Did you ever wonder if it was possible to control your Windows PC or laptop using your Windows Phone? Wouldn't it be really nice to sit on your sofa and make your computer play a video or music without touching it? How about turning off your computer without getting out of your bed? All these and more are possible if you use a remote control app. Fortunately, the Windows Phone Store offers quite a few apps of this kind. And the best of them is PC Remote. That's why we decided to take a closer look at it and see how it works.
What You Need To Know About PC Remote For Windows Phone
Before getting to the actual app, there are some things you should take into consideration:
- In order for your Windows Phone and your computer(s) to be able to communicate with each other, they need to be connected to the same network. This usually means having both your computer and your smartphone connect to the same router. The computer can be connected via an Ethernet cable or through Wi-Fi. Obviously, your Windows Phone will connect through Wi-Fi.
- The computer that you want to remote control must run a server program that will expose it to other devices in the network. This server program is called PC Remote Server, and can be downloaded from this website: PC Remote Server.
- On your Windows Phone, you will have to install the PC Remote app, which you can find in the Store or you can download it directly from here: PC Remote. There is also a pro version of this app, that offers more features, which you can find here: PC Remote Pro.
- As we've seen, there are two versions of PC Remote: one is free and one is paid. The free version includes lots of features like mouse and keyboard control, remote desktop, volume control, computer power control like shutdown, sign out or sleep and many custom remotes for things like YouTube, Windows Media Center, iTunes, VLC or Netflix. The paid version – PC Remote Pro – doesn't show any ads and also offers additional features like Windows 8.1 gestures, a custom remote, file transfers between your computer and your smartphone or multiple monitor support.
How To Configure PC Remote Server On Your Windows Computer
Before anything else, you must download and install PC Remote Server on your computer. You will find this program here: PC Remote Server.
When first running the server, if Windows Firewall is turned on, it might ask you if you want to allow it to communicate on your network. Click or tap Allow access.
The server's window offers a number of tabs, each with a different set of options. However, some of them are useful only if you'll use other apps from the publisher of PC Remote or if you use the paid version of this app. As the purpose of this guide is to show only how to remote control your computer, we won't go into details about each of the settings available here. What you need to know is that in order to remote control your PC, the default settings should be fine.
So, without further ado, minimize the server program and move to the next section of this article.
How To Use The PC Remote App For Windows Phone
The first step you'll have to make on your Windows Phone is to download and install the app. As we've shown in the first section of this guide, you can either search for the PC Remote app inside the Store, or you can use this link: PC Remote.
On your phone, flick to the Apps list and tap to open PC Remote.
You'll be greeted with a short presentation of the app. Tap next until you get to the main screen of the app.
On the main screen, the app will automatically search for and display all the computers on your network that run PC Remote Server.
If you don't see your computer, you can add it manually. Tap plus on the bottom of the screen. This will open a new screen, on which you can enter the IP address of the computer you want to connect to. Enter it and tap Add.
Back to the Computers screen, tap the computer you want to connect to. When your Windows Phone is connected to your computer, you'll get access to a set of new screens: Controls, Featured Apps and Media Controls.
The part that interests us most is the Controls screen. This is the place where you'll find all the remote controls. To use any of the controls that are available, tap their name. For example, if you want to use the mouse on your computer, tap Mouse. Or if you want to turn off your computer, tap Power Controls.
Each of the controls available will enable you to do different things on your computer and will display different things on your phone.
For example, the Mouse control will turn your phone's screen into a touchpad.
Another example: if you choose to use the Keyboard control you will get two screens, one that offers text keys and one for special keys like F1, to F12, Home, Page Up, Page Down, etc.
On the Media Controls screen, you'll find some custom remote controls that are useful for interacting with the media players that are installed on your computer. You can control applications like Windows Media Player, iTunes or Winamp.
For example, the Winamp remote control will give you a set of basic controls that you can use only in Winamp.
The Featured Apps screen offers remote control options for specific programs on your computer, like: YouTube, PowerPoint or Windows Media Center.
PC Remote is a great app that allows users to remote control their computers right from their Windows Phones. It offers lots of controls and you won't have troubles in understanding what each of them does. So if you're on the look for a good remote control app, you should try PC Remote. Furthermore, if you'll want even more control, you might also be interested in buying the pro version.