Being able to remote access a computer over the web can have some huge benefits. You can move files back and forth without having to resort to e-mail. You can access your programs anywhere you are as long as you have Internet access. You can even set up remote access for anyone that uses you for tech support to save yourself a trip.
1. DynDNS - If you can remember your IP address, it never seems to change, and when it does change you can live a day without access, then you can skip this step. Otherwise I suggest you set up a free account with DynDNS and get a hostname that automatically updates to your IP address.
2. Decide on an application. Install the server at the remote location and the client at the local location. A few good ones are listed below.
3. Set up port forwarding and static IP’s for internal IP addresses.
4. Setup any firewall(s) to allow the programs and/or ports and test!
- RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) – If the remote machine is running XP Pro, XP Media Center, or Vista Business or higher then you’ll have the RDP server available. You can log in remotely like a local user and it’s like your monitor is just really far away. If you don’t have these operating systems you’ll need a VNC program (these are slower)
- VNC (Virtual Network Computing) – Allows you to see and control a remote computer’s desktop on your local computer. There are several different flavors of VNC. I recommend RealVNC (free).
- FTP (File Transfer Protocol) – Share folders over the Internet and allow file transfer back and forth. I recommend Filezilla (free).
- Orb – Orb allows you to stream any of your media over the internet for free.