Even if you save your data to the cloud with care, there will always be a time when you’re away from your home or office and need to update a file that’s been saved on that computer. Alternatively, you could be in a hotel room and need to run an application on your home computer. Maybe you’re out and about and want to use your phone to run a desktop app.
This is where remote desktop technology comes into play. These programmes allow you to securely connect to a computer from another device once they’ve been configured. You’ll be able to fully manage your computer from anywhere, and it’ll feel almost as if you’re sitting at the real thing. So, how do you do it? Let’s start with general-purpose remote desktop solutions, then go on to more specialised remote control and access options for gaming, productivity, and more.
Remote Desktop Access
The remote desktop software allows you to use another device to access your computer and all of its apps over the Internet, essentially by streaming a feed of your desktop. Even over a cellular data network, this works from a tablet or phone.
To do so, you’ll need to install a remote desktop server on the PC you want to connect to. To connect to your PC remotely, enable the Remote Desktop capability in professional editions of Windows and buy RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) client. Remote Desktop apps for Android, iPhone, and iPad are also available from Microsoft. Even if you don’t have a professional edition of Windows, you can set up a VNC (Virtual Network Computing) server on your PC to access it in a similar way.
These DIY services, on the other hand, aren’t as simple to utilise. To access them remotely, you’ll need to set up port forwarding and dynamic DNS on your own. They’ll also be more difficult to secure, because any bot scanning your IP address from the Internet will see the services operating on those ports and may try to break in and compromise your PC. Services like TeamViewer and Parallels Access, which handle the authentication pieces on their own central servers, aren’t at risk.
File Access On The Go
You may also access your PC’s files while on the go. An easy-to-use remote control system with an integrated file-transfer option is your best choice for avoiding mucking through a remote desktop session.
Instead of using a remote file access solution, the average PC user will probably prefer to use a cloud storage service. Your files will sync online if you use a service like Dropbox, OneDrive, or Google Drive. You can then access them from anywhere via your web browser, the service’s mobile app, or its syncing client.
On the plus side, your remote PC does not need to be turned on. The disadvantage is that the amount of storage provided by the service is limited. You may always encrypt files before storing them in the cloud if you’re concerned about storing crucial files online.
Using Cloud-Based Documents
Users of Microsoft Office can store documents to Microsoft’s free OneDrive cloud storage service, then use a web browser to access the Office Online website to read and edit the documents from anywhere. Office Online is a totally free service. OneDrive is included with Windows 8.1 and may be downloaded for free if you have an older version of Windows.
You can also read and edit Office documents stored in your OneDrive account for free using the Office Mobile apps for iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone. On the iPad, Office for iPad offers a more capable editing experience, although all of the mobile apps require an Office 365 membership to edit.
The only game in town isn’t Microsoft Office. Google Docs is a free programme that runs in your PC’s web browser and allows you to edit Google Docs or Microsoft Office documents from anywhere using a web browser or mobile apps.
Remotely wake up your computWake-on-LAN has been supported by PCs for a long time. While Wake-on-LAN is activated on a computer, the network interface watches for a specially constructed packet even when the computer is turned off, hibernating, or sleeping. The machine turns on when it receives the packet.
Wake-on-LAN allows you to turn on your computer via the Internet. This would allow you to leave your PC turned off unless you needed to remotely view its desktop or data.
This can be accomplished in two ways. You might use a special software program to send the “Wake-on-LAN” packet to your home IP address after forwarding the proper ports from your home router to the machine on your local network.
Video Game Streaming
When you’re not working, you can use the graphics card on your computer to play games when you’re away from it. Steam’s incredible in-home streaming function lets you stream games from your gaming PC to other Windows, Linux, or Mac machines on your network. You might connect your PC to a VPN server on your home network to stream games when you’re away from home… Even if you managed to persuade Steam into streaming over the Internet in this manner, performance would be poor.
Nvidia also has its own GameStream feature, which only worked with Nvidia graphics cards for the last several years. Unlike Steam, Nvidia allows you to connect to your home PC and stream games from it over the Internet, but this feature is currently in beta. The issue is that this feature is limited to streaming games to an Nvidia Shield portable console or Shield tablet. You can hook up your Shield to a TV and stream to a bigger screen, but you’ll need the Shield hardware to do it.
Although the mobile revolution continues, the PC remains a vital part of many people’s lives. The remote control is one example of how the correct technologies can make PCs, cellphones, and tablets more powerful when they collaborate.