Two Ways to Use Computer-to-Computer Control in Parallels Access

If you’ve been following our posts and other news about Parallels Access, then you know that one great feature of the latest release is computer-to-computer connections. A quick recap: Parallels Access now provides the ability for you to use any computer to connect to one of your remote Mac or Windows computers. Here’s how that looks:

Figure 1

Figure 1: Conceptual depiction of the new computer-to-computer connection feature in Parallels Access 2.5.

For more details on this new feature, see this earlier blog post by my colleague Lindsay Scarpello.

In today’s post, I will discuss two ways to use this new feature: one quite practical, and another that’s quite humorous.

Practical Use: Connect to multiple computers simultaneously.

Since the new computer-to-computer connection feature works in a web browser, and since it’s possible to have several web browser windows open simultaneously, you can now have multiple simultaneous connections using Parallels Access, as shown in Figure 2:

Figure 2

Figure 2: Connecting simultaneously to both a Mac running Yosemite and a PC running Windows 8. Note that multiple simultaneous connections are not possible when using Parallels Access from a tablet or phone.

You’ll know if the new computer-to-computer connection feature is available to you if you look at your computer list in your Parallels Access account page. If you see the highlighted graphics after the computer name, as shown in Figure 3, then you can connect to that computer in a web page. If you don’t see the graphic, then you probably need to update the Parallels Access agent on that remote computer.

Figure 3

Figure 3: The computer list in my Parallels Access account page. The highlighted graphic, if present, means that you can connect to this remote computer using a web page.

And, of course, there’s nothing limiting you to only two simultaneous connections. Use more if you’d like.

Humorous: Connecting to the same computer in which the the browser is running results in a pretty strange display (as shown in figure 4).

Figure 4

Figure 4: If the computer in which the browser windows is running is also a remote computer in your remote computer list, then you get the rather humorous display shown above.

Note: this isn’t a Parallels Access bug. Rather, it’s the logical result of having the browser window trying to show the same computer you’re working on. The Parallels Access connection is established and the browser window is redrawn to show that “remote” computer’s screen. This changes the screen of the “local” computer, which then causes the browser window to be re-drawn, and so on and so on.

This is a visual example of recursion. Wikipedia provides several other entertaining examples of this very powerful notion from mathematics and computer science. Although this use of the computer-to-computer connection feature isn’t particularly helpful, it sure is funny the first time you see it live! So, go ahead and try it. You’ll see the recursion as it occurs, and I suspect that you”ll find this as amusing as I did.

Have you tried Parallels Access yet? Share your recursion story with us in a comment, or reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter.


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