendations for cloud computing…

Some companies are shifting their outsourced IT needs to our Amazon Web Services platform. Since 2006, we’ve been leaders in the process helping organizations migrate their resources to AWS servers.

Outsourced IT Tip #5

Learn how companies have moved their outsourced IT into an AWS quick start package. We recommend a transitional migration. Doing so allows you to try before you buy into the concept of moving all of your IT needs in one fell swoop. If you need help analyzing your outsourced IT possibilities, contact us today.

Five Ways to Evaluate your Cloud Security

In an earlier post, we spoke about how mobile and cloud hosting is transforming technology in today’s business arena. With more and more enterprises moving to the ‘cloud’ there is little doubt that the spotlight needs to be focused on making use of these solutions effectively and safely. BYOD adoption had made security concerns a priority item for many businesses and rightly so. In fact, cloud solutions are even slowly replacing conventional practices in many other situations as well, such as business presentations and this only highlights the need for you to pay special attention to your cloud security. Take a look at 5 ways in which you can do so:

1) Are the right services and information in the cloud?

Cloud solutions offer immense advantages and convenience but the fact remains that they do not do so across your entire range of technology services and information. Moving the right services and information to the cloud allows you to maximize the benefits you derive from such solutions without compromising your security and safety. In an Oracle report, Nelson, Senior Director of Cloud Security, explains how internal services that lack ‘resources, efficiency, rigor’ are ideal candidates for the cloud. He points out that these present low risk to the business while enhancing efficiency at the internal level.

2) Are you sacrificing security for speed?

A common problem, many businesses trade off security because they want to amp up speed of deployment when they switch to the cloud. The actual cost of failing to make sure adequate security is in place can be drastically high for your business. Making sure that the cloud solution has safety features should take precedence over the cloud deployment and this should be one of the first steps in evaluating your cloud’s security.

3) Is your cloud really right for you?

A surprising number of business owners are unaware that clouds can be of different kinds, each with its own set of features and specifications, each designed for a different purpose. When you are evaluating your cloud’s security you need to do so with your specific objective in mind. Only then can you really determine if it offers the kind of security that is demanded by the technology and information you will be moving there.

4) Do you have enough transparency from the cloud provider?

Moving critical data to the cloud makes you highly vulnerable unless the cloud provider employs world class security and privacy features. A critical part of evaluating your cloud security is to check if your provider offer utmost transparency, allowing you to see what security measures, are being employed and to what degree to ensure that your data/ technology is safe from unauthorized use.

5) Are there incident management processes in place?

What happens when there is a security breach in the cloud? Your cloud provider should have a clear, effective incident management and damage control plan in place so that this plan can be instantly deployed to minimize the data leak. Verifying if your provider has such a plan in place and whether it is a viable one should be one of your initial steps in evaluating cloud security.

Calculate Your IT Costs and Savings, Now!

Information technology is a part of any business’s budget, but do you know how to set an IT budget? Sure, you know you have to set money aside for computers and software, but how do you know how much? We’ve included a handy calculator to help you determine just how much you’ll save by making technology changes within your organization. Here are a few categories where you can plug in some numbers and see significant savings.

SaaS vs. On-Premise Software

If you’re using software that still requires an installation, you’ll occasionally face new charges. By switching from boxed software to a Software as a Service (SaaS) option, you can ensure your organization always has the latest version of the applications you need to remain competitive. A full on-premise version of Microsoft Office 2013 will cost $399.99 and will be outdated when Office 16 debuts within the next year. Office 365, which will be updated to Office 16 upon release, starts at $5 per user per month. Plug these numbers into the calculator and determine how much your business can save by switching your on-premise software to cloud versions.

Cloud Hosting vs. On-Premise Servers

If your SMB still has on-premise servers, you’re likely dealing with the constant need to upgrade software and replace equipment. Added to this is the burden of ensuring data backups are generated and safely stored and you can probably factor in several major expenses. Over time, servers, tape drives, uninterruptible power supplies, and air conditioning units must be replaced, which can be quite costly. By moving to a cloud hosting provider, you can pay a monthly fee to have all of these tasks handled for you. Compare the cost you’ll pay for your on-site IT infrastructure with what a cloud hosting provider will offer and, over time, you’ll likely see a significant cost savings.

Outsourced Support vs. On-Premise Staff

Talented information technology workers are both expensive and difficult to find. Once hired, an SMB usually has to pay benefits and salary to these employees, whether a business has a full-time need for them or not. By outsourcing technical support, SMBs can access a skill level they might not be able to afford on their own, while also saving money by only paying for the support volume they’ll use.

This handy cost savings calculator can help you plug in the different areas where you can save money, freeing up your budget for other areas. By weighing different cloud options against your on-premise costs, you’ll be able to determine whether a move to the cloud is the right choice for you.

4 Tools to Help You Access Your PC When You’re Away

Professionals today are busier than ever, traveling from work to home to meetings around town. Many small business owners find they’re spending more time on airplanes than at the office, as they work hard to network and attract new business.

All of this traveling means professionals are rarely afforded the luxury of being seated in front of a computer. Cloud-based travel apps can help you while on the road, but what if you arrive at your location, only to find the file you need is on the hard drive of your computer? Even if you can access your company servers from anywhere, a file saved to the computer itself will likely be inaccessible outside of the office. When that happens, here are a few cloud tools that can grant you access to the PC on your desk.


This popular free app can be used to access a remote PC or conduct meetings and share your screen with attendees. One of the biggest benefits of TeamViewer is that no software is required on the client side, which means you can take over a PC without preparing ahead of time. You’ll simply need to ask someone nearby to enter a user ID and password to let you in. TeamViewer finds a way around firewalls and blocked ports to give you a connection every time.

Microsoft Remote Desktop

Available for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone, Microsoft Remote Desktop is a free app that lets you control your PC from a phone or tablet via a secure connection. The app can even be used to hook up to a projector or external monitor to let you directly stream presentations from your work desktop to a projector located on the other side of the country.


SplashTop lets you remotely access your PC or Mac from a PC or mobile device, as well as mirror your iPad or Chromebook to any computer screen. The software isn’t free, with plans starting at $1.99 a month per user for the personal edition and $60 per user per year for the business edition.

Screens Connect

Using an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, users can access a Windows, Mac, or Linux PC from anywhere. Screens Connect is $19.99, but it allows you to copy and paste items from host to guest and it comes with a customizable toolbar for easy session management.

In addition to being able to remotely access your own PC, these tools come in handy for helping colleagues or employees troubleshoot problems or learn software. As you find a favorite remote screen-sharing app, you’ll likely open up a suite of new possibilities for using the technology in your everyday life.