Review

Review: Windows Live Essentials 2011 - Mesh

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Microsoft has released the final version of Windows Live Essentials 2011 to everyone on a supported Windows based PC, which comes loaded with very useful and helpful everyday programs that make our lives a little easier and more entertaining. Over the next couple of days, Neowin will be taking an in-depth look at Windows Live Essentials 2011, covering a new program each day.

Windows Live Mesh

As the world continues to be more and more reliant on computers, more users join the Internet every single day. It isn't uncommon for households to have more than one computer in the house, as it used to be a decade ago. Many users now use multiple computers around the house, including desktop PCs and laptops, even mobile devices. So having all your documents on any computer you use becomes an important feature to have. Windows Live Mesh allows users to sync their computers with one another, to help share media and other important files with all your computers. Mesh is a great replacement for a home network storage server and even external hard drives.

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Windows Live Mesh uses your Windows Live ID to connect from any computer around the world. With your Live ID, you can sync files to and from your SkyDrive, with up to 5GB of storage space. When you are setting up your syncing, you select the folder and what computers on your network you wish to sync with. Not every folder has to be synced with SkyDrive, and you can easily set up who you want to share with, even if they aren't on your network. Windows Live Mesh allows you to share with up to 9 people from anywhere around the globe, so you can all manage one set of files.

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Managing and controlling who sees what does require Internet access, because all of the removing and permission settings are actually done through your web browser through Live.com. From this control panel, you can change icons, rename devices and set permissions for each computer.

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Within your settings, there is also options to sync Microsoft software program settings, including Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office. Each computer will need to enable this feature. Each computer with this enabled can share favourites, templates, styles, custom dictionary and email signatures.

Remote

Windows Live Mesh comes with a built-in remote access option, allowing you to connect to a computer on your sync, remotely using their computer. Computers can only be accessed when running Mesh on their desktop, and must be signed into their Live ID.

There is a downfall to this feature that I discovered while I was experimenting with remote. When I connect to a remote computer, it automatically logs me out. I then need to login into the computer again, using their secure password. I also noticed that when doing so, the screen on the remote computer goes completely dark, except for a white cursor on your screen. This means anyone could look through your private files in front of your face, without you seeing it.

However, you need to first accept the persons request to remotely control your PC, so you should know who is browsing your files before giving them full access to your PC.

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Make sure to check back tomorrow when we review Windows Live Family Safety 2011!

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