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How Do I Inexpensively Control My Office Computer Remotely from Home?

Wells Howard Anderson and Ashley Hallene


  • There are less inexpensive options for remote control services, which allow you to access office computers from home.
  • Regardless of what service you use, be sure to use a strong password when creating your account or use multifactor authentication (MFA).
  • You can use services or free Microsoft templates to create customizable email signatures in Outlook.
How Do I Inexpensively Control My Office Computer Remotely from Home?
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Welcome to the latest installment of our monthly Q&A column, where a panel of experts answers your questions about using technology in your law practice.

This month we answer readers’ questions about how to control your office computer remotely from home without breaking the bank and how to create a sharp, professional-looking email signature in Outlook.

Q: I am currently paying $349 per year for a remote control service to access my office computer from home. Is there a good, less expensive option?

A: Yes! DWService, once installed, allows unattended access to a far computer anytime that it is powered on. The price? Free, or whatever you choose to contribute.

At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, I gave an answer listing four paid remote-control services. Since then, I discovered DWService. I am very pleased with it.

A company making a remote-control program needs to earn your trust. The free program from DWService is open source. It has been subject to the scrutiny of security researchers. While not a guarantee of perfection, that scrutiny provides a level of confidence.

DWService offers the free remote control program, DWAgent. It can be installed on a far computer in unattended mode. It can also be used on-demand; it allows you to connect to someone else’s computer while they are present and assisting in making the connection.

You can install DWAgent on as many computers as you want. You can access one or more of them at the same time from your web-based control panel. DWAgent may be used for commercial purposes without charge.

The instructions for creating an account, downloading, and installing DWAgent are presented in three videos of about four minutes each on the home page.

DWAgent only needs to be installed on the far computer for unattended access. You can use any computer, tablet, or smartphone to remotely connect to the far computer without needing to install any software on the device you use to control the far computer. You make the connection through your web browser.

Be sure to use a strong password when creating your account. You don’t want anyone breaking into your far computer(s)! There is also an option to use multifactor authentication (MFA). I use Google Authenticator on my phone.

This is a good YouTube video on how to use DWAgent for remote control. This video shows an even faster way to connect directly to an unattended computer that is running DWAgent.

DWAgent has the capability to upload and download files between your computer and the far computer by clicking on the Files and Folders icon instead of the screen icon. A button in the upper-left corner allows you to switch between “Screen” and “Files and Folders.”

One slight annoyance relates to Copy and Paste between computers. It is a two-step process. After you have selected and copied some text, you need to click a DWAgent button and then paste into a pop-up dialog box before pasting text into the far computer.

While DWAgent is offered at no cost, the developer appreciates contributions to support the project. If you like this software, I recommend making a contribution. If you use it regularly, it makes sense to schedule a monthly payment.

The free plan has a generous maximum speed of 6 Mbps. That limit is only noticeable when uploading or downloading files. Paid plans increase the bandwidth, but the main reason for paying is to acknowledge the value of the program and to support the project.

Techie: Wells H. Anderson, JD, GPSolo eReport Contributing Technology Editor and CEO of SecureMyFirm, 952/922-1120,—we protect small firms from cyber threats with affordable, multiple layers of defense.

Q: How do I create a sharp, professional-looking email signature in Outlook?

A: There are a couple of ways you can spruce up the signature block in your email. You can use a company such as WiseStamps, which offers easy-to-customize templates. You can get one basic email signature for free, but it will come with a banner ad for their company at the bottom. You can also pay $5.80 per month to remove the branding and add professional tools, image animation and effects, and a method to export your contact to iPhone, Outlook, etc.

Microsoft offers a host of free templates for you to customize and use through their Office Templates site. The link will take you to a template you can download with 20 different signature block ideas. You can swap out all the template details for yours, adding your own links to your website and social media pages to make it your own. The steps are:

  1. After you have downloaded the template, open it in Microsoft Word.
  2. When you find one you like, select all the elements in the signature and click Copy.
  3. Open Outlook and select New Email.
  4. Paste the copied signature in the email message body.
  5. Personalize your signature by editing the text, changing the photo/logo, and adding hyperlinks to your website/social.

After you have the signature customized the way you want, you will need to save your signature to keep using it in all your outgoing email. To do so:

  1. Select all the elements of the signature block, right-click, and choose Copy (or hit Ctrl + C)
  2. In the email message, go to Signature > Signatures from the Message menu.
  3. Choose New and type a name for your signature, such as Business, Official, or Personal.
  4. In the Edit signature field, right-click and select Paste. Your signature is now displayed in the field.
  5. Choose OK to save your new signature.
  6. All future messages will have this signature added automatically. To add a signature manually, select Signature from the Message menu and pick the signature you created.

Techie: Ashley Hallene, JD, GPSolo eReport Editor-in-Chief, [email protected].

What’s YOUR question?

If you have a technology question, please forward it to Managing Editor Rob Salkin ([email protected]) at your earliest convenience. Our response team selects the questions for response and publication. Our regular response team includes Jeffrey Allen, Wells H. Anderson, Jordan L. Couch, Ashley Hallene, Al Harrison, and Patrick Palace. We publish submitted questions anonymously, just in case you do not want someone else to know you asked the question.

Please send in your questions today!