Mac utilities are entering a Golden Age of useful features; simple, elegant, affordable.
Devon’s new Desktop Transporter lets you take remote control of another Mac for less than Apple’s Remote Desktop.
While there are less expensive tools to manage a Mac from a remote location, there are tradeoffs in support, dependability, stability, security.
For those of us with a small business, or just a number of extra Macs around the house or office, how do you manage a remote operation?
Enter Devon Technologies and Desktop Transporter. This nifty utility works similarly to Apple’s Remote Desktop but at $30 is a bargain.
Setup is easy. Download. Unzip. Drag and drop. Double click. Look for a Mac desktop to share.
Desktop Transporter uses Apple’s built-in Bonjour technology to discover other Macs on your local area network.
The remote Mac shows up on your Mac’s screen in the Desktop Transporter window.
Copy and paste from your Mac to the remote Mac.
Your Mac and the remote Mac can be set up with password protection for extra security.
What’s really cool is the ability to list and display screens from a number of different remote Macs in the Desktop Transporter window.
SImply double-click on the Mac you want to connect, and you’re there. There’s even a full screen mode (I found the default small screen to be just that—too small).
For slower network connections or slower Macs, color on the screen displaying the remote Mac can be removed.
Also handy is the Desktop Transporter menu in OS X’s Menu Bar.
The Desktop Transporter is typical Mac elegance. The remote Macs are displayed in the center under the Desktops tab.
Quick statistics above will indicate how many Macs are connected, how many displays are shared, and how many users are connected.
A day of use says this is a decent application that will work well in a home with a number of Macs, or in a small office with Macs that need some central management.
The only problems I ran into were a jumpy mouse on my control Mac, and I made the mistake of running Apple Remote Desktop and Desktop Transporter at the same time on one Mac.
The resulting video feedback was reminiscent of an adventure in a Dr. Who episode. Messy.
Other solutions for remote control management of a Mac include Netopia’s Timbuktu at $180 for a twin pack. Chicken of the VNC is free, works, but is a non-commercial product that we’ve not used in the school because of performance and stability issues.
The bells and whistles in Apple’s Remote Desktop are too numerous to list in a comparison to Desktop Transporter. What you want is simple, straightforward control of a remote Mac. That’s what you get.