Remote desktop is a general term for a system which allows a user to interact remotely with a computer, as if physically working at it.
Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection is a proprietary application which can be used to control computers running certain versions of Windows remotely, using a proprietary connection called Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).
Download Remote Desktop Connection
Remote Desktop is included with Windows, but you may need to update to the latest version (This version is already included in Windows 7).
What version of Windows do I have?
- Right Click on Computer or My Computer and select Properties.
- A dialog will pop up displaying the version of Windows you are running. On Vista/7 System Type, it will say either 64-bit or 32-bit
Both updates are required for Windows XP. Reboot your computer after applying these updates.
Note: If you receive the following error while connecting, please install the following patch:
An authentication error has occurred. The specified target is unknown or unreachable.
Fix: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/953760 and reboot after installing.
- This version of Windows requires no updates to the RD client.
You must install the Remote Desktop Connection client to connect to the Remote Apps. The latest version (2.1.1) is required to connect.
- Macintosh Remote Desktop Connection Client
- Open the downloaded dmg file.
- Double click RDC Installer to install the Remote Desktop Client. Walk through the installer with the default options.
Available through the App Store.
Apple Remote Desktop is a proprietary application for remotely controlling Mac OS X machines. Previous versions used a proprietary connection called Apple Remote Desktop (ARD) protocol, but Apple Remote Desktop 2, released in 2004, uses VNC instead.
Virtual Network Computing
Virtual Network Computing (VNC) is a platform-independent remote desktop system, using the Remote FrameBuffer protocol. Several open source and proprietary applications use VNC, including:
- Apple Remote Desktop 2 (proprietary)
- RealVNC (proprietary)
- UltraVNC (open source)
- TightVNC (open source, but potentially insecure)