How do I access my home computer on my laptop?
"How do I connect my laptop to my home computer?" Do you have this question in your mind too? Sometimes, we may need to access home computer from laptop to deal with urgent tasks outside. This sounds very technical-needing. However, with the help of remote desktop software, accessing a remote computer from another device from anywhere is not only possible but very easy. Even a computer illiterate can get started quickly.
How to access home computer from laptop [3 options]
Here are three free remote desktop software that would help you access home computer from laptop. We also made a detailed comparison at the end of this section to help you choose the option that meets your demands.
Option 1. Access home Windows computer with AnyViewer
AnyViewer is a Windows, iOS, and Android remote access app. It allows direct remote connections across the Internet, which means you can easily access your home computer from a coffee shop or school laptop without any additional configurations.
Besides, AnyViewer also provides many valuable features. For example, file transfer to help you complete remote work, instant chat to help perform remote support, and screen sharing to help you carry out remote teamwork.
Part 1. Configuration on home computer:
Step 1. Download, install, and launch AnyViewer on your home computer.
Step 2. Go to Log in, and then register now (you can sign in immediately if you have registered on the official website).
Step 3. Fill in the sign-up information.
Step 4. You will then see that you have successfully logged into AnyViewer. Your device will be automatically assigned to the account you have logged in to.
Part 2. Configuration on your laptop:
Step 1. Download, install, and run AnyViewer on your laptop. Then, on your laptop, log in to the same account you have on your home computer.
Step 2. Go to Device and click your home computer; then click One-click control. You can also click File Transfer to share files.
Option 2. Access home computer with Google Chrome extension
Chrome Remote Desktop is a Google Chrome extension. If you have a Google Chrome browser, it would be very convenient to use Chrome Remote Desktop. You don't need to download it; add it to the Chrome extensions. You don't need to sign up for an account; use your Google account.
Part 1. Configuration on the home computer:
Step 1. Navigate to the Chrome Remote Desktop website using the Chrome browser. Click Remote Access and then click the download button.
Step 2. Click Add to Chrome to add the Chrome Remote Desktop extension to your Chrome browser.
Step 3. Click Accept & Install to install this program.
Step 4. Choose a name for your computer and click Next.
Step 5. Enter and re-enter a PIN with at least 6 numbers.
Part 2. Configuration on your laptop:
Step 1. Log in to the same Google account on Google Chrome. Then follow the steps above to add Chrome Remote Desktop to Google Chrome and get it configured.
Step 2. Then you can see the list of devices. Choose your home computer.
Step 3. Enter the PIN of the home computer, and click the blue arrow to achieve the remote connection.
Step 4. If you need to transfer files via Chrome Remote Desktop, click the arrow icon on the right side to expand the sidebar after connecting successfully. You can find the Upload file and Download file options in the File Transfer column and then transfer the file as needed. You can also copy and paste to share files if you open the shared clipboard.
Option 3. Access home computer via the Windows built-in RDP
Remote Desktop Connection (RDP) is the Windows built-in remote desktop software. You don't need to download Remote Desktop Connection; it comes with your Windows computers. However, it is easy to use when the two devices are on LAN or WiFi. Suppose you want to connect to a computer from different networks, for example, remotely control your home computer from a coffee shop. In that case, you must set up port forwarding on your home computer in advance.
Part 1. Configuration on the home computer:
Step 1. On your home computer, enable the Windows Remote Desktop. Enter "sysdm.cpl" into the Win + R prompt and press Enter.
Step 2. Go to the Remote tab and check the box next to "Allow remote connections to this computer". Then press the OK button.
Step 3. Press Win + R gain, input "cmd" and press Enter to open Command Prompt. Then type "ipconfig" and press the Enter key. You can now see a list of IP addresses.
We can use the IPv4 address to set up the client later. But this IP is set by the router and is not the Public IP Address. It changes whenever the PC connects to the network. As a result, Remote Desktop Connection will only sometimes be successful. So we're going to set a Static IP Address for this PC. Note down the Default Gateway address below; we'll need it later.
Step 4. Click Start and then click Settings. Find Network & Internet and then click it.
Step 5. Find Advanced network settings on the Network & Internet interface, then click Change adapter options below.
Step 6. Right-click your network and then click Properties.
Step 7. Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and select Properties.
Step 8. Turn on Use the following IP address in the General tab, and change the IP address to a Static IP address. For example, if your router IP is 192.168.0.1, your usable IP is 192.168.0.2 to 192.168.0.254. You can use 192.168.0.45 as your Static IP.
Set the Subnet mask to the default values, 22.214.171.124.
Set the Default gateway to the Default Gateway address noted down above.
Then turn on Use the following DNS server addresses, set the Preferred DNS server to the same Default Gateway address, and set the Alternate DNS server to Google DNS, 126.96.36.199.
Click OK to apply changes.
Step 9. Enter the device gateway address in the browser address bar, enter the correct user name and password to log in to the router, confirm that port forwarding is enabled, and find and click Add profile.
Step 10. Fill in the corresponding information to create a new port; you can refer to the following:
Service name: fill in whatever you want
External port: 3389
Internal port: 3389
Internal IP address: Static IP address; mine is 192.168.0.45.
Step 11. Go back to the Command Prompt. Then type in "query user" to get the PC name. Now, everything is ready.
Part 2. Configuration on the laptop:
Step 1. On the laptop, press Win + R and then type "mstsc" in the Run Dialog box to launch the Remote Desktop connection.
Step 2. Click Show Options, enter the IP address and computer name of the home computer, and click Connect.
Step 3. Enter the home computer password in the pop-up window and click OK.
Step 4. You have two options if you need to transfer files via Remote Desktop Connection. You can either redirect drives to achieve file transfer between computers or copy and paste to achieve file transfer. But note that the Remote Desktop Connection file transfer limitation is that you are only allowed to copy and paste files smaller than 2 GB.
AnyViewer vs. Chrome Remote Desktop vs. Remote Desktop Connection
"I have learned how to access my home computer from my laptop. But which should I choose?"
Here's a detailed comparison of AnyViewer, Chrome Remote Desktop, and Remote Desktop Connection. Choose according to your needs.
Possible issues and further details
Additional details on potential issues you can run into when utilizing any of the aforementioned alternatives are provided below.
- Firewall. Any firewall protecting your home network must be open for many software programs or services to communicate with other computers.
- Always-on connection versus modem. You must maintain a dial-up modem connection to the Internet if you choose this method of access over broadband.
- The remote computer must be turned on. The remote connection must succeed, or the computer you want to connect to must stay powered on.
The bottom line
This post primarily introduces three free tools to access home computer from laptop. All of them are remote desktop software. We also made a detailed comparison of them. You can refer to the table if you need help choosing between them.