You are due to give a presentation at work on Monday – you have worked all weekend on perfecting it and when you reach office you find to your horror that you forgot to update the file on your USB drive. If you have ever found yourself in a similar situation, you might have wished very hard for access to your computer at home for just a short while to transfer the file.
This is exactly the function performed by Remote Computer Access – it helps you to use a computer to connect to another computer over the Internet for file access and for getting information even when the computers are separated by several miles.
There are two ways of achieving this – one is to use the Shared file system provided by Windows and the other is to use commercial software with a proprietary system. Remote access need not be confined to file access alone; you can also control the desktop of a computer that has been configured for remote access.
Once your computer has been configured for remote access, you can sit in front of a computer anywhere in the world and use the Internet to work on your computer – of course, the main drawback will be the delay in the response from your computer which would be a function of the distance separating you and your computer and the network speed. Drawbacks aside, the flexibility provided by remote access is enormous and eliminates the need to synchronize files on two different computers.
The level of access provided by remote access depends on the operating systems used on the client machine and the remote computer. If you are using Windows XP on both, the task is simplified as Windows XP comes with inbuilt support for remote access. You can log in to the remote machine using the same credentials you would use while sitting in front of it. Remote access is also secure.
With the remote desktop enabled, you can run programs on the remote computer, edit, save and transfer files between the two systems. Be aware that file transfer may be slow. You can print out documents from the remote computer on the printer connected to the computer where you are working and also hear audio played on the remote computer.
Setting up the remote desktop under Windows XP is simple and access can be initiated by selecting Start-