There are a lot of ways to access a remote computer over the Internet. Most operating systems come with some built-in solutions to remotely accessing computers or devices. In addition to built-in tools, many vendors offer 3rd party products for remote access or remote assistance.
Why would you need to access your remote computer? The two most used cases are accessing your computer remotely or helping your friends, family, or clients. Even though cloud storage solutions has been available for long time now, we still face situations where we need to have remote access to edit files or access documents; when you are on a vacation, and you urgently need to run a program on your computer; or you left your work or away from your home computer, but you need to finish some tasks. In all these situations remote access tools comes to the rescue.
Once they are set up and configured, you become much more flexible as you can always remotely access another computer over Internet. You can fully control your computer as you are sitting just in front of it, finish your work or even help your friends or family. This has become even more essential over the last year since pandemic has started and a lot of people started to work remotely.
Below we will review a few tools that you can use to remotely access another computer whether for it's for your work or personal needs.
Microsoft offers its own software for remotely accessing other computers called Windows Remote Desktop and Windows Remote Connection. The tool is free and is included with all Windows versions. It allows users to connect to remote computers and work on them as they are sitting right in front of them. Windows Remote Desktop supports sound channeling, clipboard integration, remote printing and other essential features.
Clients for accessing remote desktops are included with all Windows versions and available for other operating systems. However, a client can connect only to remote computers with Windows Pro or Enterprise editions. Windows Home editions are widely available on budget laptops, but they lack support of Windows Remote Desktop. Upgrade to Pro versions is possible, but it could be pricey.
Another limitation of RDP is that only one person can view a screen and control remote computer. While using Windows Remote Desktop to access a remote computer, the screen of the remote machine remains locked. It makes RDC usage for remote assistance difficult or nearly impossible. Windows also has another feature designed for remote assistance, however it is not suitable for full-scaled remote desktop and connecting from other operating systems might be tricky or non-available.
Windows Remote Desktop Connections requires setup before it can be used. First, remote connections must be allowed on a remote computer. Second, remote client needs to know the credentials of the remote machine such as its IP address or a domain name, and username and password.
In order to allow remote desktop connections, users need to configure their computers:
When the computer has been configured to allow remote connections, use Remote Desktop Connection tool to access your computer remotely.
RDC is quite easy to use when both computers are in the same local network. However, if a remote computer is not in the same network, then accessing it over Internet might be tricky. First, users need to understand what are their network conditions and configure network properly. If the remote machine is behind NAT, then users might need to open ports on their routers, which exposes a device to Internet. This is not a good thing and can potentially expose the device to threats. Even if network configured properly, RDP usually requires an additional layer of security and encryption usually via VPN. Setting up a VPN connection could be tricky.
Fortunately, in such cases when RDC is not available for some reason, alternative solutions such as DeskRoll Remote Desktop come to the rescue.
DeskRoll is another software to access remote computers remotely over Internet from your web browser. It can connect to remote devices with Windows or macOS from any place. Any system that can run a modern web browser is suitable for accessing computers remotely.
As has been mentioned, usually Windows Remote Desktop Connection can be used on computers in the same network. Accessing remote computes over Internet requires an additional configuration which might expose it to security threats. DeskRoll on the other hand requires minimal configuration, does not expose your computer to Internet and allows quick access from any web browser or native Android application. DeskRoll encrypts traffic with AES256 cipher, so your data is not exposed to anyone. DeskRoll is available for any system, not just Pro or Enterprise, but for Home editions as well.
Benefits of using DeskRoll:
DeskRoll Remote Desktop is a solution to access your computers remotely. Some people prefer unattended access for assisting their clients but the process of setting it up is the same in all cases. Computers tab on DeskRoll dashboard lists your computers, and you can instantly access any device that is online.
Once you are set up your account, you can simply log in to your DeskRoll account and access any computer in less than 15 seconds.
DeskRoll Remote Assistance is yet another user-friendly solution for assisting your friends, family, colleagues, or clients remotely. A person need to run a DeskRoll program on their computer, send a 6-digit code to an IT professional, who will connect to a remote machine and perform tasks necessary to resolve the problem.
While DeskRoll Remote Assistance is designed for on-demand support, remote machines are saved on Clients tab and subsequent sessions for the same clients will not require a 6-digit code. A remote person who needs help can run DeskRoll and IT professional can connect to the remote device when it’s online. The obvious acceptance from the owner of the remote desktop is required for every connection.
If you request remote assistance or are asked to share access to your computer remotely, be sure that you trust the person who will access your machine. Do not share your IP address with anyone. You will need to download DeskRoll Remote Assistance program, run it and give 6-digit code to an IT professional, who will register DeskRoll account, and then use 6-digit code to access your computer for remote assistance. You will need to approve a connection request. We highly recommend monitoring all activity and not to leave your computer unattended.