Sunday, November 7, 2010

Remote Desktop Isn’t Just For Desktops

The LogMeIn Ignition application, although currently compatible with Android and iOS, isn’t available for smartphones running the Windows Mobile OS. But that doesn’t mean WinMo users are out of luck. There are actually a number of remote access applications available for virtually all mobile OSes that can use VNC, for example, but most Windows Mobile phones actually ship with a version of Remote Desktop that works surprisingly well and is probably already installed on your phone.

Unlike LogMeIn Ignition, which is very easy to install and use, WinMo Remote
Desktop requires some tinkering to get working. First, if your desktop systems are behind a router (and let’s face it, whose aren’t?), you’ll need to enable port forwarding. Knowing your external IP address is also required, which can be a pain to keep track of without springing for a dynamic IP tracking service. But because this is CPU, however—and we’re all power users around here— we’ll assume finding and keeping track of your external IP address is within your abilities. If so, the first step to using WinMo’s Remote Desktop tool is forwarding a port 3389 to the PC you’d like to access remotely via your router’s configuration menus. Remote Desktop uses port 3389 by default. But if you have other PCs using the same broadband connection that you’d like to control, you can specify other ports, as well, for those systems.

With your external IP address on hand and the proper port forwarded to the system, the next step is enabling Remote Desktop connections on the PC. To do so, click Start, then right-click on Computer, and select Properties from the menu. Then, click the Remote Settings link at the upper left. The Remote tab in the System Properties menu will pop up. On the Remote tab, in the bottom section, select the radio button labeled, “Allow Connections From Computers Running Any Version Of Remote Desktop.” Click the Select Users button at the bottom and, in the resulting menu, add the user accounts you’d like to access remotely. If you only have a single account on the system, it will be added by default. Click OK in the Select Users menu, and then click OK again to close the System Properties.

On your WinMo device, launch the Remote Desktop application; it should greet you by presenting a simple menu that requires an IP address, username, password, and domain. Before entering any information, though, click the Options button at the bottom and set the color depth to High Color (16-bit) and the remote desktop display options to “Full Screen” and “Fit Remote Desktop To Screen.” Doing so will result in a much better experience.

With those options set, it’s time to log in. If your system is not part of a domain, which is most likely the case, simply enter your remote system’s external IP, along with the username and password for the account chosen when configuring Remote Desktop on the PC, and leave the Domain field blank. Then click Connect, and a few moments later you should have access to your PC.

We have found that WinMo’s Remote Desktop tool works infinitely better when the smartphone is connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi, but 3G connections are acceptable, too.

Source of Information : CPU Computer Power User November 2010
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