What is remote access?
Nowadays, when computer technology is becoming more and more developed. Many of you are probably familiar with the term “remote access”. Put it simply, it means that you can access a computer or device and all the files and applications in it through other devices anytime, anywhere, using remote access software or tools, just like you are sitting in front of it.
In fact, remote access is greatly convenient for your work and life. Imagine if you are traveling in a foreign country and suddenly receive an overtime notice from your boss, and you need to process important documents on your work computer as soon as possible. What should you do at this time? Don’t worry, remote access to the computer can help you solve the problem.
What are the remote access solutions?
Then what are the remote access solutions? Based on your purpose of use, remote access to computers can be divided into business use, personal use, and educational use, of which personal use is the most common. For the majority of users, the remote access solutions they want must be free first. Based on this, here are six kinds of best free remote access software.
- Windows built-in RDP
- Microsoft Remote Desktop Client
- Windows Remote Assistance
- Quick Assist
- Chrome Remote Desktop
Method 1. Windows built-in RDP
Remote Desktop Connection is a built-in remote access tool in the Windows system. The prerequisite of remote access is to specify the IP address and user name of the computers. The steps are introduced in detail in the following.
Step 1. On the host computer, right-click This PC and select Properties. Then click Remote Desktop in the left sidebar, and switch the Enable Remote Desktop option to On.
Step 2. Find User accounts and click Select users that can remotely access this PC.
Step 3. After openning the Remote Desktop Users window, click Add to add users who are allowed to access this computer.
Step 4. On the client computer, search for Remote Desktop Connection in the Search box. And then open it.
Step 5. Enter the IP address and user name in the Remote Desktop Connection interface to achieve connection.
Step 6. In the pop-up Windows Security window, find the user name you just entered and enter the power-on password. If there is no power-on password, click OK.
Step 7. In the authentication pop-up window, click “Yes” directly to realize remote access (it is recommended to check Don’t ask me again for connection to this computer).
Windows built-in RDP is free and convenient to use, which makes it an excellent remote access solution. The disadvantage is that it is very troublesome when you want to use it on different networks. Besides, RDP is not available for some Windows editions, like Windows 10 Home edition. Please note this.
Method 2. Microsoft Remote Desktop Client
Microsoft Remote Desktop Client (RD Client) is mostly used for remote access between mobile devices and desktop devices. Next, the specific setting methods are introduced from the mobile terminal and desktop terminal respectively.
- Connect both iPhone and the host computer (the controlled computer) to the same network.
- Download and install RD Client on your iPhone.
Step 1. Download and open RD Client on your iPhone.
Step 2. Click the “+” sign in the upper right corner of the interface, and select “Add Computer” in the pop-up window.
Step 3. Click PC name.
Step 4. Enter the hostname or IP address of the remote computer. (Note that if you specify a different remote desktop port for your computer than the default 3389, you need to specify it as “host:port” or “192.168.1.156:specified port”).
Step 5. Click User Name.
Step 6. If you often need to remotely control PC from iPhone, it is recommended that you select Add User Account. If you are not, you can choose the default Ask When Required.
Step 7. In the General column, you can choose whether to set a Friendly Name if you want. If the remote computer you are connected to is a Windows Server 2003 or later server, you can choose Admin Mode to manage sessions. If your remote computer is configured for left-handed mouse mode, you need to select Swap Mouse Buttons.
Step 8. In the Gateway column, the default setting is “No Gateway Configured”. If you are only using it for home LAN connections, you do not need to configure a gateway.
Step 9. If you need to connect to a remote desktop in your company, you need to configure the gateway. Select Add Gateway below.
Step 10. In the Add Gateway interface, you need to enter the Gateway Name (Hostname or IP address), User Account (Use PC User Account), and you can choose whether to set the Friendly Name or not.
Step 11. In the “Devices and Audio Redirection” column, you can select according to your own needs, including Sound, Microphone, Camera, Clipboard, Storage. After confirming that all content settings are complete, click Save in the upper right corner.
Step 12. Back to the main interface and click the IP address icon just created, enter the user name and password of the controlled computer in the pop-up Enter Your User Account window, and click Continue to successfully establish the connection.
Step 13. Then you can control PC from phone.
Windows Remote Desktop Connection is only applicable to all devices supporting RDP protocol, while RD Client is a multi-platform remote access solution. It is applicable to Windows, Android, IOS, MAC, and other platforms.
Method 3. Windows Remote Assistance
Windows Remote Assistance allows someone (or helper) you trust to take over your PC and provide remote technical support. Next, the specific setting method will be introduced in detail.
Step 1. On the host computer, press Win + R. Then type in “sysdm.cpl” and click OK to access System Properties.
Step 2. Go to the Remote tab, and check Allow Remote Assistance connections to this computer under Remote Assistance.
Step 3. After that, press Win + R again and then type in “msra” to open Windows Remote Assistance.
Step 4. Choose Invite someone you trust to help you and click Save this invitation as a file. Save this file on the desktop and a pop-up window that contains a password will appear.
Attention: Please do not close this pop-up window. Once you close this pop-up window, the connection will be canceled and you need to do those operations again.
Step 5. Send this invitation file and the password to the client computer (the computer that used to offer technical help).
Step 6. On the client computer, double-click the invitation file and type the password in the entry bar.
Step 7. After clicking OK, a pop-up window will appear on the host computer. Click Yes to share the screen with the client computer.
Step 8. On the client computer, on the top of the window, click Request control to send a request to the host computer, and then another pop-up window will appear on the host computer. After your friend click Yes, you can control his computer.
Windows Remote Assistance is not very complicated in operation. But according to the feedback from some users, they always encounter Remote Assistance not working problem.
Method 4. Quick Assist
Quick Assist is a new remote assistance tool in Windows 10, which is used to replace the traditional Remote Assistance. Quick Assist is installed on Windows 10 computers by default. Next, the specific setting method will be introduced in detail.
Step 1. In the PC that is used to offer support, type “Quick Assist” in the Search box and run it.
Step 2. Click “Assist another person” under “Give Assistance”.
Step 3. Now, you need to sign in to your Microsoft account.
Step 4. After successful login, you can see your security code.
Step 5. In the computer accepting assistance, run Quick Assist, input the security code under “Code from assistance” and click “Share screen”.
Step 6. Then, in the PC offering assistance, choose “Take full control” or “View screen” based on the specific situation. Finally, click “Continue”.
Step 7. Next, in the computer accepting assistance, click the Allow button, granting permission for you to access their PC.
Compared with RDP and RD Client, Quick Assist is simpler in operation, which makes it more suitable for novice users. Its disadvantage is that it needs to log in to a Microsoft account and cannot realize unattended remote access. Besides, users have reported that they’ve always encountered Quick Assist not working problem.
It should also be noted that quick assist cannot be used on Windows Server 2008 R2 server. In addition, since quick assist was released in 2016, to use Quick Assist, you need to ensure that the Windows 10 version of the two computers for remote assistance is 1607 or above.
Method 5. Chrome Remote Desktop
Chrome Remote Desktop is a popular remote connection software invented by Google. It has powerful functions and high security. It can be used for both personal and commercial purposes for free. Next, the specific setting method will be introduced in detail.
Step 1. On the host computer, open Chrome Remote Desktop download page. Click Remote Support first and then click the blue download button.
Step 2. After automatically jumping to the chrome web store, click Add to Chrome to download Chrome Remote Desktop.
Step 3. Click Add extension to confirm the installation.
Step 4. Click on Accept & Install to install it.
Step 5. Enter a name for your computer and then click Next.
Step 6. Choose a PIN with at least 6 numbers, and then enter it twice to start the program.
Step 7. On the client computer, open the Chrome browser and navigate here. Then log in to the same Google account. Once logged in, you can see the available computers.
Step 8. Click on the computer set up previously, and enter its PIN. Then you could start your remote control.
Using Chrome Remote Desktop to remotely control PC is relatively simple in operation and can adapt to different network environments. However, both devices need to be installed with Chrome browser and log in to the same account, making it inconvenient.
Method 6. AnyViewer
AnyViewer is a free and easy remote desktop software designed especially for Windows, including Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7 and Windows Server 2022/2019/2016/2012 R2. It is one of the most secure remote access solutions. It is easy to operate. You don’t need an IP address or a user name to achieve remote access to the computer.
- Connect the client computer (the controller computer) and the host computer (the controlled computer) to the Internet.
- Download and install AnyViewer on the client computer and the host computer respectively.
Step 1. Launch AnyViewer on both computers. Go to Log in, and then click Sign up. (If you already have signed up on its official website, you can log in directly.)
Step 2. Fill in the signup information.
Step 3. Then you can see you successfully logged in to AnyViewer. Your device will automatically be assigned to the account you've logged in to.
Step 4. Log in to the same AnyViewer account on the two devices, then click Remote control to achieve unattended remote access.
Note: You can also upgrade your account to Professional or Enterprise edition to assign more devices and to connect to another computer in privacy mode.
Remote access makes it more convenient for both your work and life. The point is how to find suitable remote access solutions. Here we provide you with six different solutions, and introduce their characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages of each, hoping you can find the most suitable one for you.