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Beginners Guides: Remote Access to Computers

Beginners Guides: Remote Access to Computers - PCSTATS
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Abstract: There are any number of reasons why setting up your computer for remote access is a good idea, and PCstats is going to show you how to do it.
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Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Apr 11 2007   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS n/a

Beginners Guides: Remote Access to Computers
Learn to control you PC from a 1000 miles away - Version 1.2.0

Have you ever arrived at school or the copiers with your floppy or CD and discovered that your latest paper did not exactly make a successful transition from the hard drive? Ever been away from home and wished you could get at your computer for just a second to get some contact info? There are any number of reasons why setting up your computer for remote access is a good idea, and PCstats is going to show you how to do it.

The ability to access files and information on your computer over the Internet is useful for work and play, as well as being just plain impressive in a geeky kind of way. Several technologies are available to enable this kind of access. They range from from the shared file system built into most versions of Windows up to the proprietary systems developed for such software packages as PCanywhere by Symantec.

Generally, these technologies fall into one of two categories;
1) accessing files remotely
2) accessing and controlling the desktop remotely

File access is (quite obviously) intended to allow you to access your files from a remote location using the Internet, while remote control of the desktop brings the entire desktop of your home computer over to the computer you are currently using, allowing you to use your home computer as if you were currently sitting in front of it. At least, that's the idea anyway.

This article will cover using the remote access features included in Windows XP, as well as VNC (Virtual Network Computing) and other third party software to allow you to control and access your computer over the Internet from anywhere in the world.

What exactly is a remote desktop? Well, the idea of remote desktop software is to enable you to operate your home computer as if you were seated in front of it, from a remote, internet-enabled computer.

Ideally, the entire working environment of your computer is brought over the wire to wherever you are currently sitting, eliminating the need for synchronizing files between laptops and desktops. Whether you are working away from home or office, or simply allowing users to access their data from any web enabled location it doesn't matter.

Current remote desktop software does have some drawbacks. The most major of which is the simple fact that the current technology does not allow for lag-free control of a computer over a remote connection.

Invariably the computing experience will be slower using remote control software than it would be if the user were seated in front of the actual machine. This is the case because of the time it takes to transfer each move of the mouse and keystroke over a standard 10/100 network connection, and to return the results. The slower the connection (or father away the computers), the less responsive it will be.

Development and tuning of remote access software has been ongoing for many years, and arguably the most well known (free) implementation of this is VNC , or Virtual Network Computing. VNC is a free multi-platform remote control package which enables you to view and interact with a remote computer. It will run on most known operating systems and requires very little computing power.

VNC has two components, the server and the viewer. The VNC server allows other computers to connect with your computer remotely, and the VNC viewer connects with the server and must be installed on the client machines. The viewer authenticates with the server using a session password, which is set when the VNC server is opened.

Generally speaking, VNC connections over the Internet are not secure, since the traffic sent is not encrypted in any way. Thus, it is not advisable to use them for sensitive data. In practice, though, it's fine for everyday use. Using a form of encrypted connection such as a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is recommended for business use. The use of VPNs will covered in an upcoming guide on PCstats.

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Please respect the time and effort that went into creating each PCSTATS Beginners Guide, do not illegally copy. Thank you.
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Contents of Article: PCSTATS n/a
 Pg 1.  — Beginners Guides: Remote Access to Computers
 Pg 2.  Installing and running VNC server
 Pg 3.  XP Professional remote desktop how to
 Pg 4.  Setting up to use Remote Desktop
 Pg 5.  Running XP Remote desktop
 Pg 6.  Remote desktop continued

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