Remote Desktop - Access Your Office Computer from Another Location

Issue/Question

  • My computer is at my office and I am not: how can I connect to it, and operate it from another location? 

Environment

  • Oregon State University
  • Office computer connected to OSU network using a wired connection (Ethernet)
  • Off-site computer connected to the Internet using a stable network connection
  • Office computer must be Windows

Explanation

You can operate your work computer from an off-site location using Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP for short).  RDP is similar to screen-sharing in a video conference; however, in this case, you're not giving someone else access to your computer, but giving yourself access to your work computer, almost as if you were there.  RDP accomplishes this by:

  • Sending mouse and keyboard operations from the off-site computer to your office computer
  • Sending the display from the office computer to the off-site computer

Resolution

To begin using RDP you will need to contact your IT support team: there are several preparatory steps that must be completed by an administrator.

Important Notes

  • You will need to know the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) or IP address of the PC you want to connect to before starting. Your IT support team can help you find this information.
  • If you use RDP over a slow connection, you will notice lag between your mouse/keyboard operations on the off-site computer and the display from the office computer.  Even if you have a high-speed Internet connection at your home, if it's shared with others who are making heavy demands on the network (e.g. streaming HD movies) RDP may act as though you are on a slow connection.
  • If you work with confidential or personally-identifiable information (PII), make sure to explain this to your IT support team so they can advise you on safe methods to do your work remotely.
  • When you are connected to your work computer using RDP, anyone who looks at your work computer's display will see a login prompt -- they will not see the documents or applications you have open.
  • The PC in the office MUST be powered ON (not sleeping or hibernating) and connected to an active Ethernet port. Setting Power Setting for computer to never sleep is highly recommended.

Remote Desktop Setup Steps by Operating System:

Windows Users

  1. Launch Windows Remote Desktop Connection app. The easiest way is to click on the search icon and type "remote" into the search bar. Click on "Remote Desktop Connect" to launch.
  2. Enter the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) or IP address of the Windows PC that you want to connect to then click Show Options.
  3. Click on the Advanced tab.
  4. Click on the Settings button.
  5. Click on the "Use the RD Gateway server settings" and enter "desktop.oregonstate.edu" for the server name. Click OK.
  6. Click on the General tab, click Save As and save the configuration. By default it will be saved in your Documents folder, but you can choose another location (such as the Desktop). Future connections can be made by clicking on this saved configuration. Click Connect.
  7. Enter your ONID username and password, then click OK.
  8. Most likely, a window will pop up stating that the remote computer couldn't be verified since the certificate isn't trusted. Click "Don't ask me again for connections to this computer", then click Yes.
  9. You should now be remotely connected to your Windows PC. To end the remote session, move your mouse to the top center of your screen where the Remote Desktop Connection controls are and click on the X.

MacOS Users

  1. Download the Microsoft Remote Desktop client from the Mac App Store, then launch Microsoft Remote Desktop.
  2. From the Connections menu, select "Add PC" and enter the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) or IP address of the Windows PC you want to connect to. On the Gateway pulldown menu, select "Add Gateway".
  3. The "Add a Gateway" window will pop up, enter a Gateway name of desktop.oregonstate.edu, enter a friendly name of "OSU RD gateway", and in the User account pulldown, select "Add User Account".
  4. The "Add a User Account" window will pop up, enter your ONID account in the form ONID\<your_onid_username> and your ONID password. Click Add.
  5. Click Add in the "Add a Gateway" window.
  6. Click Add in the "Add a PC" window.
  7. Double-click on the newly created entry in your list of PCs, and enter your ONID username and password when prompted.
  8. You will most likely have a popup window that says that the certificate can't be verified and if you want to continue or not. Click Continue
    If an error occurs at this point, go back to step 2 and change the device name to the devices IP address
  9. You should now be remotely connected to your Windows PC. To end the remote session, move your mouse to the top of your screen and you'll have access to your Mac menus again where you can quit, minimize, etc.
  10. For future connections, you can skip steps 1-6 and just start with step 7 since the previous configuration will have been saved.

Linux Users

For steps that have been tested in Ubuntu, see: Linux - Remotely Access a Windows Computer

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Details

Article ID: 101648
Created
Mon 3/16/20 5:42 PM
Modified
Tue 8/11/20 11:49 AM