So you’ve been told by your IT guy to “remote desktop” into a PC or a Terminal Server (TS). Now what?
Remote Desktop is a way to remotely access the desktop of a PC. It relies on the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), which has been around for several years. You will often hear IT people say “RDP into a computer” instead of “Remote Desktop into a computer” since that is how it used to be referred to. Saying “Remote Desktop” started with Windows XP.
As a bit of background, starting with Windows XP and going forward, you can RDP into a computer if that feature is enabled. Generally, only a single user can RDP into a PC at a time. But there is a special type of Windows Server known as a Terminal Server (TS) that allows multiple people to RDP into the server at a time. Much like older mainframes allowed multiple users to work at once. A TS server is an excellent way to consolidate from several PC’s down to a single server.
To RDP into a computer, you need to start the Remote Desktop Connection software on your own computer first. You can do this via the Start Menu or via the command-line.
Via the Start Menu
- Click Start->All Programs->Accessories->Remote Desktop Connection
- The software will start.
- In the Computer field, enter the hostname or IP of the computer you want to reach.
- Click Connect.
You will be presented with a logon screen. Enter the username and password for the REMOTE COMPUTER. If you are a domain user, you may need to enter your username in that form, e.g., EXAMPLEDOMmyuser.