Remote Desktop in WinXP

Since I am recovering after two hospital visits in less than two weeks, I’m spending most of my time in bed with my laptop. However, my desktop has most of my emails and other things on it that aren’t reachable even when file sharing. The solution. Using Windows XP’s built-in Remote Desktop.
Now I am using my desktop as if I am in front of it, only from the comfort of my bed with laptop on my lap. The desktop is still where it is… out there in the family room. Remote Desktop opens a window and you see your desktop (or rermote computer) exactly as if you’re in front of it. At the top is a light-colored border with the name of the desktop to remind you that you’re on that computer. I can’t provide a screenshot since it’s invisible no matter what I use in taking the picture.
screenshot of remote desktop
This screenshot (click to see a larger image) shows how the screen looks if you have the Remote Desktop window not taking up the entire screen. When it takes up the entire screen, it looks no different than when you’re working on your computer except for the bar on top.
Remote Desktop in Windows XP shows how to it up step-by-step with pictures. Once you’ve done that, connect to it from another computer (instructions in tutorial under “Instaling client software”) by going to Start > All Programs > Accessories > Communications > Remote Desktop Connection. Enter the name of the desktop and the password. If you don’t have a password on the desktop, you need to assign one otherwise it won’t work.
If I go to my desktop and login, it will disconnect my laptop and vice versa. So if you’re working on the remote desktop and get disconnected, you know what that means… someone logged in on the other end.
If you have Windows 2000, I believe it does not come with Remote Desktop, but you can download it from Microsoft. There is also PCAnywhere. For older products, you may have to use Terminal Server, PCAnywhere, GoToMyPC, or some other third party product.

8 thoughts on “Remote Desktop in WinXP”

  1. Hi,
    indeed a super feature. However, have you been able to find out ANYTHING about the safety of the communication? Like, you will send your remote’s user password on every logon, but will it be scambled? Or will your email-password be protected (if you have one with outlook on your host)?
    I have tried to find out, but found nothing so far. Any insight into the matter would be appreciated.

  2. We are using the RDP connection, across VPN, for users to have remote access to their office desktops. It invloves the use of a thin client, and a hardware VPN client, outside the office on a broadband connection. We’re finalizing our concept on this, but so far we’re having good luck with this setup.

    To Ran: There is an RDP client for Win2K that can be downloaded from Microsoft. Netmeeting is no good. Also, on the XP machine, remote users have to be allowed to connect. Right click on ‘My Computer’, the click ‘Properties’. The ‘Remote Desktop’ settings are on the ‘Remote’ tab, at the bottom. Security can also be set here.

  3. Hi Meryl,
    Sorry to hear you’ve been unwell and I hope you are soon restored to better health. I was interested in your comments about remote desktop, but have always been a little nervous about using it, due to the possibility of giving hackers an opening.
    I recently found a little trialware program called Synchromagic for synchronising files between computers on a network. This will allow you to share email (and any other)folders painlessly between all your machines. I’m so pleased with it I registered it straight away. It’s available at at &19.95 for home use, after 1 month’s free trial.

  4. Hi Meryl, see that even when you are ill you make your computers help you. Hope you are better soon. Keep posting, that was a useful insight into the good things computers can do for us.
    take care


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