The Remote Desktop Protocol has been around for years. Microsoft has improved their Mac client and it’s now easier than ever to connect to your PC with Remote Desktop Connection. Remote Desktop Connection comes included with Office 2011, or you can download it directly from Microsoft for no charge. In an evolving era where homes and workplaces have heterogeneous technologies, utilizing Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is becoming increasing popular as workers use different types of computers and Operating System while still needing to access their Windows machines.
How to Use Remote Desktop Connection
If you have Office 2011 on the Mac, then Remote Desktop Connection is already installed. Otherwise, you’ll need to download it. You’ll need to know a few things about the computer you want to connect to, such as its IP address, a user account on that computer, and the user’s password.
Note: If you are attempting to connect to a PC outside of your home network, such as a workplace, then addition setup will need to be done for the workplace router to port-forward your RPD request to the computer you want to connect to. Usually, this will be done by a system admin at work.
To get the IP address of your PC, click Start and type cmd in the run box and hit Enter. At the prompt, type ipconfig /all and hit enter. Your network adapter’s IP address will be listed there and might resemble something like 192.168.1.13.
Once you have the information you need, launch the Remote Desktop Connection program and type in the IP address of the computer you want to connect to.
If that computer responds, you will then need to input the user name and password for that computer.
You should then see your Windows desktop in a Window on your Mac computer. You can re-size the Window to make it as large as you want, then work on that PC just as you would if you were sitting at your desk. Use programs, send emails, type documents–you will be able to do all of these things from your Mac.
You might then want to configure some preferences for RDC. To do so, click RDC from the menu at the top of the Mac screen. Select Preferences. From here, you can choose to “Add user information to your keychain” and “Reconnect automatically if disconnected.” You can also tweak the Display, Keyboard, Sound, Drives, Printers, Applications and Security settings as you see fit.
In addition, you can use Dropbox on both computers to quickly move documents back and forth between computers. This saves you from having to map network drives and also helps you keep folders on both machines synced.
To run RDC on the Mac, you must be running Mac OS X version 10.5.8 or a later version of Mac OS.
If you have any questions regarding using RDC to connect to your PC through your Mac computer, join our free computer forums and ask.