What does it mean to remote access a computer
As the name suggests, remote access means connecting to your computer from a different geographical location through another computer (or mobile device). Usually, for this, you'll need two things; the internet and a reliable Remote Desktop Connection tool.
Now you probably already know what the internet does, so what exactly are these Remote Desktop Connections, and where do they come in?
To break it down, Remote Desktop Connections are tools designed to help access and control Microsoft devices connected to the internet or to your local network. As long as your device is on and connected to the internet, you can troubleshoot, run an application, work remotely or send files on the device with ease.
Originally, this was only possible using the built-in legacy Remote Desktop Connection Feature on Windows. However, we now have external applications like Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) and Microsoft's Remote Desktop App that allow you to access your Microsoft PC from other devices, including macOS, iOS, and Android.
Parallels RAS is especially efficient for remote working as it allows easy access to virtual desktops and apps from anywhere. Also, by managing data access, it helps enhance data security, which is crucial to any organization.
How to remote access a Windows 10 computer
Remote access to a Windows 10 computer is pretty straightforward. You simply have to follow these few steps, and you will be good to go.
Enable Remote Desktop Connection on your Windows device
The first step is to set up the Windows device you want to connect to and ensure that it allows remote connections. If your device is Windows 10, you can follow the listed steps below. If not, you'll first need to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro.
- Navigate to Start at the bottom left corner of your screen.
- Type Settings in the search bar and click it.
- Choose Systems (the first option on the settings page).
- Click on Remote Desktop.
- Turn on remote Desktop.
Before moving to the next step, note down your PC's IP address and name under 'how to connect to this PC.'
Access your Windows PC from another device
Once you've done this, the next step is to establish access to the PC from your other device. This can either be from another Windows PC or a Mac.
If you are using a Windows PC:
You use Remote Desktop to connect to the PC you have just configured. To do this:
- Navigate to the search box in your taskbar.
- Search for Remote Desktop Connection and select it.
- Then key in the name of the PC you intend to connect to and click Connect.
If you are on a Mac, Android or iOS:
You will need to first install an external application. To do this:
- Start by downloading and installing Microsoft Remote Desktop App which is available for free from; Microsoft Store, Google Play, and Mac App Store.
- Launch the app and follow the prompts to the end. Be sure to grant the app any access it might need to your Mac's camera and microphone.
- Once the app is open, continue to add your Microsoft PC to your app by pressing the 'Add PC' button.
- Insert the Windows 10 PC's IP address or Hostname.
- At the Add user account popup below the username, input the username and respective password for the Windows 10 PC, and click 'Add' to save the credentials.
- Now your remote connection should be set up and displayed on the apps home page.
- To connect simply double-click on it and click 'connect'.
- Click 'continue' on any prompts that pop up to complete the connection.
- You should now be able to see the screen of your remote Windows PC.
It is important to ensure that both your computers have a strong internet connection while you do this. Also, if this seems too complicated, you can do it by using a third-party app like Parallels RAS, which doesn't need as many configurations.
As you've seen, with remote desktop connection tools, it is now easier than ever to access all your devices without being physically there. For best results, we highly recommend Parallels RAS. With a secure Parallels RAS account, you can establish this connection from any computer through the browser.
Other than remote access, the app also allows you to easily install and run Windows on your Mac without having to reboot it. Check out their website for a free trial download.