Sharing computer resources over a network, when properly configured, gives you access to all the files you might need, wherever they're stored. But sometimes even that is not enough . You might need to run a program that is installed only on another computer, or you might need to configure and manage another computer's files and settings in ways that can be done only by working at that computer. Actually, there is another way: Remote Desktop . Remote Desktop enables you to operate a computer by remote control, over a local network or over the internet.
When you use a Remote Desktop connection, you're able to operate that computer as if you were sitting right in front of it. You have access to all of the other computer's files, applications, and network resources . You can connect to your work PC from your home office and run a query on a corporate database using an application that isn't available at home. If you work all night to finish an important presentation and forget to bring it to the office, you can connect to your home computer from your office network and use Remote Desktop to retrieve the file and make your deadline. And unlike earlier versions of Remote
Desktop, the version in Windows 7 can play videos and other media, and its bidirectional audio support makes it possible to use the remote computer for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony applications and speech recognition.
On a home or small business network, you can use Remote Desktop as a remote management console . From your main desktop, you can connect to any computer on your network and install updates, change system settings, or perform other routine maintenance tasks without having to leave the comfort of your couch or cubicle .
With Remote Desktop, applications run on the remote computer; your computer is effectively used as a dumb terminal. You can use a low-powered computer—an inexpensive netbook or even an old clunker—and enjoy the speed and power of the remote computer. Remote Desktop connections are encrypted, so your information is secure, even if you're making a connection over the internet.
The basic requirements for using Remote Desktop are pretty simple: you need two computers that are connected via a local area network, the internet, or a dial-up connection .
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