How do I connect to a remote server in Windows?
Hello fellow geeks, please forgive me that I’m a new man in the IT domain. I’m heading out of my home for several weeks but I need to use my home PC during that time. That means maybe I need to remote into my home server. But I have no idea. How do I connect to a remote server from Windows?"
- Question from Quora
How to access remote server from Windows [4 ways]
Accessing remote servers from a Windows machine is crucial for various purposes, enabling efficient administration and monitoring without physical presence. Tasks such as testing, troubleshooting computer issues, and data transfer become more manageable. Remotely accessing another PC from Windows is not a complex process. The following outlines four methods with step-by-step guides on how to connect to a remote server on Windows 10 and 11.
Way 1. Connect to a remote server via AnyViewer
Introducing AnyViewer, a meticulously crafted free remote access software exclusively designed for Windows. Highly endorsed for individuals and businesses seeking seamless remote server access from Windows, it comes laden with a myriad of advantages.
- Compatibility Across Devices: AnyViewer works seamlessly on various platforms like Windows, iOS, and Android, making it easy to handle devices with different operating systems.
- User-Friendly Design: Known for its simplicity, AnyViewer offers an interface that is easy to navigate. Setting up remote connections is straightforward, accommodating users with different technical skill levels.
- Comprehensive Features: AnyViewer comes packed with essential features such as file transfer, remote voice, clipboard synchronization, and multi-session support. It allows remote access to unattended computers, enabling connections even in the absence of the user.
- Robust Security Measures: AnyViewer prioritizes security with end-to-end encryption, ensuring the privacy and integrity of remote connections. The inclusion of two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of protection for enhanced data security.
- Efficient Performance: Designed for speed and reliability, AnyViewer performs well even on low-bandwidth connections. Users appreciate its responsiveness, contributing to a positive overall experience.
Free download AnyViewer right now and see how the remote desktop software works.
Note: If you need to access Windows Server from iPhone, iPad, or Android, you can download AnyViewer for mobile devices from App Store or Google Play.
Step 1. Launch AnyViewer on both computers. Go to Log in, and then click Sign up.
Step 2. Fill in the signup information and sign in to this account on the two computers.
Step 3. After that, you can see you successfully logged in to AnyViewer. And 2 devices will automatically be assigned to the account you’ve logged in to.
Step 4. Then, click "Device", choose the PC that will be accessed, and choose "One-click control". Then, you can take full control of the remote PC with one click.
- Improved Device Control: Effortlessly oversee numerous unattended access devices with precision.
- Streamlined Multi-Tasking: Manage multiple remote sessions simultaneously, making multitasking a breeze.
- Swift File Transfers: Accelerate the movement of large files between devices, boosting overall efficiency.
- Privacy Mode: Guarantee discreet access to remote devices by dimming the screen and disabling the keyboard, adding an extra layer of privacy.
Way 2. Connect to a remote server via Remote Desktop
Accessing a remote server from Windows is facilitated by the built-in Remote Desktop (RDP) feature. Establishing a connection between two servers within the same network or WLAN is a straightforward process. However, when the two PCs are situated on separate LANs, the imperative step involves executing port forwarding. The ensuing steps elucidate this process:
Part 1. Configure Remote Desktop connection on the host computer
1. Allow remote connections to this computer in the Control Panel
Step 1. Select Control Panel > System and Security > System, under the “System” section, click Remote Settings.
Step 2. Mark the checkbox adjacent to "Enable remote connections to this computer" and then proceed by clicking the "OK" button.
2. Change Windows Firewall settings
Step 1. On the host computer, select Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Defender Firewall.
Step 2. Click “Allow an App or Feature Through Windows Defender Firewall” on the left navigation.
Step 3. Check “Remote Desktop” and hit OK.
3. Get the IP address and computer name
Step 1. Press Win + R on the host computer to open the Run dialog box. Enter "cmd" and then hit OK.
Step 2. Retrieve the IP address for the Remote Desktop by entering the command "ipconfig" and making note of the IPv4 Address.
Step 3. Find your PC name for Remote Desktop by typing in "query user." This will display your PC's name.
4. Get valid login credentials
Before you attempt remote access, make sure you have the necessary login credentials, including the username and password for the Windows computer you intend to access remotely. Having these essential details readily available is crucial for a successful remote connection.
5. Port forwarding (Not necessary if the two devices are within the same network or WLAN)
Step 1. Type ipconfig in CMD (as admin) and then locate the Default Gateway.
Step 2. Find the username and password behind the router.
Step 3. Open a web browser. Type your router’s IP address into the address bar. When a privacy warning appears, just click Advanced > Proceed to continue.
Step 4. Next, enter your router’s username and password.
Step 5. Click on Port Forwarding/Port Triggering on the left pane. Choose Add Custom Service.
Step 6. Then enter the internet IP address of the device you want to port forward, and then click Apply to save the changes.
Step 7. Finally, apply your settings.
Part 2. Connect to the host computer from the client computer via RDP
Step 1. On the client computer, press Win + R, and type “mstsc” in the Run Dialog box to open the Remote Desktop connection.
Step 2. Click on "Show Options," and then enter the IP address and hostname of the host computer. Afterward, click the "Connect" button.
Step 3. In the pop-up window, enter the password for the client computer, and then click "OK”.
Way 3. Connect to remote server via VPN
While you are far away from the remote PC, in most cases, you can also configure the VPN if 2 servers are not on the same network. It’s worth mentioning that the Internet of the remote PC must be changed to private so that the remote PC will be visible to other PC.
Step 1. Press Win + I to open “Settings. Select Internet & Network. And then locate “VPN”. Click Add a VPN Connection.
Step 2. Type the name that you want to use for the connection and the other required details (such as server name or address, VPN type, username, and password). After finishing, click on Save.
Step 3. Click the VPN connection that you want to use; then click Connect.
Step 4. Once the connection is established, you receive a confirmation from your PC. Close the Settings window. Now you can use your VPN connection to access a remote server from Windows.
Way 4. Connect to a remote server via SSH
SSH, or Secure Shell, is a cryptographic network protocol that provides a secure and encrypted means of connecting to and managing remote servers. PuTTY is a popular SSH client for Windows. The following is the stepwise tutorial on how to connect to server on Windows via SSH through PuTTY.
Step 1. Download PuTTY and launch it to get started.
Step 2. Enter the SSH server’s hostname or IP address in the Host name (or IP address) box. Check that the port number in the Port box matches the port number required by the SSH server. To connect, click Open.
Step 3. You’ll see a security alert the first time you try to connect to a server. This tells you that you haven’t previously connected to this server. That’s expected, so click Yes to continue.
Step 4. You’ll be prompted to enter the username and password for your account on the SSH server. After you do, you’ll be connected.
Step 5. To end the SSH connection, just close the window.
The 4 top ways to access remote server from Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7 are shown above. After the detailed reading or practicing, you must master it. However, if port forwarding is too complicated for you and your VPN connection is not working for you, AnyViewer can make up for those difficulties and bring about more convenience for you.