Windows comes by default with a pre-installed remote control software on your system. This application will allow users to request remote assistance in case of having a problem (for example, a friend or a technician) or simply enable remote access so that the user can access their computer, its resources and files from anywhere simply having an active internet connection.
Basically, this feature allows you to use a Windows, Android or iOS device to connect to a Windows 10 computer remotely. This allows us:
- Manage the applications that are installed on the computer.
- Access files and network resources on your computer.
- Leave applications open at the end of the client.
Due to the level of access we grant to our PC, it is vital that We only have it activated if we are going to use or need it. In the rest of the cases, we will have it completely deactivated. In addition, if it is activated, we will configure it correctly to avoid security problems. It is highly recommended to change the default port, something that we will also see in the following paragraphs.
Enable or disable in Windows 10
The configuration in Windows 10 is different from the rest of the versions of this system because the functionality has already been migrated to the new menus. To begin, we will access the Settings menu and click on the option “System”.
In the side panel we will look for the option “Remote Desktop” to access its settings. By default, this function is disabled and we will have to check the “Enable Remote Desktop” option to put it into operation. The system will show us a confirmation message. To deactivate it, we will do the opposite and deactivate the option.
Finally, in User Accounts, we can select the users that can have remote access to the computer. It will be enough “Add or remove…” user accounts so that they may or may not have access to the computer.
Once the function is activated, we will have access to different additional options. The most interesting are found within “Advanced settings”. The first option is activated by our security and requires requiring the computers to use network-level authentication to connect. Microsoft explains that:
“When this option is enabled, users must authenticate on the network before connecting to your computer. Allowing connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with NLA is a more secure authentication method that can help protect your computer from malicious users and software. “
Other advanced options available are those that explain how to allow remote connections from outside the local network or the one that tells us what the remote desktop listening port is. Change port It is not easy and requires advanced knowledge to “touch” the Windows registry:
- Start Registry Editor. (Type regedit in the search box).
- Go to the following registry subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetControlTerminal ServerWinStationsRDP-Tcp
- Search for PortNumber.
- Click Edit> Modify, and then click Decimal.
- Enter the new port number, and then click OK.
- Close Registry Editor and restart your computer.
Some organizations and cybersecurity companies recommend changing the default Remote Desktop port. Many large-scale attacks have been carried out using computers that did not have the default port properly protected.
Enable or disable in Windows 8, 7 and other versions
In older versions of Windows the operation is somewhat different. In this case, everything is done from the traditional Control Panel. The first thing to do to do this is to be on the conventional Windows desktop and open the properties menu of “My team”.
In this window we will click on “Advanced system settings” on the left side of the system and a new configuration window will open. In this window we will select the “Remote access” tab in the upper area.
Here we can see the options for remote assistance and Windows remote desktop. We can enable or disable these services checking or unchecking the corresponding options that appear. We can also access the advanced configuration menus of these characteristics, for example, in the case of remote assistance we can configure the maximum session times or if we allow the guest to control our system or simply see our screen.
Similarly, in the advanced configuration of the remote desktop we must specify specific users who will be able to make use of this feature. The “Add …” button will allow us to add them while the “Remove …” button will serve to disable access to these users. It is important to “keep up to date” this list.
The main difference between remote assistance and Windows remote desktop is that the former is intended so that a user experiencing problems can request a second trusted person to help them solve the problem by sending the corresponding remote assistance request and having control over what the guest makes in the system. Remote desktop, on the other hand, simply requires a login with a user enabled for this function and is specifically programmed so that users can connect from anywhere to their computers or servers without having to install any additional software or perform complicated configurations or manage user permissions.
How to use Remote Desktop on Windows, iOS, and Android
Once we have activated it, using Remote Desktop is not too much of a mystery. From the local team we can write “Connection to remote desktop” In the search box on the task bar, write the name of the PC to which we want to connect and select “Connect”.
On mobile devices we must open the remote desktop application (available for free in the Microsoft Store, in Google Play and, for Mac, in the App Store) to later add the name of the computer to which we want to connect. We will select the name of the added remote computer and wait for the connection to complete.