At a Glance
From time to time, you may need access to your small office network or home network when you're away from it--perhaps at a WiFi hot spot, perhaps at another place of business. If you've struggled with this in the past, try WallCooler VPN. This Virtual Private Network software makes what it says is a secure connection to your network--and does it with surprising ease.
If you've ever used other VPN software, you know that it's not always easy to use. But WallCooler VPN is surprisingly simple. Run the software on a PC on your network, and when you're away from it and you're near an Internet connection, run the software on a PC that you want to use to connect to that networked PC. You can then make the connection with a single click. The software invisibly takes care of a problem that often makes it difficult to make remote connections--what to do about dynamically changing IP addresses.
Once you're connected, you can take remote control of the PC on your network, just as if you were at its keyboard, and get access to the network resources, including shared files. The Personal Edition of WallCooler VPN costs $5 a month. If you want to gain access to remote printing and other features, you'll have to pay for the Business Edition, which costs $16 a month.
In order to take remote control of PCs, you'll first have to configure Windows' Remote Desktop Connection on each PC using the software. WallCooler VPN uses that to make remote connections. Also, if you run into problems, you may also need to do some router configuration. However, most of the time, you shouldn't need to fuss with that.