It is a familiar situation. For all those of you who believe in taking work home, how many times have you desperately wanted to access your home PC from office just because you saved the all-important file on its desktop? It could be equally traumatic when you are travelling and don’t have access to the laptop you’ve left at home. If you didn’t know, there is help at hand. With Remote Desktop, once you have synchronized the computers you want to access, you can remotely control any PC from anywhere. You can access and use the data, application and network resources without being anywhere near the computer. You can even print copies of your documents from the office computer, sitting at home.
It is a very simple concept. In Remote Desktop, you take control of your home PC (host) using another computer, say your work laptop (client), through the Internet.
Setting this up is quite easy, too:
1 To begin with, you need to make sure that your home PC, or the “host”, allows your work computer, or the “client”, to access its files. To enable Remote Desktop, click on the Windows’ Start tab and select Control Panel from the main menu;
2. On the new menu that appears on your screen now, click on the Performance and Maintenance tab. At the bottom of the new window, click on the System tab and go to System Properties. Enable the Remote Desktop property in this window. This is to ensure that the “host” and the “client” can talk to each other;
3.Once you connect your host to the Internet, you need to ensure that only the “client”, and nobody else, can access it;
4. For this, you need to fix your Firewall. Go to Control Panel and select the Security Centre tab. In the Windows Security Centre that is now open, click on the Windows Firewall. In the new window that is now open, make sure that the “Don’t allow exceptions” tab is not selected. On the top right side of this window is a tab called Exceptions. Click on this and enable the option labelled Remote Desktop. Click OK, and close all the windows;
5. Now your host is willing to talk to your client. But before you are able to access the computer, your client must know the host’s name before the two can be synchronized. For this, you need to know the host’s IP address, a unique number that identifies the host. You can find this address by clicking on Start>All Programs>Accessories>Command Prompt;
6.In the new window that is now open, type “ipconfig”. The window will display your host’s IP address. Keep it handy;
7. Your host is now ready, but to make sure that you can talk to it, it should be switched on and connected to the Internet;
8 To access your home computer, switch on your work client and connect it to the Internet. Now click the Windows’ Start button and click on All Programs in the Menu. Select Accessories in the new window and go to Communication. Once you have the Options dialogue box in front of you, click on Remote Desktop Connections;
9. This will open another window that says “Computer” with a space in front of it, and a row of buttons underneath it. In the blank space, type in your host’s IP address, and then click on Connect tab at the bottom. Once this is done, the two computers will connect to one another;
10. But, on client, a prompt will ask you for the username and password you use on the host computer. Enter these details, and on your client’s screen, you’ll see the host’s desktop, with all the files and folders in place. Your remote desktop is now ready.