Best known for virtualisation software that enables Windows apps to run on Mac computers, Parallels recently added Android and iPhone support to its remote access app, Parallels Access.
Launched last year for the iPad, Parallels Access lets you control your Mac and Windows computers from afar.
While such remote desktop apps have been around for years, software developers have been creating mobile versions to cater to the popularity of tablets and smartphones. Google and Microsoft both released mobile remote desktop apps in the past year.
Besides being able to manage home or office computers remotely, these apps are perfect for troubleshooting technical issues. There is only so much that can be done over the phone, especially if the other person is not tech-savvy.
To let others use these apps to access your computer, you typically have to download and install the remote desktop client app before sending the other party a password or PIN.
The app then creates a secure connection between the two devices while you sit back and watch things happen on your screen without having to lift a finger.
A few caveats: Depending on your connection, there will be some latency, even over a local network.
Such apps usually require your PCs to be powered on and not be in sleep mode.
The transition from keyboard and mouse on a desktop PC to the touch interface of mobile devices can be frustrating, though some apps provide custom touch gestures that ease the process.
Here are five remote desktop apps to get you started. Note that the following apps were tested on an Android 10-inch tablet, but all are available on multiple platforms.