As part of the Windows Live Essentials 2011 suite of home productivity applications, Windows Live Mesh provides basic remote-desktop control for Windows Vista and Windows 7 computers.

Whether the Windows computer you are using is to be the host or the client, you run the Windows Live Essentials 2011 installation program and specify that Mesh be downloaded and installed.

Mesh appears as a double-arrow icon set in the Windows notification tray. On your host computer, click this icon to open the program. From there, you can add the computer to a list that permits other Windows computers to access it over the internet. You will first need to have a Windows Live ID or a Hotmail account.

On the client computer, you click the same Mesh notification tray icon, log on with your Windows Live ID/Hotmail account, and your aforementioned host computer will appear on a list. When you click its icon, a connection between your client and host is made, and a separate window pops open showing your host computer's screen.

Mesh also lets you connect to your host through the web, but only using Internet Explorer.

There is no way to hear audio from your host computer, whether you connect to your host through the Mesh program or IE.

Settings and Extra Tools

The program that's used to connect to your Windows host computer is bare-bones. The only noteworthy setting it has lets you adjust the viewing size of the host's desktop. It also lets you send Windows' important Ctrl-Alt-Del command to the host.

It doesn't even have an option for scaling back the colour level of the host's screen output in order to help reduce lag - Mesh always displays your host computer's native colour range. These settings (and lack thereof) are the same when you use Mesh through Internet Explorer.

There is no file-transfer tool or chat function.


Clicking through our host-computer's desktop was surprisingly speedy when we accessed it with the Mesh client program.

Using Mesh through Internet Explorer 9, performance was, as might expect, slower, with some more noticeable lag; but things were still fast and workable enough for us to click items and drag open windows around our host's desktop - much more responsive and less laggy than the web interfaces available with GoToMyPC or LogMeIn, for example.

Microsoft Windows Live Mesh: Specs

  • Windows Vista/7
  • Windows Vista/7


Windows Live Mesh does the job of remote desktop access well, especially in a pinch if you already have a Windows Live ID or Hotmail account and don't need to hear audio from your host computer or transfer files. This Windows service isn't an option if you need to remotely access a Mac, Linux or even Windows XP computer.

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