Access Your Computer from Other Computers? Once it's set up, it's a Breeze!
Microsoft's Remote Desktop Connection tool is a powerful, simple application that can make your life much easier if you have to work, or teach, on a computer that isn't yours. A classic case is the higher ed professor, where you may go to a lecture room to teach, and sometimes wish you could access something from the computer you regularly use. If your tech support folks are willing to permission you do to so, you can!
I've been using RDC for years, it's a big time saver. I can even cut and paste from the remote desktop to the one I'm on. Knowing I can get to everything on my computer from the classroom makes class prep much simpler.
It is important to understand that this only works across the same network – that is, you can access your computer from another computer on the same network. One other thing to be aware of … no one can log on to the machine you are remotely accessing while you are accessing it.
Setting up and Running Remote Desktop Connection
RDC is built into Windows, and setting it up is pretty easy. I Googled “setting up RDC” to get these instructions:
For number 3 above, just go with the middle option (as shown in the screen below). As for setting up users – you will add yourself using the Select Users button.
To run RDC, you will need to know the network name of your computer (the one you want to access remotely). To get to it from another computer using RDC, click the Windows Start button and enter “remote” in the search box. When you see Remote Desktop Connection, click it. This will open a screen like the one below, and you will need to enter the Computer name you want to remotely access, then click Connect. You will be prompted to sign on with your network credentials.
Note that the display of the remote computer may very well appear a little different than when you are on it directly – the background image may be smaller, or the fonts and buttons may be smaller. Sometimes this can be a bit of a problem and you may want to tweak screen settings. It's also a good idea to click on Show Options (on the above screen) and then click the Display tab and slide the Display Configuration slider all the way to the right.
Another awesome way to leverage RDP is to use Virtual Private Network to access your desktop remotely. You'll need to work closely with support folks to find out if this is something your can do in your organization.
That's it! Have fun. Be productive.