: The ability to connect to free-standing systems is useful.
: If you can only have one program, this could be it.
Laplink is one of the original PC technical support tools, and multi-headed Laplink cables used to be as jealously guarded as any talisman. For a while "Laplink" entered the language as a verb, as in "I'll just Laplink these files across."
Laplink has retained its original file transfer capabilities and expanded on them, so that it can transfer and synchronize files over practically any type of connection. Its remote control capabilities now provide a complete GUI interface to the target machine. The Laplink user interface is user-friendly, to the extent that the online manual pages are displayed in portrait so that they fit the screen, and there is an address book feature to simplify access to remote machines, especially those that are outside any local subnet.
Laplink needs to be installed on every computer that will be involved, and has to be running on the target machine before any remote control can be started. As a further security measure, Laplink also needs to be configured to accept remote connections, either from a list of acceptable computers, or from anyone. Laplink can be configured to load with Windows if needed.
File transfer operations can be automated by using the Xchange Agent, and can be logged for future reference. There are facilities for voice and text chat sessions.
Security features include the ability to restrict access to any computer by setting local parameters on the machine. Parameters include encryption, and restricted user lists that require the client machine user to identify himself with a name and password. Local settings can be protected with a password to prevent someone who is remotely controlling the PC from changing the settings.
The great advantage of Laplink is that it can be installed on any PC, which allows the same remote control program to be used to manage both servers and workstations. Because Laplink has its original cable transfer capabilities it can be used with systems that are not normally part of the network, such as laptops or dedicated stand-alone systems, providing them with the same features as their networked counterparts.