Share PC Programs on Laptop?

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Alan G. from Australia writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I would like to use some of my programs which are on my PC by linking them to my laptop. Is this possible? If so, how do I go about it? I am an aged pensioner at almost 80 years of age. I have used computers since they were input and output with punched cards, so I am not exactly a newbie to computing -- but there are things that I don't know, and this is one of them. Thank you in advance for your help. "

My Response:

There are ways to get around to do what you're asking (sort of), but generally speaking, it's not possible to "share" installed programs between the PC and laptop because:

a) most programs aren't built for sharing files over a network. Attempting to share the same data between two PCs may result in corrupting the said data, and

b) most commercial software legally requires you to install 1 software license per PC to operate. Attempting to install the same commercial software using the same license on multiple PCs may void your license and render the program inoperable.

Other Alternatives: Sharing Folders

If (for example) you used MS Office on the PC and Laptop and you wanted to share a document between the two, you could do this by sharing a folder (hosting it on the PC, for example) and accessing it remotely on the laptop. For this to work you'd need to set up file and printer sharing under Windows. For more info on that, search google.

Using VNC as a Remote Desktop

Another alternative would be to use a program called VNC (virtual network computing), which allows you to use your PC desktop on your laptop (or vice versa). This is an alternative to sharing files and folders without all the hassle and wouldn't require you to buy multiple licenses for commercial software. VNC is free for non-commercial use.

The downside to using VNC is that the screen refresh rate is considerably slower than real-time and it's not recommended you use it over a wireless network as it can be tediously slow. If you decide to use VNC, you should definitely enable / configure the VNC Password Authentication as well as set Encryption to Always On.

I personally use VNC to manage my network of PCs all the time over a wired connection.

Hope that helps.

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