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Parallels Access Review

9.5Performance, Compatibility & Security
9.8Interface & Usability
8.8Control & Sharing Tools
9.5Overall Rating
iPad Remote Access Screenshots
iPhone Remote Access Screenshots
Official Parallels Access iPhone and iPad Screenshots

Full Access to Your Computer's Desktop

If you've used remote desktop software on a mobile device, you know that the index finger is a very imprecise substitute for a mouse pointer. When the desktop shrinks down to the size of a mobile phone display, it can be difficult to tap the icon you want—let alone use a program effectively once you successfully launch it. Parallels Access aims to be the "missing link" between mobile devices and desktop computers and now supports desktop to desktop remote access. Upon installation, Parallels Access detects the applications on your computer and allows you to create a large icon for each one as if it were a native iOS or Android app. Although Parallels Access also allows full access to your computer's desktop like a traditional remote desktop product, the ability to make PC applications display like mobile apps is the primary selling point of Parallels Access.

Access your PC from another PC or mobile device

Parallels Access supports Windows and Mac computers, allowing you to initiate a remote desktop connection from any iOS device and most Android devices. In the latest version 2.5, now you can remotely control your PC or Mac from a remote PC or Mac. One- and two-year accounts are available for paid home users. This allows you to create an account for one user, with which you can access up to five remote computers from an unlimited amount of mobile devices. Business accounts with support for multiple users are also available. Both personal and business versions of Parallels Access include free trials. Although Parallels Access would be an easy program to deploy at small businesses with simple local area networks, it really shines in the hands of a home user. Even if you have no previous experience with remote desktop software, Parallels Access makes launching remote applications and switching between them a breeze—even on slow 3G cellular connections.

Parallels Access works with the following mobile devices:
  • Android devices
  • iPad Mini, iPad 2 and newer, iPhone 4s and newer and iPod Touch
Parallels Access works with the following operating systems:
  • Android 4.0 and newer
  • iOS 7 and newer
  • Windows 8 and newer
  • Mac OS X Lion 10.7 and newer

Simple, Fast Remote Access

The first thing you'll notice upon trying Parallels Access is that the setup process is remarkably painless; simply download the free app from the App Store or Google Play and install the control software on your desktop computer. Once the control software is installed, your computer will be available for remote connections. Simply create a Parallels Access account, log in and connect to your computer. Parallels Access shines in making a desktop computer easy to control from a small screen. Upon connecting, you're presented with a window displaying your computer's applications as large icons. Tap an icon and you're using the program. Gesture-based controls allow for fast access to keyboard shortcuts and application switching.

Although Parallels Access boasts a simple, consumer-friendly user interface, its security features are in line with what you would expect from a premium product. Parallels Access uses SSL and 256-bit AES encryption standards. Parallels Access does not allow sessions to be shared between the host and client devices. Because the communication protocol is proprietary, it does not have cross-compatibility with other remote desktop programs.

Quick setup and easy application remote access

Parallels Access is the ideal remote desktop solution if you want to avoid lengthy help files and tutorials and begin working with content on a remote computer as quickly as possible. The ability to make desktop computer applications behave like mobile apps is a game changer for people who have difficulty using desktop software on small screens and is really what it sets Access apart from other remote access software. If Parallels has any downside, it is the fact that the Mac version of the software has no true uninstall feature. To remove the software from your Mac, you have to download an uninstall script from the Parallels website and execute it from within a Terminal session. We hope Parallels will address this in the future.

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