Using Remote Desktop
Q: What is Remote Desktop?
Remote Desktop is a Microsoft program that lets you connect to and use a remote computer as if you were sitting in front of it. It basically sends keyboard and mouse data to the remote computer and brings back the video from the remote monitor. You can use Remote Desktop to connect to your work computer, and then work with your work computer just the same as if you were at work.
Q: I am a company laptop user, and I am on my laptop outside of work. Can I/do I need to use Remote Desktop?
If you are on your company laptop outside of work, odds are you do not have a machine at work you can remote into, but all you need to do is connect to the Raycom private network and your laptop will then be able to access everything it can while at work.
However, depending on where you are, the type of Internet connection available, and how many people are sharing it, you may find everything runs slower than you are used to. If this is a problem, you may want to talk to your IS Manager about making another computer or terminal server available at work for you to remote into. Q: What do I need on my home/hotel/travel computer to use Remote Desktop? The Remote Desktop client is installed by default on all Windows computers. You will typically find it under Start - All Programs - Accessories. Look for "Remote Desktop Connection."
Mac users can download Microsoft Remote Desktop from the App Store. Q: What do I need to do to my work computer to be able to remote to it? All Windows computers are designed to be remoted into by default, though you do need to make sure your user account has permissions to remote into your work computer by checking the following...
On your work computer, right-click on the My Computer icon and choose Properties. In the System Properties window that pops up, click on the Remote tab. You will need to know your computer name when the time comes to remote into it. You will see it displayed here. Make a note of it. Then click the Select Remote Users button. Here you will see a list of users that can remote into your work computer. You may see your user account already has access, based on a message right above the Add button. If you do not see your username here, click Add to add your user account to the list. Click Ok back through everything when done. If you have any problems in setting permissions to remote to your work computer, contact your local IS Manager for assistance.
On your work computer, click on Start, then right-click on Computer, and choose Properties. In the window that pops up, click on Remote Settings. In the window that pops up, find and make note of your computer name. You will need to know this in order to remote into the computer remotely. Make sure "Allow connections from computer running any version of Remote Desktop is selected, then click Select Users. Here you will see a list of users that can remote into your work computer. You may see your user account already has access, based on a message right above the Add button. If you do not see your username here, click Add to add your user account to the list. Click Ok back through everything when done.
If you have any problems in setting permissions to remote to your work computer, contact your local IS Manager for assistance. Q: My work computer is all set. Now how do I remote to it from home or on the road? First, you have to make a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection into the Raycom private network from the outside computer. (See the VPN section of this site for more information on VPN) This will let your outside computer see your work computer.
Then launch the Remote Desktop program. Windows users will most likely find it on their Start menu under Start - All Programs - Accessories - Remote Desktop Connection. Mac users will most likely find it in their Applications folder. (No screenshots for Mac were available, though the interface is very similar.) This will launch the Remote Desktop window. Enter your computer name as noted earlier and click the Connect button
You will get prompter to log into your work computer. After logging in, you will see the desktop of your work computer and can do everything as if you were there in front of it. When you are done remoting to your work computer, you will typically click Start - Disconnect (Remember, this is the Start menu on your work computer; your local computer is hidden). Your remote desktop session will end, and you will see your local computer again. When you Disconnect, any programs you had running on your work computer will stay running, and when you get to work and log into your work computer normally, you will be able to pick up where you left off. If you choose Log Off, anything you had running on your work computer will close and your work computer will go to the Log On prompt. There may be occasions where you prefer to do this. Q: Will people at work see what I am doing while I am remoted into my work computer? No. When you remote into a computer, the monitor on that computer will lock and display a message that you are connected to it remotely. People will not be able to see what you are doing or interfere with your mouse or keyboard commands. However, if someone knows the password to log into the computer, it would be possible for them to log in and kick you out.
The last person to log into a computer, either locally or remotely, gets control of it. Typically this is not an issue unless you are remoting into a computer that you share with other people.