How to Access a Remote PC

By Regina Paul

If you have ever arrived home only to realize that you forgot an important document at work, then you know why remote access is so critical. Fortunately, there is a way to connect to your work computer from home. The computer you are trying to access must have Windows XP Professional. Providing it does, here is how you can access the files on your work computer.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional installed on the computer you want to access remotely.
  • Remote computer must be running Windows 95 or later.
  • Both computers will either need to be connected to the internet through a VPN, or you'll need the IP address of the computer you are trying to reach remotely.
  • Name of your host computer.

How To Connect To Your Work Computer From Your Home Computer

Step 1

Check and make sure that you are signed in as an administrator on computer you are trying to access from your home computer.

Step 2

Right click on "Start," then "Control Panel" and finally "Performance and Maintenance." This should be at the bottom left hand side of the screen under "Pick a Category."

Step 3

This will bring up a new screen that has two groups of options, "Pick a Task" or "Pick a Control Panel Icon." Click on "System" at the bottom left hand side underneath the "Pick a Control Panel" Icon.

Step 4

This brings up a window called "System Properties," next click on the "Remote" tab. Select "Allow users" to connect remotely to the computer, and then select "Allow Remote Assistance Invitations to be Sent From This Computer." Click "OK."

Step 5

Go back to the "Control Panel" and select "Security Center." When you get there, click on "Manage Security Settings For Windows Firewall." If the "Don't Allow Exceptions box" is selected, deselect it, otherwise your remote access will not go through.

Step 6

Select the "Exceptions" tab and make sure that the "Remote Desktop" box is selected. If it is not, then select it. Click "OK," and then you can shut down the "Windows Security Center." You've just set up your host computer to allow remote access.

Step 7

Return to the "Control Panel" and click on "Performance and Maintenance," and then select the "Computer Name" tab; this will tell you the name of your host computer.

Step 8

Make sure your host computer is connected to your corporate network that has Internet access, is locked and is running.

Connecting Your Home Computer to Your Work Computer

Step 1

Go to your home computer and select "Start, All Programs." Next, select "Accessories."

Step 2

Select "Communications and then Remote Desktop Connection," from the "Accessories" menu.

Step 3

Type in the name of your work computer in the "Computer" box. Select "Connect."

Step 4

Wait for the "Log-on to Windows" box to appear and type your Windows username, password, and, if necessary, domain name. Select "OK." Your work desktop should appear on your home computer, giving you access to all your work files.

Tips & Warnings

  • Write down the host computer's name when you look it up. Access your home computer remotely from a Windows XP computer with your home computer's IP address. Set up for remote access by following the steps above. Click "Start," "Programs," "Acessories," "Communications" and "Remote Desktop Connection" and in the box next to computer type in your home computer IP address. Click "Connect." Fill in your username and password and your home desktop will appear.
  • Make sure all user accounts including your own have a username and password, otherwise anyone can access your computer via remote access.