Sometimes, you may want to use Windows Remote Desktop connection to access a computer in your home from outside. For example, you have a laptop and desktop connected to a router, that is connected to the internet. You may take your laptop to a trip and still be able to access your desktop, if you alter some settings.
Step 1: Make changes to local computer.
Right-click on My Computer (or simply Computer, if you are using Vista) icon and select Properties. Click “Remote” tab (or Remote settings link if you use Vista). You will see the following window:
Make sure the second option is chosen. Click “Select users…” button.
All users that are in Administrators group by default can use Remote Desktop connection to access your computer. You may add your computer’s administrator’s account or create a new one using Control Panel-User accounts.
Make sure you add the user you create to Remote Desktop Users group as shown in the picture above.
Make sure your firewall or antivirus doesn’t block remote deskop connections.
Step 2: Configure your router’s firewall.
You can access your router’s configuration via web browser normally. By default, its address can be http://192.168.1.1 . To know the exact one, find out the address of “default gateway” using ipconfig command (click Start, go to run, type cmd, then type ipconfig in console window that opens).
For example, if I used a router, I would access it by going to http://192.168.150.1
Web interface for configuring a router may differ from model to model. We should look for Firewall settings, specifically, port forwarding.
This website contains sets of instructions for numerous routers and programs.
If you are having troubles navigating the site or know where port forwarding is enabled in your router conifuguration, you have to forward data to port 3389, on the IP of your home networked computer. Some routers provide easy to use interface, which allows you to choose from the computers and also from the vast list of applications (you should be looking for Remote Desktop, do not confuse with remote assistance).
Step 3. Gathering the necessary information.
In order to connect to computer that is in your home network, you will need an external IP address (the IP address of your router). If you go to this site, your IP address will be printed in bold at the top of the page. You can also know your external IP from the router configuration page.
Of course, don’t forget to write down user name and password of your administrator account (or the one you created specifically for using Remote Desktop).
Step 4. Using remote desktop connection from a remote computer.
Click Start->Run->All programs->Accessories->System Tools->Remote desktop connection.
Enter your external IP address as the computer name, click connect, then enter your username and password (the one you had to memorize in step3).