I first read about Avvenu on Russell Beattie’s blog a couple of months ago. In his blog entry, Russell looks at Orb, SoonR and Avvenu for remote-access services and ends up selecting Avvenu. Read his blog for more details on how he ends up picking Avvenu, which he describes as the easiest, simplest, yet most useful of all the services. Since I’ve had mixed results with a combination of remote-desktop, VNC, CVS and other solutions, I decided to give Avvenu a shot.
Avvenu is a free service that allows you to remotely access your home or office PC or as many computers as you wish from any other computer or mobile phone. In addition to getting to your machine(s), you can also easily share files and photos with other people. To enable sharing, you install the Avvenu client on your machine and it sits in the task-tray and manages connections for uploads or download. Access to your computer is protected by SSL and a username/password combination. You can also selectively share out one file or one folder or your whole computer to anyone. You control who gets access and for how long. Your guests see exactly what you have shared and nothing else. The people with whom you share don’t need the Avvenu client nor do they need to sign up for the Avvenu service – To view or download the file(s) you have authorized as shares for them, the person only clicks on the link sent by e-mail.
One of the nice features of Avvenu is the use of HTTPS as the transport protocol. This makes is easy to tunnel through routers, firewalls and internal NATing schemes. Here are some screenshots of Avvenu in action on my machine:
The screenshot above shows off the ‘homepage’ for my machine and displays all the drives that are available to me remotely, when I’m logged in as me.
This screenshot shows me a file I am about to download when I’ve drilled into my drive.
If you need to access your machine remotely, you cannot go wrong with Avvenue. I’ve been using it for the past 2 months now and I don’t what I would do without it at this point. Besides a few simple tests, I haven’t played with the mobile side of Avvenu but that’s another awesome feature set that opens up new avenues (pun intended ;)) for being productive remotely.
Avvenu, SoonR, Orb, Russell+Beattie, file+sharing, remote+access, sharing, https, mobile
Looks pretty cool! I’ll give it a shot. Looks like you have to have Windows XP though? I don’t have that at work unfortunately, only at home. We are on Windows 2000 yet. 😦
Hi Derek. And yes – Avvenu requires Windows XP for the client install piece. It actually installs on Windows 2000 but won’t run after installation. With Vista in the offing, maybe you guys will skip XP and go straight to Vista 🙂
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You could try MyDisk.co.uk. It’s a cross-platform solution using Java. It’s tiny, free, requires no installation and is just as versatile.