You can control Windows 7 with an iPad using a Remote Desktop App you can download for free through the iTunes store. The Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) has been around for years and allows users to access a PC from another PC on the same network or from half-way around the world. The benefits are always having the computing power of a bulky desktop machine while being able to interface with a slow terminal computer, laptop, or mobile devices such as your iPhone or iPad.
Note: You can use the method discussed in this article on an iPhone, but for practical purposes and ease of use the iPad is better suited for Remote Desktop connections to your PC.
The first thing you’ll want to do is configure your Windows computer to allow Remote Desktop connections. This is usually off by default for security. To enable Remote Desktop connections, right-click My Computer (or Computer in Windows Vista and Windows 7) and then select Properties. Under the Remote tab, make sure both Allow Remote Assistance connections to this computer and Allow connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop (less secure) are enabled.
Once that is done, you’ll want to figure out what the IP address of the machine you want to control is. To discover the IP address, go to Start and type cmd in the search box (or click Run to get the box in older versions of Windows). Once you hit enter, the command prompt will open up. Type ipconfig /all and hit enter. The IP address for your network adapter will be listed within all of that data.
If you’re going to be accessing the machine via remote desktop frequently, you’ll want to give the machine a static IP address.
Configure The Router For Remote Desktop Port Forwarding
If you’re going to be accessing the machine from away from home, you’ll need to configure the router to forward the Remote Desktop port to that machine. Since all router configuration pages are different, here’s the basics on how to do that: Log in to the router via the web browser (usually either http://192.168.1.1 or http://192.168.0.1). Once you’re logged in to the router look for the port forwarding section. It will ask you for a port number and an IP address. You will enter 3389 for the port and then the static IP address you gave the computer in the steps above.
You’ll also need to know the external IP address of your router.
Download App For iPad Remote Desktop Connection
There are a few different apps that do Remote Desktop connection. Remote Desktop Lite is a good option if you’re interested in trying it out. When you first launch the app, you will need to go in an put in the details from the steps above to configure the connection. You will need the port number 3389, the static IP address of your computer (workstation). If you will be accessing the computer away from home, you will want to put in the external IP address of the router you found by clicking the link above. Since you already setup port forwarding from 3389 to the static IP address of your computer, when you try to access the external router’s IP address using a Remote Desktop connection it will automatically go to the machine you specified.
You can visit the developer’s website for more information on Remote Desktop Lite.