In this article, I would like to show you how to use Remote Desktop Connection. With Remote Desktop Connection, you can have access to a Windows session that is running on your computer when you are at another computer. This means, for example, that you can connect to your work computer from home and have access to all of your programs, files, and network resources as though you were sitting at your computer at work. You can leave programs running at work and when you get home, you can see your work desktop displayed on your home computer, with the same programs running.
When you connect to your computer at work, Remote Desktop automatically locks that computer so that no one else can access your programs and files while you are gone. When you come back to work, you can unlock your computer by pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL.
You can keep your programs running and preserve the state of your Windows session while another user is logged on. When that user logs off, you can reconnect to your session in progress.
And you can even connect two computers running different operating systems. In the following video, I use a Netbook running Windows XP Professional to connect to a workstation running Windows 7.
Note: This video was captured at 1366x768 (using a netbook)
With Fast User Switching, you can easily switch from one user to another on the same computer. For example, suppose you are working at home and have logged on to the computer at your office to update an expense report. While you are working, a family member needs to use your home computer to check for an important e-mail message. You can disconnect Remote Desktop, allow the other user to log on and check e-mail, and then reconnect to the computer at your office, where you will see the expense report exactly as you left it. Fast User Switching works on standalone computers and computers that are members of workgroups.
Remote Desktop can be used in many situations, including:
- Working at home. Access work in progress on your office computer from home, and have full access to all local and remote devices.
- Collaborating. Access your desktop from a colleague's office to work together on projects such as updating a slide presentation or proofreading a document.
- Sharing a console. Allow multiple users to maintain separate program and configuration sessions on a single computer, such as at a teller station or a sales desk.
To use Remote Desktop Connection
- A computer ("host" computer) running Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2, Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 2, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 or Windows 7 ("remote" computer) with a connection to a local area network (LAN) or the Internet.
- A second computer ("client" computer) with access to the LAN via a network connection, modem, or virtual private network (VPN) connection. This computer must have Remote Desktop Connection installed.
- Appropriate user accounts and permissions.
If you have Windows XP Service Pack 3 installed, the CredSSP protocol is turned off by default. You will need to enable it to use Network Level Authentication (NLA), which is recommended. The following article describes the procedure to enable it.
Credential Security Service Provider (CredSSP) in Windows XP Service Pack 3