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I'm looking for an alternative to Remote Desktop where I can connect to a remote computer and log in as any user without affecting any existing user sessions.

Basically, I need to access an application on a client's PC without interrupting the client's work on their PC. I know I can do this with Remote Desktop, but the additional configuration needed to accomplish this prevents me from using it (unless you guys have some tips on using RDP over the Internet with as little network configuration as possible).

Thanks in advance.

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Do you need Windowed access, or simply command line? Check out PSRemoting for newer OS choices. – Mike Fiedler Jan 5 '10 at 0:00
At one time, NT4 had a telnet server that allowed basic CLI admin. (Unsecure, over Telnet, of course). Any method of remote access across the Internet is going to require a certain amount of configuration just to avoid gaping security holes. – Adrien Jan 5 '10 at 0:10
Depending on what it is you're trying to accomplish (e.g., if you just need to collect some metrics or read a file), it might be simpler to build a widget/script/whatever on the client machine that "phones home". This, of course, assumes that you have the right and permission to do such a thing ... And there's still that pesky insecure Internet to think about. – Adrien Jan 5 '10 at 0:12
@Mike: Yes, I do need to be able to see windows. @Adrien: That's what I eventually want to do since it is just for data retrieval. I need to get something working in the next few days, though, so a script or some sort of custom service isn't something I can do just yet. – Paperjam Jan 5 '10 at 0:33
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I believe any tool that allowed this on a desktop OS (xp,vista, 7) would be enabling you to violate the Windows License agreement.

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Good point. I was wondering why there were no Remote Desktop clones. I had not considered licensing. – Paperjam Jan 5 '10 at 0:35


Implementations by several vendors

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VNC does not create a new desktop, it interacts with the existing desktop on Windows, which is exactly what the op doesn't want. – Mark Henderson Jan 5 '10 at 6:35
So what the OP wants is more simultaneous connections? Thats controlled by the windows licensing then. – micmcg Jan 5 '10 at 23:17

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