You’ve probably heard of apps like Team Viewer and Google Chrome Remote Desktop. These applications are generally used for remote access from one device to another, and are useful for controlling the computer from the mobile. There are several, but one of the most popular is AnyDesk, not only because it works well but because it is completely free for personal use.
AnyDesk does not require advanced computer knowledge or anything like that, it is just necessary to have a stable WiFi connection and a smartphone, either Android or iPhone. It’s a really comprehensive app, so we’ll take a look at how it’s used and how to get the most out of it.
How to download and configure AnyDesk
The basis for the operation of AnyDesk is the DeskRT codec. This one, which was developed by the company itself, is able to compress and transfer the image of a device “without problem, even with a bandwidth of only 100 kb per second”. It does not require any strange configuration from the user, to the point that no program should be installed on the computer
For those who care about safety. AnyDesk uses TLS 1.2 and RSA 2048 encryption to verify user identity
How it works? Very simple. The first thing to do is go to the AnyDesk website and download the client for your desktop operating system. It is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, FreeBSD, and Raspberry Pi. Once you have it, go to Google Play and download the Android app. You must have installed the app on both devicesyes, because you will have to follow the following steps:
- Run the downloaded file on your PC or Mac.
- A window will appear with a nine-digit code.
- Open the app on your mobile.
- In the “Other Tasks” section, enter the nine-digit code displayed on the computer.
- On your computer, a window will appear in which you will have to accept the incoming connection. Do it.
When you accept the connection, your computer screen appears on your mobile and you can control it as usual. It’s important to note that you don’t need to be connected to the same WiFi network as your computer, so you can use AnyDesk to, for example, control your desktop PC from home, and vice versa.
Understanding the controls
By default, activated controls are tactile, so to navigate the interface, you will need to know what each gesture does:
- Drag with one finger: move the cursor.
- Press: left click.
- Long press: right click.
- Long press twice (press and hold the second press): select.
- Swipe with three fingers: scrolls the screen.
These are the basics, but let’s go deeper. During the remote session, you will see that a black button appears with the logo of the app. If you leave it pressed, a cake drop-down menu will appear with different access. The first is the settings, from which we can change data entry, streaming quality and sound. Do not touch anything, because it is configured it works perfectly.
The bottom button (marked in yellow) is the one for introductory options, which is divided into five sections. From top to bottom:
- Special buttons like F1, system key, command, etc.
- Keyboard: opens the default keyboard you have configured on your mobile (although when you click on a text box, it does so automatically).
- Mouse emulation: this is the default mode, you control the computer screen with basic mouse gestures.
- Touch panel emulation: AnyDesk will make the mobile screen behave like a “touch pad” on the computer.
- Transmit gestures: The app will transfer gestures from the phone to the computer, as long as they are supported.
The next button is used to change monitor, something not too useful if you only have one. However, if you had two screens connected in your turn, you could switch between them. In general, you will use it relatively little.
The third button is the Actions, which is interesting to know what it is for. From top to bottom, the functions are as follows:
- Take a screenshot. Move the AnyDesk button to another location.
- Download files to remote computer: when you tap it, your mobile’s file manager opens. Select the file you want and, on your computer, press Ctrl + V to paste it.
- Download the file from the computer: you just have to copy any file from your computer (right click> copy) and click on this button to download said file to your mobile.
- Request Elevation: This function requests administrator access on the remote device.
- Sends the command Ctrl + Alt + Del to the remote device.
- Enabling a VPN: If supported by the computer, a “tunneled” connection will be applied to the session.
- Confidentiality mode: the session will become private.
The last button, which appears below in the shape of an X, is used to log out instantly. It’s quick access to avoid having to tap back and close from the main app window.
And can the mobile be controlled from the computer?
Yes, but not all devices (It will depend on the manufacturer and version of Android). To access mobile control from computer, you need to allow AnyDesk to be displayed on top of other apps. Once the authorization is given, and as long as the mobile is compatible, the mouse can transfer the keys to the remote mobile.
To control the phone remotely, you need to allow AnyDesk to overlap other apps
In addition to controlling the mobile from the computer, which is not possible on all models, AnyDesk allows you to view the phone screen remotely. This can be useful, for example, when a family member calls you because something is wrong with their mobile. If you both install the app, you can give you instructions and mark the places where you need to click
In case you have a Samsung mobile or tablet, you will need to perform a few additional steps to display (and control) the mobile screen on the computer:
- Open the app on your Samsung and give it all the necessary permissions.
- On your computer, enter the nine-digit code that appears on the mobile.
- Accept the Knox terms and conditions which will appear on your mobile.
- Ready, the screen of the mobile will be reproduced on the computer and you can control it using the mouse as if it were your finger.
If you are using a mobile with physical buttons (for example, we tested it on a Galaxy S7 edge), to go back, you will need to press the “Esc” key. If you have a current mobile, whose navigation bar is integrated into the screen, you should not have a major problem. Besides, you can control the mobile from another mobile, you don’t need to use the computer.
AnyDesk, advantages and disadvantages
What is certain is that AnyDesk works really well. When you control the computer from your mobile, the response is instantaneous, even if you sometimes have to be very precise with the keys. For example, I’m using an ultra-wide monitor so the screen looks a bit small and you have to zoom in if you want to properly touch and not accidentally close a window.
Sending files is magic, it works great, great even with relatively large files, and the fact that you don’t have to configure anything at all makes for a great experience.
Saving the little fluidity when controlling the mobile from the PC, AnyDesk works perfectly and fulfills its mission
It is also possible To write. In fact, I am writing this paragraph controlling the computer from my mobile and, although it is true that I slow it down more than if I were using the PC keyboard (because the automatic corrector cannot be activated, mainly) , it cannot be ordered anymore.
It’s hard to put one shot, to the point that the only negative point is that it does not allow to control all Android or iPhone phones. For the rest, it’s a highly recommended app and to make matters worse, completely free for private use. If you want to use it professionally, prices start at five dollars.