Use Your Computer From Anywhere A Guide to Remote Controlling Your PC
Your home computer is the perfect machine. It's customized to your exact needs, runs all your must-have apps, and holds every important file you'd ever need to access. The catch: It's not exactly practical to lug a computer with you everywhere you go. That's where remote access comes in. Here are three dead-simple ways to control your home computer from anywhere—your laptop, phone, or even a friend's computer as though you were sitting directly in front of it.
We've talked about remote access countless times before, but if you're just starting out with the subject, it can be pretty overwhelming. You have a ton of different programs to choose from, some of which only work on certain platforms, and each of which has their own strengths depending on what you're trying to accomplish. Here, we'll share our favorite remote access methods for different situations, as well as alternatives you can try if our favorite doesn't work for you.
We've listed the cross platform options below for everyone, but there are also Windows-only and Mac-only programs for people that use the same OS on all their machines. Click your preference below to add its instructions to the guide.
If You're Connecting from Inside Your Network
On the computer you want to access remotely, click the Start menu and search for "allow remote access". Choose the "Allow Remote Access to This Computer" option. You'll get something like the window to the right. You'll want to check one of the bottom two radio buttons, depending on how you'll be accessing the computer. If you're accessing it from another Windows 7 machine, you can use the more secure "Allow connections only from Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication". If you're accessing it from other programs or versions of Windows, choose the "Allow connections from any version of Remote Desktop" option. Click OK when you're done.