You Can Work From Home: Remote Access for PCs

Troubleshooting Remote Access for PCs

Many studies have shown that working from home has plenty of benefits. Working in the comfort of your own home may help your concentration, relieve stress, and actually promote just as much, if not more, productivity than working at the office. Sounds great, right? Until you don’t have the right resources to actually do your work.

That’s why it’s handy to know how to have remote access to your PC at the office, and to have your remote IT team be able to access your PC as well. Remote access allows you to obtain files or use applications that might be necessary for your day’s tasks. Before you start accessing your company’s devices or servers remotely, carefully review any personal device, cybersecurity, or work from home policies your employer may have. Staying up-to-date with such policies will help protect your business’ data, your clients’ data, and even your own data.

Microsoft Remote Desktop

You can configure your Windows settings to allow remote access for PCs on the same network, but the steps may vary depending on what version of Windows you have. Also, not every version of Windows will allow Remote Desktop, including Starter and Home versions.

To enable remote desktop on your PC with Windows 10 Fall Creator Update:

  1. Go to Settings under the Start menu

  2. Click on the Systems icon

  3. Slide to enable Remote Desktop.

  4. To help facilitate discoverability and outside connections, enable Show Settings

  5. Add permitted users by clicking Select users that can remotely access this PC

You will need to know the PC name in order to connect with it, which can be found under How to Connect to This PC. Remember, you should only allow remote desktop on secure networks to prevent the possibility of a security breach.

For earlier versions of Windows that allow Remote Desktop, download Microsoft Remote Desktop Assistant. This will help enable remote access and keep your PC awake so you can connect to it. It will also make sure that your firewall allows remote desktop connections.

To allow remote access for PCs on a different network, you can either enable port forwarding on your router or connect both PCs to a virtual private network, or VPN. Every router varies; if you want to enable port forwarding on your router, check your router manual for instructions. If your company provides a VPN, having both computers connected to it will essentially feel like you’re on the same network.

Remote Access for PCs from a Mac

If you want to enable remote access for PC on a Mac, download Microsoft Remote Desktop from the Apple/iTunes store on your Mac. Then, set up your PC to accept remote connections.

To manually do this on Windows 10:

  1. Go to Settings under the Start menu

  2. Click on the Systems icon

  3. Click Remote Desktop from the side menu

  4. Slide to enable Remote Desktop

PCs will not allow remote connections when they are turned off or hibernating. To ensure your PC stays awake for remote access, set your hibernation settings to Never.

You can also use Remote Desktop Setup Wizard which will help walk you through all these steps automatically.

Troubleshooting Remote Access for PCs

If you’re having trouble gaining remote access to your PC, consider the following:

  • Is the PC you’re trying to gain remote access to awake?

  • Did you enter the right IP address or computer name?

  • Are you on the same network as the other PC?

  • Did you configure PC settings to allow outside connections?

  • Does your version of Windows allow remote access?

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