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What do I need to enable to to Remote Desktop between my laptop and desktop on home LAN?

Posted on 2012-03-30
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Last Modified: 2012-04-03
hi,
Just looking for a fast track to enabling remote desktopping on home lan. I have windows 7 pro on laptop and desktop. My wife has windows home premium (note sure if that will work).

I'd like to be able to connect within the home network, (laptops to desktop, and vice versa).

I can remote dt out to my server ok. Just can't get into local PC's.

I'm running a Norton Firewall, courtesy of Comcast.
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Question by:jodyfaison
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19 Comments
 

Expert Comment

by:qualityeye
ID: 37789990
You can do remote desktop with windows 7 pro.  With home premium you can connect to remote desktop but not act as a server.  Personally I don't use remote desktop anymore, I use a free service such as logmein.com which is extremely easy to setup.  Back when I used remote desktop it involved using dyndns.org for a static IP to always be able to connect to the computer.  Basically logmein.com is free and super easy to use.
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LVL 14

Assisted Solution

by:theras2000
theras2000 earned 125 total points
ID: 37789998
Normally it would be a simple case of enabling RDP in My COmputer's Properties, then to the Remote tab.  Then you'd need to enable 'Remote Desktop' on the Windows firewall in Control panel, or in Nortons enable TCP port 3389 inbound.

Your problem, though, is that Win7 HP isn't allowed to receive RDP connections.  You'll have install another program.  Try TightVNC or RealVNC but actually I really like Teamviewer which is free and normally for connectons over the internet (works fabulously) but can also do local LAN connections.
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Author Comment

by:jodyfaison
ID: 37790005
Oh yea, I forgot about Logmein...
Let me play around a bit with logmein vs. Teamviewer I guess.
I'll also try the RD on the two pc's that support it.
Thanks so much for the help.
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Assisted Solution

by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 75 total points
ID: 37790026
In my opinion RDP is the fastest method available.  For the Pro editions, you should be using it.  For home, or to get in remotely from outside your home LAN, then you can use LogMeIn or an alternative.
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Author Comment

by:jodyfaison
ID: 37790061
You know leew, I'm kind of agreeing with you, esp. now that I have 1000 lan connection. I just got into my laptop from my destop with RDP. It's almost no different than being right in front of it.
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Assisted Solution

by:Darr247
Darr247 earned 50 total points
ID: 37790099
If you mean you want to access them when you're away from home, you can use a DDNS address, DHCP reservations and port forwarding on your router... then you would want to make each computer use a different port for remote desktop (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306759 ), because most routers only forward a specific port number to one specific LAN IP.
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Assisted Solution

by:gmbaxter
gmbaxter earned 250 total points
ID: 37791227
I would use vnc. Set your router to assign a reserved IP address to each PC, so it never changes (easier to remember), you could also set this as an address in the hosts file with a corresponding name, e.g.

192.168.1.101 mylaptop
192.168.1.102 mydesktop
192.168.1.103 thewife

Here is a quick howto on editing the hosts file in Windows 7: http://helpdeskgeek.com/windows-7/windows-7-hosts-file/

You'll need port 5900 open on each pc/laptop for VNC to connect.

I use "tightvnc" http://www.tightvnc.com/download.php
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Author Comment

by:jodyfaison
ID: 37792257
Oh thanks, very good info for me. I have the machines connecting well within the LAN now.
So perfect timing, let me see which I can make work best for me to connect to home network while away, over the internet.
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Assisted Solution

by:gmbaxter
gmbaxter earned 250 total points
ID: 37792864
For that, I would either use dynamic dns as Darr247 mentioned. This will track your changing external IP address, or purchase a static IP address from your ISP. You then have two options:


1). Open ports 59001, 59002 and 59003 on your routers firewall, and get them to forward to 192.168.1.101:5900, 192.168.1.102:5900 and 192.168.1.103:5900 respectively. This way port 5900 is closed to external traffic - which is a good security measure, but you can effectively VNC into your network. Just ensure you use VNC passwords.

2). Better option would be to VPN into your router and just access VNC as if it were local. Your computer would act as if it were on the LAN. This is better from a security point of view, as VNC passwords are not encrypted, whereas a VPN is.
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Author Comment

by:jodyfaison
ID: 37793321
gmbaxter, the 2nd option you mention sounds good.
I am not savvy with VPN or VNC though.
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Expert Comment

by:gmbaxter
ID: 37793354
What router do you have?
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Author Comment

by:jodyfaison
ID: 37793906
WHR-HP-G300N Router Buffalo
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Author Comment

by:jodyfaison
ID: 37793923
Well here's a better description and link from where I got it.

Buffalo Technology AirStation High Power N300 Wireless Router & Access Point

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Buffalo-Technology-WHR-HP-G300N-Nfiniti-Wireless-N-Router/15084786


Having a little trouble with this router dropping iPad and other wireless connections (this is for another question though), maybe my wife is right about buying electronics from Wal-mart....
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Author Comment

by:jodyfaison
ID: 37794073
Also wanted to mention that I do have a static dyn's address, from dynamicDNS.

Quick logistic's question... if I log my laptop wireless into a neighboors guest wireless account, can I test logging into my home network, as if from an outside IP?
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:theras2000
ID: 37794588
Now that you're talking about remote access from the internet, LogMeIn and TeamViewer negate the need for DynDNS and opening holes in your firewall.  They're secure and super simple to do on any computer in any location.  VNC and RDP take a lot more understanding and work to get going and you have to re-think this for every new environment.
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Author Comment

by:jodyfaison
ID: 37794605
Yes, I do see that and agree, theras2000.

I have used logMeIn and know it works great. I guess I'd just like to broaden my horizons a bit and learn more about VNC, VPN.

Granted it could get over my head real fast. I set up a VPN connection to my web server once, got connection but didn't understand it like I'd like to.

Maybe there is no payoff for the added dificulty?

I think if I could log into my home network (esp. desktop PC) from my laptop through the internet, I'd be set.
I also wonder if there might be iPad possiblities, as it seems to feature VPN connections in the system setup, network section.
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LVL 14

Accepted Solution

by:
theras2000 earned 125 total points
ID: 37798307
You're really pursuing 2 goals.  (1) is to get simple remote desktopping working and (2) is to understand VPNs and ports better.  To achieve (1) then I think it's definitely not worth the difficulty to setup VPNs etc.

Why not do both though?  Get your remoting up and working the simple way and then spend time plugging away at VPNs for as long as you care to.
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Author Comment

by:jodyfaison
ID: 37798726
yes good point, well said theras...
I think I'm there with number 1. So maybe I'll close out of here and repost for help working with VPN and such.
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Author Closing Comment

by:jodyfaison
ID: 37803920
Well, thank you all, lots of good tips and Links and suggestions on approaches, just what I was hoping for...
I rewarded points a little diffently this time, because of unusual circumstance in that I'm taking a good bit of info gmbaxter provided to move on and try and set up VPN but I used other experts info to find my local Remote Desktop solution pretty easily.
And used theras2000's overall observation to pursue a overall solution...

So i just went down the list of comments, and gave points as to how that particular comment helped me, and I always give more credit for a link or two, as they help me in furthering my understanding.  Should be interesting to see how it all totals out, hopefully fairly though.   (I doubt you really care this much, huh?)
So great work by all!
thanks again.

POST AWARDING OF POINTS EDIT:
Oh, hmm, maybe this method, didn't give theras2000 enough points...
I thought when I came back to edit this I could edit points a bit, but it's not an available option. Maybe I can make it up next time? I'll use calculator next time I try this method.
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