12 Tech Days Of Christmas 2011

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iTwin: Remote PC Access Made Simple

By Jerry Jackson


If you own multiple computers or have a dedicated work PC at your office and a personal PC at home, chances are that sooner or later you’ll need to access files that are saved on the PC that isn’t right in front of you. This is where iTwin comes to the rescue. The iTwin is a remarkably simple USB device that works much like a standard USB flash drive but allows you to remotely access files stored on another computer via a standard internet connection.


Unlike many other remote access solutions, iTwin is very easy to use and doesn’t require any kind of subscription fees. Simply purchase the iTwin device ($99) and plug it into a USB port on the PC you want to access remotely. iTwin self-installs the required software (as long as you are setup with admin access on your PC) and uses Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256 bit encryption to protect all data being shared over the internet connection.


You can also setup a password of any length and the password is stored on the iTwin device itself and never stored on a cloud server. If you forget your password simply pair the two halves of the iTwin back together, plug them into a PC and set a new password.


iTwinOnce you’ve installed the device and setup a password, you leave one half of the iTwin plugged into the USB port on your PC and take the other half of the iTwin with you. You can then plug the other half of the iTwin into any PC or Mac and remotely access the files on the other computer.

It Can’t Be That Easy … But It Is!
At first glance it seems like we must be missing a series of steps in our description of how to install and use the iTwin, but the truth is the iTwin is probably one of the easiest and least expensive ways to remotely access one PC from any other PC.

iTwin automatically detects most firewalls, proxies, and NATs and self-configures to allow you to exchange files between the two PCs as long as the two halves are plugged into the two computers and both PCs (or Macs) have internet connections. In the event of a disruption to the internet connection, iTwin pauses any active file transfer and automatically resumes where it left off when the internet connection is restored.


Although the iTwin looks like a strange double-sided USB flash drive, none of the files are stored on the device itself. You don’t have any storage limitation other than the size of the hard drive (or hard drives) on each computer. If you have a 2TB hard drive on your office computer you can access all of that data on your laptop at home which only has a 500GB hard drive. You only have to worry about storage capacity if you plan to remotely copy all the files from one PC to another. Your only other “potential” data limitation is the bandwidth limit of your ISP.


If that isn’t enough to get you excited about the iTwin, the iTwin provides “bi-directional” file access. In other words, if you drive to your office and discover that you left an important file on your computer at home, you can use the iTwin to access your home computer the same way that you used the iTwin to access your work PC from home.


If you (or your company) are ever worried about security you can rest easy because there are multiple ways to disable the iTwin in the event of a security breach. First, you can uninstall the iTwin software as easily as any piece of software using the standard Windows or Mac uninstall tools. When the two halves of the iTwin are initially paired, the owner is sent a remote disable code (via email) that can be used to break the connection between the two halves of the iTwin. This means a lost or missing iTwin can be remotely disabled to prevent unwanted individuals from accessing your important files. Of course, you can also simply remove the iTwin from the USB port on your PC to break the connection.


To make a long story short, the iTwin might just be the easiest, most cost-efficient way to remotely access another computer. The only potential complaint we have about the iTwin is that data transfer speeds depend on the internet connection speeds of the two computers: If one PC has a slow connection it takes a while to transfer large files.


Still, if you constantly find yourself working at the office and home on two different computers then you really should consider the purchase of an iTwin.


Price: $99.99 (MSRP)
Website: www.itwin.com

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