capsule review

myCopernic on the Go

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder myCopernic on the Go

Desktop search giant Copernic's Web-based MyCopernic on the Go service lets you search the contents of your computer remotely, from any Web-connected device, including a mobile phone. Unfortunately, MyCopernic on the Go falls short of offering a full remote access service.

MyCopernic on the Go works in conjunction with the Copernic Connector, a small piece of software that you must install on every PC that you want to search remotely. For any remote search, the Connector must be running, and the remote PC must be turned on and connected to the Internet.

Surprisingly, you don't need any of Copernic's desktop search apps installed. While setting up the Copernic Connector, you choose what search tool to use; if no Copernic products are available, the program will default to using the basic Windows search tool. I heartily recommend using Copernic's free basic Desktop Search Home tool, however. It displays a few annoying ads (which, luckily, you don't see remotely), but its performance is superior to (and faster than) that of Windows' own desktop search tool.

Once the Connector is running, use any browser to visit MyCopernic.com, where you can easily search your remote PC. The interface is neat and clean, with a search bar and a pull-down menu that lets you select parts of the remote computer (such as files, e-mail messages, contacts, and browsing history) to search. With a fast Internet connection, search results appear almost instantaneously in an easy-to-browse list. MyCopernic on the Go organizes results by date accessed, listing the most recently opened files or links closest to the top, rather than (as I'd have preferred) by type of document. Since the list of results isn't divided in any way, sorting by type of file would simplify browsing. Also, depending on the types of files you search for, you may see some unintelligible results, such as ads and cookies from your Web browsing.

You can download files directly to the computer you're using by clicking the green arrow icon that appears in the search results. (Web links are not downloadable, but you can click them from within the browser.) Alternatively, you can set the Copernic Connector to e-mail files to a designated address instead of downloading them remotely. But setting up this feature entails entering a lot of information about your e-mail account, including SMTP server, e-mail address, username, password, and port settings. This seems excessive, given that setting up access to most e-mail accounts on today's mobile phones requires entering just an e-mail address and a password.

Speaking of mobile phones, you can use MyCopernic on the Go from most Web-connected phones, including the iPhone. I tested it with the iPhone's Safari browser, and found that it worked adequately, though not as smoothly as it did on a computer. For example, when my search results returned a Word document, I could view that document only in the iPhone's browser, and the formatting was a bit off. Still, the ability to see the file at all was handy.

"Handy" sums up MyCopernic on the Go. It's a useful way to find and access files remotely, but I'd rather use a full-fledged remote access service. LogMeIn.com, for example, offers a free service for controlling a computer remotely; and since you can view your desktop as if you were sitting in front of it, you can do a lot more than just search for file.

Note: This link takes you to the vendor's site, where you can download the latest version of the software. The price given is for one year of service.

--Liane Cassavoy

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder myCopernic on the Go

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