Remote Desktop: Access your PC from anywhere

Do you want to arrange something on your PC or laptop while you are not at home? Wouldn't it be handy if you could access your computer anytime, anywhere, so you can access your programs and files? Then know that that is perfectly possible. We explain how you can quickly and easily set up a remote desktop.

Tip 01: Windows Edition?

Not every edition of Windows has a remote desktop. If you have Windows 10 Home, you cannot connect to it. You can use Windows 10 Home to connect to another PC. With a PC with Windows 10 Pro, Education or Enterprise, you can connect via remote desktop. You check which edition of Windows you have via the app Institutions. Then go to System / Info, at the cup Edition you will see the full name of Windows 10. If you have the Home edition, you can upgrade to the Pro version for 100 euros. You can do that via the Microsoft Store. Or you can look for alternatives, such as TeamViewer, which is free for personal use, we will start with that from tip 9.

You can make your desktop available for remote use in Windows 10 Pro

Tip 02: Windows 10

To make your desktop available for remote use on Windows 10, open the old Control Panel (click on Start, type Control Panel and press Enter) and you go there System. Click on the left Institutions in front of external connections. At the cup External desktop do you choose the option Allow remote connections to this computer. Make sure the option below, Only connections to computers on which (…) is checked. Then click OK to make the changes active. You can also choose to allow only certain users access to remote desktop. Click on Select users and then you manage the list with Add or remove.

Tip 03: Remote Desktop

To connect to your Windows 10 Pro PC, where you just enabled remote desktop, follow the next steps. Note that these steps are only intended to connect to a PC in your own local network. This will not work if you are out of the house (see tip 5). Open the start menu and type Remote Desktop Connection and press Enter. Type in the computer name you want to connect to and click To connect. You can find the name of the remote PC in the app Institutions / System / Info. Once the PC has been found, you will be asked to enter your username and password. That is the account with which you log in on the remote computer. If you're using a Microsoft account, sign in with your email address and password. Once connected, your remote desktop will appear. You can still join Show options choose more extensive options on the login screen. This is how you can click on the Display choose how high the quality should be and on the tab Local Resources you can choose to share printers and clipboard with the remote computer.

Tip 04: Mobile

The great thing about Microsoft's remote desktop solution is that it works on other devices as well. For example, if you want to operate your Windows PC from the couch, that is also possible. Microsoft has apps available for iOS and Android, for both tablets and smartphones, so you can easily connect to your PC. You download the app for iOS or Android. Enter the name of the PC and your username and password in the app, as described in tip 3 on Windows. This is how you connect to your computer. You can then simply use the touchscreen to operate the mouse and click things.

Connect from smartphone or tablet to your PC via Microsoft's remote desktop

Tip 05: From the outside

You have a number of options to make your PC available to the outside world as well. A simple (but not very secure) option is to forward the Windows 10 remote desktop port in your router to your local PC. That way you can enter your IP address when you are not at home and connect. This is possible as follows. Log in to your router (see your router manual) and search for it Port forwarding or Forward port. Then forward port 3389 to the IP address of the PC that you want to reach outside the home. You can find that address on the relevant Windows PC. Right click on the Windows button and choose PowerShell. Then type ipconfig and you will see the address at IPv4 Address.

This is possible, but actually it is not recommended. It's not a good idea to open this port: the remote desktop protocol is prone to leaks, and if you don't patch you are even more at risk. It is better to set up a VPN, but that is going too far for this article. The only option is to get started with TeamViewer, for example, see tip 9.

Tip 06: Linux Mint

If you want to access your Linux Mint installation remotely, here's how to do it. Click on the Mint menu button at the bottom left and go to Preferences / Share work environment (bottom of list). Then tick the option Allow other users to view your desktop. Tick ​​the option You must give permission before access is granted off, otherwise you always have to give permission locally first and that is inconvenient if you want to access your own computer from a distance. Leave the two options below, with the password and with UPnP, disabled. With that UPnP option, the ports will be forwarded automatically, and then anyone could connect if you also enabled UPnP in your router.

In order to be able to connect from Windows to Linux Mint, some actions are still required. Mint's encryption must be turned off. To do that, open a Terminal and type sudo apt install dconf editor and type your password when prompted. Then click the menu button at the bottom left, type dconf-editor and open the program. You can compare the dconf editor with the Windows registry. Scroll left to the key org / gnome / desktop / remote access and uncheck this require encryption. Then close the program.

Tip 07: VNC Client

To connect to Linux Mint from Windows, you need a VNC client. A useful program for this is VNC Viewer. Run the downloaded file, the installation is straight forward. Open the program from the Windows start menu and click Got it to get started with it. Before you can set up the connection now, you need to know the IP address of your Mint installation. To do this, click on the network icon at the bottom right of Mint and choose Network Settings. With the active connection you see at IPv4 address the IP address of your computer. In VNC Viewer enter that ip address at Enter a VNC Server address or search. You will receive a message that the connection is not encrypted: click on Continue and you are connected.

To connect to Linux Mint from Windows, you need a VNC client

Tip 08: Connection

While connecting to Linux Mint from your Windows PC, you can set things up. To do this, in VNC Viewer, move the mouse to the top center of the window and click on the gear that appears. Then you can Name enter a name for your PC to make it easier to identify. If you go to the tab Options can you join picture quality set the picture quality. If you suffer from a slow connection, choose a lower image quality. Bee Scaling you can choose how big the image should be. Here you can choose a percentage or indicate that the image should adapt to the window or to something else.

In that bar at the top of the screen you have a number of other handy options. For example, you can use the Ctrl-Alt-Del icon to send this key combination to the external PC, but in Mint you log yourself out. You can also see the connection information with the i icon and reset the scaling factor with the second icon from the left.

Tip 09: TeamViewer

TeamViewer is specially designed to connect to your PC from a device outside your network. This is how you get started on Windows 10. Go to www.teamviewer.com and click the green button Download TeamViewer. Download the file and run it. Choose to install and Privately / non commercial and click Accept Complete. Wait for a while for the program to install and it will open automatically. click on Close. Then install the program in the same way on the PC you want to use to connect to your computer. Now that TeamViewer is on both systems, you can connect. Open TeamViewer on the PC you want to connect to and read in the main screen Your ID the id of this PC. Now top up on the other computer in TeamViewer Partner ID enter this ID. Then click Connect with partner. Then enter the password that you also see on the main TeamViewer screen on that other PC. Once you have done that, the connection will be set up automatically. It works wherever you are: internally or on an external network.

Tip 10: TeamViewer Linux

The same applies to Linux Mint as to Windows remote desktop: if you open VNC to the world, you expose your PC to a lot of risks. Instead, it is better to opt for TeamViewer, because that also works on Linux. Go to www.teamviewer.com and click Download. Download TeamViewer for Ubuntu, Debian and run the downloaded file by double clicking on it. In the package installer, click Install package and enter your user password to start the installation. Click afterwards on Close and also close the package installer. Then open TeamViewer from the Linux Mint menu by searching for it. It should open by itself after some time. If not, open terminal and type team viewer and press Enter. Accept the license agreement and the familiar TeamViewer interface presents itself.

TeamViewer is specially designed to connect to your PC from outside your network

Tip 11: TeamViewer account

For easy and secure access, it is a good idea to create a TeamViewer account. To do this, click on the right in the TeamViewer application Register. Enter the requested information, such as name, email address and a secure password. click on Next one and follow the steps to create an account.

Once you've done that, enable 2-Step Verification. That's what you go here for. Sign up, click on your name in the top right and choose Edit profile. Then go to the tab General nasty Two-factor authentication method and click Activate / Start activation. Download an app to generate the codes, such as the Google Authenticator (iOS) app. Scan the QR code that appears on the screen. Once scanned, download the recovery code and keep it in a safe place. click on Get on. Then enter the code of Google Authenticator for TeamViewer at Security code and click Activate / Save.

Back in the TeamViewer application on your remote PC, click at the bottom right Provide easy access / Assign device to an account / Start TeamViewer together with system. That way you always have access when your PC is on. On your internal Windows PC, you also log in with the same TeamViewer account. Then you will see your remote PC in the list of TeamViewer on the right. There is now no more hassle with IDs and passwords.

Tip 12: Send files

During an active TeamViewer session, you can operate more than just the computer. For example, you can also exchange files between PCs. For that you go to the menu Files and extras and click Open File Transfer. You will then see the file system of both systems and you can easily exchange files between them.

Via the menu option Image you can set the quality of the image and you can also choose whether the image should be scaled or not. In addition, you can display the external cursor here, if you wish. Another handy option is the TeamViewer VPN. This allows you to secure the connection between both PCs, for example if you are on an open WiFi network. Another additional advantage is that you then have access to the local network of the external PC: then you can, for example, easily print something from your own PC. You activate the TeamViewer VPN via the menu Extras / Options / Advanced / Advanced optionsto show. Scroll down and click Install VPN drive on to install. Do that on both PCs. During the session you go to Files and extras and click VPN Start.

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