If you’re a bit of a computer whiz, then you probably often get asked by friends and family to sort out their latest PC disaster. However, if you live far apart, have a busy lifestyle or can’t get there easily physically, you might find Crossloop a godsend. There are many applications out there that allow you to share desktops but perhaps none that do it more easily and simply than Crossloop.
CrossLoop is basically a free secure screen sharing utility designed for people of all technical backgrounds so you don’t need to be a geek to use it. It allows you to connect to another user’s computer and share their desktop without having to change any firewall or router settings. This is obviously perfect if you need to find out why someone is having problems with their PC or if you just want to simply share information with them.
The key to this program’s appeal is its simplicity. In fact, the developers claim you’ll be sharing desktops within 60 seconds of installation. After installing CrossLoop, you will see a welcome screen with two tabs. Select the ‘Join’ tab if you would like to connect and control a friend’s PC. Select the ‘Host’ tab if you would like to temporarily share access to your PC. This host tab contains an important 12-digit access code that your friend will need to enter to connect to your PC. Obviously, the only requirement is that your friend has Crossloop installed too to initiate a session. Once done, you’re ready to go. A separate window opens with your friend’s desktop and you can tinker to your hearts content.
There’s not much you can do to customise such a simple program but the developers have recently spiced up the tabs with some new skins such as Aqua, Jungle, Nebula and even Pink Lemonade. They’ve also added a small gear symbol to the tabs which takes you directly to the settings where you can change the skin, language, contact the developers and configure a manual proxy configuration. It also shows your ‘karmabank´statistics – a nice little touch which means the more people you help with Crossloop, the more points you get (although there’s no prize or anything). If you help enough users, perhaps you might reach Nirvana.
Obviously, the main concern with such P2P connections is security. However, the developers maintain that all sent information is highly encrypted with a128-bit algorithm using the randomly generated 12-digit access code mentioned earlier. There’s no need to worry about anyone accessing your PC without permission either – a popup requesting permission from you alerts you before any information is exchanged.
The only real drawbacks of Crossloop are that as yet, it doesn’t offer file sending or a chat function. This is not a disaster because you can always use a separate instant messaging application to do this but these features would be the icing on the cake. Nevertheless, Crossloop really is an excellent application for what it offers. The fact that it is free only adds to its appeal, considering similar programs such as Copilot charge anything up to $5 for 24 hours of use. However, the popularity of this program means that the developers may start charging for it soon: so take advantage of it now whilst it’s free!
To keep up with the latest developments with Crossloop, don’t forget to check the developer blog.
Pros: Extremely simple to setup for all levels, Easily allows you to help people remotely
Cons: No file sending, No chat function