What is iTwin Connect and How Does It Work?

by Aeyne Schriber on January 30, 2015 in Internet Access

Using a high capacity USB storage device while you are away from your PC is one option for accessing files on the go. But what if you could securely access your PC or another computer while you are on the road?

Transferring your files over the Internet using encryption technology is only one way to securely access your files. Currently, there is a solution called iTwin Connect that allows you to use your Internet connection for other things while accessing your desktop remotely and controlling devices that are connected to your home network.

iTwin, the same company that unveiled the iTwin Remote File Access solution, recently introduced iTwin Connect which is a device designed to solve mobile professional file access challenges. iTwin Connect is more than just a remote file access solution, it also offers other conveniences that include private web browsing, access to your home network, remote desktop access, and file access from any location. The device helps mobile professionals to establish their own Virtual Private Network (VPN) while on the go.

What is iTwin Connect?

iTwin Connect is a device that connects to your PC to allow you to remotely access files and other devices connected to your home network, regardless of where you are. The iTwin Connect device looks like a USB dongle and is designed with two parts. One half connects to your home or office PC and the other part is carried with you.

The part you carry with you acts as a key for establishing the connection to your desktop while you are away from your computer. When you plug the second part of the iTwin Connect device into your laptop while on the road, the device establishes a secure Virtual Private Network tunnel to your home or office PC.

The iTwin Connect device allows you to quickly access your home or office PC from a remote location plus, it offers additional features as well. This is what sets the device apart from other similar products on the market. The previous iTwin Remote File Access solution allowed you to access your files remotely but, the newer version offers more features to help you get more functionality out of the device.

How It Works

The iTwin Connect device resembles a USB flash drive that is designed with two USB connections. The device is very compact and establishes a secure connection between two computers or a secure connection between one computer and the iTwin server.

When you plug the iTwin Connect device into the main computer in your home or at work, the software is automatically installed and configures the computer for the remote connection. Once the device is disconnected from the main computer, you separate the two parts of the USB stick which results in two separate USB devices.

The two separate devices are very compact at less than two inches which makes it convenient and easy to carry with you. When you connect the second part to your laptop while on the go, it will automatically install itself without any user intervention. Additionally, you can set up a special password that disables the device in the event you happen to lose it. This ensures you can lock down your files to prevent access by an unauthorized user.

The following video explains more about how iTwin Connect works and how it establishes a Virtual Private Network connection.

iTwin Connect Features

One of the best features associated with iTwin Connect is the ability to securely access your files by setting up a personal Virtual Private Network capable of handling multiple tasks. You can access all of your files on your home or office PC using Windows Explorer or you can access specific files stored in desktop applications. Plus, it is possible to access files from your remote computer and save them to the device you are currently using, as long as both devices are enabled with iTwin Connect.

Other features include:

Remote Desktop

This feature allows you to see the desktop of the main computer and allows you to have total control over the device. This is a useful tool for managing your computer from a remote location and it can also be used to offer tech support to someone experiencing computer issues without actually being required to be seated at the PC.

Using Remote Desktop you can also launch Windows Remote Desktop. This is accomplished with a single click which provides you with access to many different applications and the data contained in them on the remote PC.

Teleport Me

The Teleport Me feature is the private browsing tool that allows you to surf the Internet without any restrictions. Any websites you visit or any data that you send passes through the secure Virtual Private Network tunnel and uses the same Internet connection that your home or office PC uses.

If the main computer cannot be left running for any reason, Teleport Me is designed to connect to the iTwin dedicated network services to provide you with a private connection. The company maintains dedicated servers throughout the United States, Europe and the Asia Pacific.

The Teleport Me feature is a useful tool, especially if you are browsing the Internet on hotel networks or other types of public wireless networks where security is an issue. Teleport Me ensures that your private information is protected from prying eyes and that no one is tracking your browsing activity. At the same time, there are no browsing restrictions which means that you can check your social media accounts, watch programs, and engage in any other activity you normally do online.

Home and Office Network Access

Using the iTwin Connect device you can access almost anything that is connected to your home or office network. This includes devices such as network applications or drives on an office network, or devices such as media servers, televisions, and cameras on your home server. Access to the network does not require any setup and configuration and automatically establishes a secure VPN to your network.

Secure AES 256-bit Encryption

iTwin Connect provides you with hardware grade security thanks to AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) 256-bit encryption which is a security technology adopted by the US government to protect top secret classified information. When each part of the iTwin Connect device is paired with one another, a unique encryption key is generated for each individual session to ensure all data is protected prior to being transmitted over the Internet.

You can also configure the two-factor authentication included with the iTwin Connect device. This allows you to setup an optional second password on the part of the USB device that you carry with you. If you happen to lose this half of iTwin Connect, it cannot be accessed without using the second password.

No Subscription or Contract Commitment

When you use iTwin Connect, there is no subscription requirement or contract commitment. Instead, you pay a one-time fee of $130 for lifetime access to the device. You also own the device and can use it in any way you like.

You do not necessarily have to be a mobile professional. Instead, you can use iTwin Connect for personal use or to help family members that often call you for help with a computer issue. If they have one half of the device, you can take control of the Desktop and fix the issue.

The following video provides more information on the iTwin Connect device.

Benefits of Using iTwin Connect

Many mobile professionals and individuals that want to access their files regardless of where they are, choose cloud services for backing up and storing important files. Cloud services are convenient and allow you to access your files from any device with an Internet connection.

Most of the cloud service providers deploy security technologies to assure their customers that files are securely transmitted and stored. However, nothing is one hundred percent foolproof which means a device like iTwin Connect can help you cover all of your bases in the event of data breach or loss.

iTwin Connect ensures your files stay private and secure. Since you own the device, it is only functional when connected, it uses military grade security and two-factor authentication, and performs other functions we discussed in this article in a secure environment. Even if you leave the main computer powered up so you can connect to it from any location, your information and files stay secure.

iTwin Connect also provides convenient browsing regardless of where you are located across the globe. The Teleport Me feature allows you to select your continent even when you are traveling. For example, if you reside in the United States and you are traveling overseas, you can select your continent as the US and still enjoy the programs you watch in the US.

This benefit also works vice versa. If you are traveling in the US and enjoy shows in the UK, you can set the browsing tool to the UK and access all of the shows you enjoy while traveling.

Even if you are sitting in an airport waiting for your flight, you can access your favorite shows and news sites from any continent. This is an advantage because your device and IP address otherwise would not allow you to access programming outside of a specific geographic area.

iTwin Connect allows you to choose from locations in Europe, the United States, or the Asia Pacific. This means you can catch up on your favorite shows and news while sitting in an airport waiting for your flight since iTwin directs the traffic through their dedicated servers in these locations.

iTwin also plans to add more locations to allow you to enjoy more programming and news channels in other parts of the world. This means for example, if you want to access BBC in Europe, you can still view it even though it is located on a UK server. Plus, any other sites where you are currently blocked from viewing will become readily available as iTwin Connect expands its location availability.

iTwin Connect Pros and Cons

If you read the reviews online from customers that have used iTwin Connect, you will find a lot of positive advantages to using this type of device. However, to provide you with more insight, here are a few pros and cons:

Pros

  • One-time upfront payment provides you with lifetime access.
  • The ability to disable the device remotely in the event it is lost or stolen.
  • There are no limitations in terms of file size or type.
  • Secure military grade AES encryption ensures secure file and data transfer.
  • Personal VPN protects you on hotel and public Wi-Fi networks.
  • Two-factor authentication provides added security.
  • Access to additional features such as your home or office network and the devices connected to it.
  • Flexible and secure browsing allows you to continue your usual browsing activities while you are traveling.
  • iTwin Connect is compatible with both Windows and Mac devices.

Cons

  • iTwin Connect is 3.5 inches long in total which means when the parts are divided they are very easy to lose.
  • When the iTwin Connect USB dongle is plugged in it can low down network performance.
  • You must set up files to share in advance in order to access them.
  • Lack of support for mobile devices.

Conclusion

Without a doubt, iTwin Connect represents a unique solution for providing secure access to your files and data from a remote location, thanks to the AES 256-bit encryption technology. The iTwin Connect device performs similar to Peer to Peer (P2P) access except the data is only being shared between you and your main computer. If you are traveling with a Windows device and your main computer is a Mac, you can still access your files since iTwin Connect will work with both systems.

iTwin Connect is also very user friendly with an installation and setup process that requires no user intervention. Additionally, the file access is limited to the data which is available on the other part of the iTwin Connect device. This helps to increase data protection while reducing the risk of inadvertently exposing sensitive information.

In terms of users, iTwin Connect is suitable for mobile professionals and small business owners since it helps to reduce the costs associated with implementing Virtual Private Network technology. The device can also be used by individuals that simply want the peace of mind that their data is secure and the convenience to access it at any time.

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