We’ve blogged here before about Unified Remote, a super interesting app to control your PC from an Android. You can use it to, for instance, make your touchscreen serve as a mouse, use a virtual remote to control a media player, or even browse through your local file tree. That said, though initially designed for use with WiFi or Bluetooth networks, you can set it up to use your 3G connection so that, among other things, it can turn your PC on and off or restart it from anywhere.

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To use this app you need, first of all, the official Unified Remote client for Android and next, the server for Windows or Mac to be paired with the remote device. To do that just run the server on your PC and go to the Servers menu in the app. So far so good.

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Now comes the ‘complicated’ bit, which consists of modifying the login credentials so the connection can be made remotely instead of over a local network.

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  • Firstly, the most advisable thing is to enable app access via password. To do so just go to the server settings menu by right-clicking on the icon in the taskbar and going to Manager > Settings > Security.

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  • Now to ensure that neither the router nor the firewall interfere with the access. In the app go to the section ‘Allow an application through the Windows firewall,’ search the Unified Server list, and double-check that ‘Private’ is ticked. Then you’ll need to open the router ports. (Yep, like back when we had to use eMule.) It’s outside the scope of this post to explain how to redirect ports, but luckily there are useful tools like THIS to help you do that easily.
  • The next thing is to find your public IP on your PC to set up the connection on the smartphone app. You can find that right in the Unified Remote for PC server’s web menu in the Status section.

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  • Lastly, just fill in the access details in the Servers section in the app, including the server IP, the incoming TCP/UDP ports (by default both are 9512), the MAC direction, and the IP for the WiFi network if you’re using one, along with the password you set in the first section.

More information | Unified Remote

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