Review: NTRConnect offers a solid tool for accessing a home computer when you're away
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Review: NTRConnect offers a solid tool for accessing a home computer when you're away


If you need to access your home computer from work, can you? How about access your Mac at home from your PC at work? Or your Mac at work from your iPod touch or iPhone?

How about if you could do all that for free? Sounds good, doesn’t it?

You can do all that with NTRconnect (http://na.ntrconnect.com). The free version has limited features, but those features are likely enough for the casual user who might need to check a home email account that you don’t have on your work computer or your mobile device. When you activate your account, they give you the pro features at no cost. After 30 days you revert to the limited-feature version.

Here’s what you can do with the free version: Control up to two computers from your iPod touch, iPhone, another Mac or PC (I’m a Mac guy; I didn’t test the PC capabilities); secure connection through an app on your iPhone or iPod or most web browsers on your Mac or PC; and email tech support.

The pro version adds many other features, including the ability to transfer files, premium tech support, access reports, faster connections and keyboard, mouse and screen blocking.

Basic users won’t need the pro version, but if you’re a road warrior but don’t always have your laptop with you, you’ll probably want the pro version. But be prepared to pay. The pro version is $10 a month for one computer with a sliding scale for multiple computers. You get a 30- or 60-percent discount for paying up front for a year instead of monthly.

I checked to see the web browser control of the computer worked, but concentrated mainly on the iPod/iPhone app for this review.

Installation was a breeze. Installed the agent on my iMac, the app on my iPod, set up an account at NTRconnect’s Web site, and everything worked. I was able to control the iMac without any troubles.

And even when my iMac died, it only took me a couple of minutes to remove it from the list and install the agent on my MacBook Pro. 

The Good

It just worked. Not a lot of fancy configuration. It just worked. I love it when that happens.

The Bad

It’s hard to see much on an iPod touch screen when you’re looking at a 20-inch iMac with it. That’s not NTRconnect’s fault, but you need to be aware of it. They do a good job of making it easier to see things, though.

The Ugly

Redraw is slow and colors are slow to correct, if they do at all, but that’s a function of how much you pay (the free version is noticeably slower) and how much information you’re trying to transmit. I can’t count off much for this, because, after all, it is free. But it’s not so slow as to be unusable, either.

If you need to control your computer from your iPod touch or iPhone, NTRconnect offers a free product that will do an adequate job, and a pro product that does a great job.

Macsimum Rating: 8 out of 10

-- Don Foy

 
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