By Canace / Last Updated October 8, 2021

Why need a pcAnywhere alternative?

In January 2012, Symantec, the maker of pcAnywhere, asked users to stop using pcAnywhere software after certain vulnerabilities were exposed for its source code being stolen by a hacker group. In the end, Symantec announced that its remote control product is no longer available after attempted several fixes to secure the code.  Then, it's time to turn to an alternative to pcAnywhere. 

Overview of two reliable & free pcAnywhere alternatives 

It's hard to tell which one is suitable when there is various remote desktop software.  Thus, two safe and free alternatives to pcAnywhere are introduced: Windows Remote Desktop and AnyViewer. 

Windows Remote Desktop, whose developer is Microsft, is a Windows built-in feature. It's very suitable to establish a connection between two devices under the same local area network (LAN). Thus, you can control another corporate computer to help your colleague solve technical issues or find necessary data for your own work.  Before using it to connect to another PC, you need to adjust Windows Settings to enable Remote Desktop on the host computer (the computer that you want to access and control). 

AnyViewer, a third-party freeware for remote access, remote control, and remote support. It enables you to control another PC from anywhere without configuring Windows settings. As it is secured by Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) encryption, you don’t have to worry about security problems during the connection. And it's very easy to use because of its intuitive and concise user interface. 

Stepwise guides on how to use the two pcAnywhere alternatives

After having a basic understanding of the two free alternatives to pcAnywhere,  keep reading to realize how to use them. 

The guide on how to use Windows Remote Desktop over LAN

Step 1. In the host computer, press "Windows" + "R", input "sysdm.cpl" and click the "Enter" key.

Step 2.  Go to the Remote tab, and ensure that "Allow remote connections to this computer" is checked. 

Allow This Computer

Step 3. Type” control panel” in Run Box to open “All Control Panel Items” window, and click Windows Defender Firewall> Allow Apps to Communicate through Windows Firewall. Make sure “Remote Desktop” check box is checked.

Allow for remote desktop

Step 4. In the client computer (the computer that you are using to connect to another computer), hold  Windows key and R to open Run Box, type” mstsc” and press ENTER to open Remote Desktop Connection. Type the IP address of the host computer and click connect.


Step 5.  Then, you need to type the user name and password of the host computer to establish a remote session. 

The guide on how to use AnyViewer over different networks

Step 1. Click the following button to free download the pcAnywhere on both host PC and client PC. Install and run the remote access tool on the two devices. 


Download Freeware Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7 & Server 
Secure Download


Then, in the main interface, you can see the device ID and temporary code of the computer. 

Device ID and Temporary Code

Step 2. On the host computer, go to "Settings" > "Recipient". Enable "Set my security code" and set your security code. Then, click "OK".  



Note: Temporary security code changes every time you restart AnyViewer while security code doesn't. If you want to continue the remote session after restart the remote computer, you need to set a security code rather than using the temporary security code. 

Step 3. On the client computer, type the device ID of the host computer and click "Connect". The free pcAnywhere alternative offers two ways to control another PC: Send a control request to your partner and Input security code. If there's someone on the other end, you can choose the first way. If you want to access unattended computer, choose the second one. 

Connection method


Step 4. If you choose input security code, all you need to do is type the temporary security code or the security code that you set manually and click OK. If you choose  “Send a control request to your partner” option, a request will pop up on the host PC. The Allow option shall be chosen to establish the remote session. 



Step 5. After creating the remote session successfully, you can view the screen of the remote PC, restart it, lock it, or open Explorer on it. 


Feather reading: how to find the local IP address of a computer?

In a local area network, each computer has the only IP address. If you want to connect to another computer through Remote Desktop Connection, you will need this IP address. So how can you find it?

Step 1. Press Windows key and R to open Run Box, type “cmd” and press ENTER.

Step 2. Enter “ipconfig” and press ENTER, and find the Ipv4 Address in the window.

IP address