Remote Desktop, or remote control over another computer, is an extremely useful and essential tool in today’s technical world. There are many approaches to viewing the desktop of a computer you are not sitting at. VNC, Windows Remote Desktop, and LogMeIn are extremely useful tools and I am going to show you how to implement them all.
When I was an early computer user I always thought it would be so cool if I could remote control my computer and get data from it anywhere in the world. I never found a straightforward site explaining how to make that happen.
As I learned more about computers I realized how easy it is to setup this functionality, and how extremely useful it can be. In this site I am going to explain the how and why behind remote controlling your home computer.
Before I explain your options we should agree on some terminology. I will refer to the computer that you want to remote control as the “remote machine”, “remote computer”, or the “server”. The computer that our physically using I will call the “client”.
First of all you will have to decide what kind of remote control you want over your computer. The choices are:
- Windows Remote Desktop(Certain versions of windows only)
- Proprietary web based software(linux,windows,OSX)
- All of the above
There are advantages and disadvantages to each one.
Remote Desktop, also known as RDP(remote desktop protocol) is usually faster than the others since the computer being remote controlled does not actually have to render the graphics on its own screen, you basically working on a session or a “virtual” desktop on a remote computer. The disadvantage is that it only works with certain versions of windows. Also if you are trying to assist someone remotely they can not see what you are doing(if that is indeed what you want).
VNC allows you to remote control the computer as if you were there sitting in front of it. It works very well for remotely assisting someone. They can watch what your doing and hopefully learn how to do it themselves next time (if your technical enough to try remotely controlling your computer you probably have everyone around you asking you to fix their computers, don’t just feed the guy, teach him to fish;-) ). The disadvantage is the same as the advantage. Other people can see what your doing, that might not always be want you want happening. Also having to render the graphics on the screen will make your remote experience slower.
There is also Proprietary web based software. The one I will be showing you to use is LogMeIn. The advantage to this is that it makes it really easy to remote control your computer remotely without messing with any networking. There is a LogMeIn server in the middle that you are talking to. The LogMeIn server stays in communication with the remote computer, and the client computer can talk straight to the LogMeIn server, which then talks to the remote computer. This allows you to do something that the other two options do not. You can install it on a laptop and no matter where that laptop is, as long as its connected to the internet you can access it. The disadvantages are the same as VNC. One unique disadvantage to this solution is that if you are remote controlling a compter from the same network, say your computer in your bedroom from a laptop on your couch. The connection has to go out to the internet and back when I could just be over your local network, this can add unnecessary lag time.
Finally, all of the above, it takes time to set up, but you get to pick what you want to use in any given scenario.
Once you’ve decided what you plan to use contenue on to the corresponding page: