Q: I’m a 15 year old guy from Belgium and I have a question. Sometimes when we are watching TV we realize that our computers (Windows) are still logged on. As they are not in the same room, nobody wants to go upstairs to shut them down. It would be nice if I could just grab my iPod touch and shut them down remotely. My iPod and both PC’s are in the same network. Is there an app that will let me do that easily or is there another way? Thank you in advance.
A: Although there are not yet any applications that will specifically provide Windows Management functions such as remote shutdown, there are a wide range of more fully-featured remote control applications available from the iTunes App Store, both for Windows and Mac.
There are a couple of popular methods for remote controlling a Windows computer. Windows’ own Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) can be used with a compatible RDP or Terminal Services client. To use an RDP client with Windows, you simply need to enable the Windows “Remote Desktop” feature in your System control panel.
Alternatively, you can look at apps which use the VNC protocol. This would require you to install a small VNC server app on each of your computers, but these apps also have the advantage of working with other computer platforms such as Mac and Linux, and can even be used across the Internet when properly configured.
Some of these applications are relatively expensive due to the level of remote control functionality that they provide, but there are also a few basic ones that can be found on the App Store. A search for “VNC” or “RDP” will turn up a plethora of options.