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The Convenience of Using Remote Access Desktops

Have you ever been in a situation where you utterly wished you could access your home or work computer, because you needed information that was located only there? Or have you felt like taking home your work desktop every time you wanted to work from home over the weekend, just so you wouldn’t have to keep getting copies of your files to take home, or email yourself all the documents you needed?

Benefits of Remote Access Desktops

Wouldn’t it be great if you could access, from any place, all your files, programs, projects and sensitive data? In the past it was just a dream, but nowadays remote access has become pretty common. With the increasing need to telecommute, to have your information “on-the-go” and be able to access your files from virtually anywhere, many companies are using remote access software, so employees can work from different places using their own desktops.

Remote Access Desktops for Home Use

But remote access is not meant only for businesses. Any person can benefit from being able to access their home computer from everywhere. For instance, a student who forgot to bring their final paper to school would be able to access the file in their home computer from a computer at school. An office employee would be able to access their home computer from work and vice-versa.

More Advantages to Remote Access

The concept of remote access is that you can work on your home or work desktop from any other computer connected to the internet. It would be as if you were sitting right in front of your work or home desktop: all the features, programs and files would be there. Your whole working environment is brought over the Internet to wherever you are.

The opportunities that remote access offers for businesses are numerous, starting with the enhanced productivity. For instance, when an employee has a sick child at home, this employee is likely to be absent for a day or two, or for as long as the child remains sick. For the company it would be much better if that employee could be working from home, but sometimes this person’s job requires him or her to use a specific software that is located only in the company’s desktop. If the company uses remote access, the employee can still work on projects, even being at home.

Employees that can’t get to work because of snowstorms or other weather-related issues would be able to telecommute and deliver their projects on time. And, besides that, telecommuting helps them to save money on gas, which in turns helps to increase the morale of the group.

Security and Remote Access

Remote access is a fantastic tool, but because sensitive information might be transferred over the Internet, it is important to take some security measures if you are using it for your business. For example, the use of VPN (Virtual Private Network), which will encrypt the information creating a “private” area of data transferring, so outsiders can’t infiltrate and use it. Only employees with access to the remote access password would be able to make use of the encrypted information.

For the average home user, it is not so necessary to use the VPN. They can do pretty well just with the remote access feature offered with Windows XP. Although it is free, this software is pretty safe, since it requires the computer owner’s password to access the desktop. There is also another free remote access software, the VNC (Virtual Network Computing), but this one doesn’t offer any type of security, since the traffic is not encrypted in any way. The advantage of the VNC is that it works on most platforms, but if you have Windows, it is best to use the Remote Desktop software offered by Microsoft.

For a business, it is good to use not only VPN but also have a firewall installed. Another security measure is to restrict the access to a remote desktop to only a few employees whose job description requires them to access the company’s sensitive information off-site.

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