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by Ray Carlson

Q. Someone suggested I can use Chrome to work on my computer at home while using my laptop elsewhere. How do I do that?

A. Chrome, like most browsers, can add several apps and extensions to help with special tasks. For a lengthy list of those in Chrome, go here. When you click on any listed item, you can see a description of what it does, reviews by users, and whether it is free. Click on the blue box in the upper right corner that identified the cost to download the item. The screen that opens identifies private information the app or extension will use to operate. At that point, you can add it or reject it. Find similar lists for other browses through any search engine.

The one you mention is called Chrome Remote Desktop. Check out this page to get details on how to set it up and use it. Read that page carefully including the section on known issues which details problems that might occur. Once added, you will see a small icon showing two computer screens near the top of the browser. Clicking on that icon opens the program. The first time you use it, you will be asked for more information and authorization. It is necessary to configure your firewalls to allow this particular access since one of the purposes of a firewall is to prevent external control of your computer. Also, you have to set the power settings on the computer you want to access remotely to never go to sleep.

Another useful article on this app is available at PCWorld. A related version is available for Android-based smart phones. That app can be downloaded from app stores like Google Play. There are a variety of other software programs that serve the same purpose, but the Chrome one is generally the easiest to set up and use and is free.

Published: Courier 9/14/14 - Page 3D