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Looking to remotely control one PC from your own? Atera breaks it down with a guide to your options for remote access.

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’s automatically disabled as standard, but it takes just minutes to turn it on, and it might be enough to do 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 unable to access the PC that you want to remotely access, you may need to ask someone near the PC to help.

Next, you’ll need to make sure that the RDC is enabled. To do this, go to Start > Settings > System > Remote Desktop, make sure that “Remote Desktop” is turned on, and then hit confirm.

The next step is to go to the “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 access via remote desktop. For example, if you’re using a home version of the software. In this case, you’ll get a notification 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. Also, take note of your PC name for the next step.

Then, from the computer you’ll use to remotely control, just find and open “Remote Desktop Connection” using the search bar, type in the name of the PC you’d like to access, and click “Connect”. For best-in-class security, make sure you’ve toggled on the Network Level Authentication box as well.

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Pros of Windows RDC

Windows Remote Desktop Connection runs on remote desktop protocol, making it 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 penny.

Cons of Windows RDC

If you’re looking to monitor and manage computers outside of your own office network, e.g. support multiple offices, client environments, or even home workers – using remote desktop connection will be more difficult. 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.

But maybe the bigger problem with remote desktop connection 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 much easier, you could also consider using remote desktop software. This tool streamlines the process and simplifies the role of the end user in having their machine accessed. You can sign up directly for many third-party remote access software tools, but we’re going to talk about two options that offer best-in-class features and functionality, as well as integrate with Atera, a leading RMM tool.

TeamViewer

As a leading remote desktop software, TeamViewer is a great option. You’ll be able to access unattended devices, or toggle between a black screen and screensharing for private remote access, depending on your needs. The software also includes file sharing, remote printing, and video-conferencing with collaboration capabilities.

To set up TeamViewer on Atera, just head to the “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 Atera Remote Access settings page. You may be asked to answer a few quick questions about your TeamViewer account, but then you’ll be ready to remotely control network PCs.

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 integrations with 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.

Splashtop

Using remote access via Splashtop is simple, as it’s automatically integrated into Atera for instant remote support. We also integrate with Splashtop SOS remote support for attended devices where the user is at their computer, but you would need a license for that.
SplashTop remote access has some incredible 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, so you’re covered no matter what kind of devices you have within your network.

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AnyDesk

With AnyDesk in your tool belt, you can connect to unlimited attended devices and up to 1,000 unattended device, 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. And similar to Splashtop, AnyDesk is also available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and more, designed for ease-of-use.

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. For larger organizations with remote access needs, Atera’s RMM built-in functionality with AnyDesk and Splashtop can bring your remote access capabilities, including Linux RMM, to the next level. Chat with our sales team today about whether or not Atera is the right choice for you and your organization.

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The IT management platform that just works

Atera is the all-in-one platform built to remove blockers, streamline operations, and give you the tools to deliver results at any scale.