Review: KineticExtend for iPad

If you're already using KineticSecure for a backup client, or you're in the market for one, the KineticExtend remote desktop app for the iPad might make it more attractive. Derek Schauland reviews this tool.

Remote access capabilities are a huge benefit for any systems administrator or IT. Being able to pop up screens to other systems from wherever you are is extremely handy. Since the release of the iPad in 2010 there have been a few applications that allow this, including Kinetic Extend by KineticD, an app that allows systems using the KineticSecure applications to be managed remotely from the iPad.

Specs (for managed systems)

  • Processor: 1.7 GhZ P4 for Windows or 1.5 GhZ PPC or Intel Mac
  • RAM: 1Gb  RAM Recommended (512 MB Minimum)
  • Storage: 5GB Free Disk Space
  • OS: Windows XP - Windows 7 and Mac OS 10.5.7 and higher
  • Price: $2/GB per Month
  • More Info: KineticD for Your Business

Who's it for?

Kinetic Extend is for anyone who manages remote systems and would like to add an iPad to their toolkit. The application allows touch screen control of remote systems allowing a minimalist UI and decent control of any systems configured with the KineticSecure application.

What problem does it solve?

Kinetic Extend for iPad allows you to use the iPad to access remote systems in cases when you might not have access to a laptop to monitor a system. In-flight Wi-Fi comes to mind here. Carrying a laptop is nice, but using it on the plane isn't exactly an easy option (depending on the size of your laptop), but an iPad is extremely easy to use and access on an airplane.

Because of other features included when the remote client portion is installed that allow custom cloud backup of items on those systems, this could be extremely useful for specific client systems. If there are mission critical functions within your organization, it may make sense to use the KineticD tools to manage the system remotely as well as provide backup and recovery for information on these computers.

Standout features

  • Great user interface: The minimal user interface is great and really doesn't provide too many features which might get in the way.
  • Easy access to important hot keys: Tap and hold for the Start key and Ctrl+Alt+Del options while managing a Windows machine

What's wrong?

  • Delay in commands sent: There is a slight delay between the systems which takes some getting used to. This seems to be noticeable when trying to close windows on the host system, but not in many other areas, and in other applications I have tried, this exists as well.
  • No Stand Alone remoting: Making the remote desktop feature a one-time purchase without the backup features may make the application more appealing and even generate new customers looking for just that piece of the puzzle.
  • Additional features: Extend is a feature of another program; you must have the KineticSecure Online Backup client installed on the remote computer. The focus of Kinetic is backing up selected data to the cloud, and the remote desktop features are a great addition here.

Competitive products

There are not yet many products for iPad which compete here:

Bottom line for business

If you or your staff needs a convenient way to manage remote systems while also providing backup and recovery to specific systems within your organization, then KineticD might have the solution for you. Because the KineticExtend app is a feature of another product, the cost of the entire service might be a bit high if your only need is remote access to systems from your iPad.