Home Technology What is Remote Desktop? And How to Use it Properly

What is Remote Desktop? And How to Use it Properly

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While some workplaces want to monitor the productivity of their employees by having them in the office all day, employees tend to slack off a great deal at work. In fact, in many cases, people are much more productive when left on their own, working remotely or working from home. If you’re going to start allowing this at your company, you need to know what is remote desktop and how it works.

Here is everything you need to know about how to set up your computer with remote desktop.

Understanding Remote Connections

When you’re constantly on the go, an entrepreneur, or working at home following the medical or family leave, you don’t always have room to carry a hard drive. In fact, it can be less secure for you to travel around with your important data written on a little drive that could be lost or damage. If your desktop, whether or home or the office, holds a lot of vital data for you to get work done while connected to a network, make a remote connection.

When you connect to your desktop remotely, you get to work as if you were sitting in front of your computer from anywhere in the world. You get access to every file and every application that helps you to get work done.

Lugging your computer or all of its data around is clearly not always possible. But with a remote desktop, you could use a tiny laptop with a good connection. In fact, even some smartphone applications now give you the power of working at a remote desktop from anywhere in the world.

There are times when you need to connect from a far off place or you need to connect from the terminal across the office from you. Either of these could be done if you learn how to create a remote desktop connection. There are four distinct ways to connect and we’ve covered them all.

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Network Connection Using Windows

If you’re looking to access your windows machine remotely, go to the Start menu and look for “allow remote access” and click the icon. Choose to “Allow Remote Access to This Computer” and then you’ll see a popup. You’ll be given options for connecting to the machine.

For a more secure connection, use the “Network Level Authentication” option. If you’re comfortable with the security of the connection you have, then choose to allow connections from any version of Remote Desktop.

Now you need to go to the remote computer and find “Remote Desktop” from the Start menu. Choose “Remote Desktop Connection” and then type in the name of the computer you’re connecting to. The name of the computer as it exists on a network is found in the menu item “Computer” and is usually given when you first install Windows.

Once you hit “Connect” you’ll be all set. Just use the username and password you normally use to get into the computer.

Use a VPN if you want another layer of security while doing this.

Windows Connections Outside Your Network

If you’re connecting to a windows machine from outside of your network, you’ll have to know a little more information than just the computer itself. You need to know about the forward ports on the router that the computer you’re looking to connect to uses.

Start by logging into the router’s administration access page if you have access to it. Forward the TCP port 3389 to the computer you’re trying to access. Then you need to use www.whatismyip.org to get the IP address of your machine.

Your public IP could change at any point, however, so be careful by using a service to create a simple domain name instead.

On the computer, you’re looking to get access to, make sure you go to the start menu and allow remote access. You’ll have to do this in advance or have someone on site do it for you.

Now all you have to do is to log in as you normally would get into that computer that you’re trying to get to remotely.

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Connecting to a Mac On Your Network

When you’re looking to connect to a Mac on the same network, it’s an easy process. All you have to do to start is go into System Preferences. Once there, go to the “Sharing” section and allow “Screen Sharing”.

Then, go back to your remote computer and open up a Finder window. Go to “Shared” and then find the name fo your computer and double click on it. You should be able to log in with the same credentials the computer normally uses.

In a matter of seconds, you’ll be able to connect and get all the work done that you need to do.

Mac Connections Outside The Network

This is more complicated than being in the same network, but you won’t need additional software if you follow the directions carefully.

On your home computer, you need to log into the router to forward the TCP and UDP port 5900 to where you want to access. You’ll need your public IP address again as well.

On the computer you’re trying to access, the “Screen Sharing” box needs to be activated from the Sharing pane inside of System Preferences.

Then from Finder, click Go and then “Connect to Server”. Type in the IP address that you found from the home computer and you’ll get prompted for credentials. Hand them over and then you should be inside.

Connecting to a Mac from outside your network is challenging for many people, so they rely on tools like the Netop Remote Control interface to help. This could save you a headache when you’re trying to connect.

Knowing What Is Remote Desktop Helps You

When you know what is a remote desktop, you’ll be able to know how it can help you. All those times when you’ve needed a certain file or needed to get something from your work computer could be alleviated by a tool like this one.

If moving your data around has also led you to consider moving your Office 365 domain, check out our guide for tips.

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