One day we'll share our desktops from around the world, but until then I'll stick to my neo-Luddite ways

This article appears as part of the April 07 issue of PC Advisor, available now in all good newsagents

Working across multiple PCs can be a headache. All too often you'll be working from home and suddenly realise that a vital file is stored on your computer at work, or on a colleague's hard drive. Thankfully, the filesharing software market is booming.

OnShare, reviewed here, is a super-secure means of sharing data and messages between PCs, without the need for a network. It uses military-standard encryption to ensure that your files don't fall into the wrong hands. But OnShare promises more than it can deliver. When we used it we found it very flaky. It lost us friends by crashing their PCs.

Next on our list was Groove Virtual Office, a P2P (peer-to-peer) application that shares workspace between multiple PCs and offers a range of messaging tools. Groove is a professional tool, aimed at businesses rather than consumers. We much preferred its interface.

But once again, operation was far from groovy. Groove slowed our PC right down – it took ages to start up and getting to grips with how it worked rather dented the convenience that it offers. Still, it's a step in the right direction.

For now, I think I'll stick with my neo-Luddite solution of emailing files to and fro.

A new era of shared desktops looks as though it could be dawning, if only the developers could iron out those last few operational wrinkles.