We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Utilities software Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Microsoft Windows Live Mesh review


Manufacturer: Microsoft

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

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

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 Expert Verdict »

Windows Vista/7
  • Ease of Use: We give this item 8 of 10 for ease of use
  • Features: We give this item 5 of 10 for features
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

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.

  • Microsoft Live Mesh beta review

    Microsoft Live Mesh beta

    Microsoft has sacrificed usability to provide a pretty interface in Microsoft Live Mesh - a powerful but unnecessarily clumsy file-sync service.

  • Microsoft Windows Live Essentials review

    Microsoft Windows Live Essentials

    Microsoft Windows Live Essentials is a grab-bag of useful, if often unrelated, applications that offer a variety of services for doing things such as managing photos, creating videos, checking email, doing instant messaging, writing blog posts and synchronising data among PCs.

  • Microsoft Windows Live Hotmail review

    Microsoft Windows Live Hotmail

    Windows Live Hotmail looks better, works faster and adds some neat features to Microsoft's web-based email service. Can it compete with Gmail?

  • RM Asus miniBook £169 laptop PC review

    RM Asus miniBook £169 laptop PC

    At first glance the Research Machines (RM) Asus miniBook doesn’t seem like much, it’s tiny at 22.5cm wide, 16.5cm deep and just 3.5cm high. Plus, it weighs less than 1kg.

  • Zimbra Desktop review

    Zimbra Desktop

    VMWare's powerful email client Zimbra Desktop could replace your Outlook or Thunderbird in the near future. Find out more: Zimbra Desktop review.

IDG UK Sites

Windows 10 release date, price, features UK: Staggered release with PCs coming first this summer -...

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

MacBook Pro 15in preview: better battery life, faster storage and a new discrete graphics chip may...