Remote PC access is not a new technology, but few people truly understand how it works and what it entails. This article aims to provide a basic understanding about this computer feature.
Simply put, remote access allows an end user to open or retrieve files from a host computer even from another device. Most computers today already come with this feature installed, but each user will have to adjust settings to enable remote access.
Technically, establishing a remote PC access connection needs the following in order to function correctly:
• First, the target host computer must be connected to a network. This is usually the local area network (LAN), a physically limited connection between computers and other devices which share the same location (such as a building or business enterprise).
Even single computers at home may be setup with a LAN connection. LAN connections are generally setup as secure, which means they are protected against unwanted outsider attacks.
The host computer’s settings will also have to be adjusted to allow remote access, and so it must have appropriate program installed (unless the native program will be used).
• To establish a remote connection, the next thing needed will be a network access device — another computer or mobile device which is configured to access the host computer. The device will need to have its remote access capabilities enabled; either with the native remote PC access program or a third-party downloadable program (this is generally more recommended).
Today, there is quite a number of end-user remote access software available for download online. Most of them are free and easy to use, and provide decent remote access capabilities — at least, better than the native remote access programs installed on a computer’s operating system. One good example is the freeware VNC or Virtual Network Computing.
• Now, for the remote PC access to work, both the target computer and the network access device need a common, external network connection, usually with a common client server. This server is usually setup via the internet (unless a smaller private server connection such as an Ethernet is possible), so — yes, both computers need to have an internet connection.
• Lastly, a remote client is needed, yet another computer which actually connects to the home network or computer. This is virtually invisible for end users, but it is the device which links the target computer and the network access device.
However, end users need not worry about looking for one—remote access programs usually already have established remote client servers. A successful remote connection will only show the hard drives of the target computer as a local device on the network access device.
One final note before using remote access: because most remote PC access software operate via the internet, make sure that the host computer has an active firewall and antivirus program, and that both are regularly updated.