Looking for an easy way to control a PC from another PC? Keep reading! When you’re managing an IT environment, you’ll often need to be able to access other computers, to monitor behavior, make changes and updates, and troubleshoot issues. This article will explain three methods of making that happen, and walk you through how to get the most out of each solution.
1. Windows Remote Desktop Connection
Your first port of call will probably be the free built-in feature that’s included with Microsoft Windows OS. This is called RDC, which stands for Remote Desktop Connection. For security purposes it is automatically disabled as standard, but it takes just minutes to switch it back on, and you might find it does the job you need.
Here’s what you need to do to give it a whirl.
First, you’ll need to set up the computers that you want to access. If you’re working far from your customers or employees, they may need to handle this part on your behalf.
Head to Remote Desktop Settings from your search box or start bar, depending on your version of Windows. In some cases, your version of Windows will not support Remote Desktop, for example if you’re using a Home version of the software. In which case, you’ll get a notification in red that explains how you can upgrade. Otherwise, just click Allow Remote PC access to your computer, and make sure to allow Remote Desktop Connection Manager in the system properties window. For best-in-class security, make sure you’ve toggled on the Network Level Authentication box as well.
Pros of Windows RDC
Windows Remote Desktop Connection runs on Remote Desktop Protocol and is very simple to use inside your own network. For in-office remote support, it’s a really great tool, and it won’t cost you a single cent.
Cons of Windows RDC
If you’re looking to monitor and manage computers outside of your own office network, for example to support multiple offices, client environments, or even home workers – you may come unstuck. You’ll need to spend time configuring any remote network to support the remote access, and you’ll need information about the remote PC which the user might not be tech-savvy enough to provide.
Perhaps even more worrying though is that the functionality is limited. The user won’t be able to see what’s going on while the remote access session is taking place, and as the technician you can’t run more than one concurrent session at the same time. Finally, Windows RDC doesn’t support automatic reboot and reconnect, there are additional manual steps involved.
2. Sign up for Remote Desktop software – taking remote desktop to the next level
If you’re looking to make remote access a whole lot easier, and streamline and simplify the role of the end user in having their machine accessed, remote access software could be your new best friend. You can sign up directly to many third-party remote access software tools, but we’re going to talk about two options that integrate with Atera and offer best-in-class features and functionality.
Once you’ve signed up for a TeamViewer account, you can achieve permanent access for unattended devices, toggle between a black screen for private remote access and also share with the end user where necessary, and the software even includes file sharing, remote printing, and video-conferencing and collaboration.
To set up TeamViewer on Atera, just head to Remote Access, choose TeamViewer as your default, retrieve your API token from the Design and Deploy tab in the TeamViewer management console, and paste it into the relevant space Atera Remote Access settings page. You’ll be prompted to answer a few questions about your version of TeamViewer, but you’ll quickly be good to go.
ConnectWise (Formerly ScreenConnect)
A similar process is on offer with ConnectWise, also easy to integrate with Atera, although you’ll need a separate license to get started.
Setting up ConnectWise on Atera starts by finding your ConnectWise URL, which is in your management console. Select Access/Control Panel/Instances and you should see your URL. You’ll also need your Instance ID and your Installer URL, which can be found in File Explorer and the Build Installer, respectively.
With both of these options, once you’ve handled the setup, you’ll be able to remotely connect with a customer or colleague device from the Devices or Customer pages, or from within an agent or ticket.
3. Save your cash, and get remote access all-included with your IT software suite
The third option is to use an all-in-one RMM and PSA which includes integration with remote access software, at no additional cost whatsoever. At Atera, we offer AnyDesk and Splashtop, two of the best remote access tools on the market. Let’s take a brief look at each one, and how they can be used to quickly and easily access a remote PC.
With Splashtop Remote Access – automatically integrated into Atera for instant remote support. (Psst: We also integrate with Splashtop SOS remote support for attended devices where the user is at their computer, but you’ll need a license for that.) SplashTop remote access has some seriously snazzy features, including multi-to-multi monitor, group view, remote wake, chat, file transfer and session recording.
Both tools are cross-platform, which means you can use them for Windows, Mac, Linux and more.
While RDC via Windows is a free and easy tool to use on a single office network, if you’re looking for something more robust, cross-platform and feature-rich – you’ll want to start thinking about remote access tools. At Atera, you can BYO license from TeamViewer or ConnectWise, or if you’re new to remote access, use the in-built functionality of AnyDesk and Splashtop to take your remote access capabilities to the next level.
With AnyDesk in your tool belt, you can connect to unlimited attended devices and up to 3,000 unattended devices, and connect from up to three separate devices, offering broad business applicability. You’ll also get support for mobile devices, and you get advanced features such as session recording and wake-on-LAN.
Once you’ve chosen AnyDesk as your default within Atera (Growth and Power plan only), it will automatically install on all agents/devices, and once the technician has downloaded AnyDesk, remote access is just a matter of a simple authorization process to ensure security. No separate set-up, no added costs, and easy remote control.
Both tools are cross-platform, which means you can use them for Windows, Mac, Linux, and more. While RDC via Windows is a free and easy tool to use on a single office network, if you’re looking for something more robust, cross-platform, and feature-rich, you’ll want to start thinking about remote access tools. At Atera, you can BYO license from TeamViewer or ConnectWise, or if you’re new to remote access, use Atera’s RMM in-built functionality of AnyDesk and Splashtop to take your remote access capabilities, including Linux RMM, to the next level.