Parallels Access is a phone/tablet app that lets you see and operate your Mac or PC over the Internet. From the screen of your tablet, you can run all of your Mac or PC programs and open all of your computer’s files. It’s very useful.
Here’s the effect:
It’s extremely handy when you desperately need some document or program that’s 3,000 miles away. And it’s essential when you’re troubleshooting a distant computer from the beach.
Parallels Access 1.0 was a terrific refinement of a category called remote access software. It could have made life easier for a lot of people if it weren’t for its price: $80 a year to access one computer. That pricing scheme was, as they say in the biz, nuts.
Now Parallels Access (PA) is back with version 2, and the company has seen the error of its pricing. It’s now $20 a year to access up to five computers (Macs or PCs).
This time, an iPad isn’t required; PA also works on an iPhone, Android phone, or Android tablet. (You can “phone home” from any number of phones or tablets for the $20 a year; there’s no limit.)
One of PA’s best features is the simplicity of its setup. You download a free app on each end — computer and phone/tablet — and then enter your email address and Parallels password. And that’s it: You’re connected. There’s no fiddling with ports, routers, or firewalls. You just tap the thumbnail of the distant computer you want to use:
In a pinch, you can even borrow a phone or tablet. Download the app, enter your email/password, and presto, you’re surfing your distant computers.