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What is remote desktop

Updated on December 17, 2011

As the need for communication grows, we find more creative ways to be able to assist each other. A prime example of this is remote desktop. As the name suggests, remote desktop allows your PC desktop to be remotely accessed and controlled. This article aims to give you a better understanding of remote desktop.

What is remote desktop?

Remote desktop enables the possibility for your to allow remote access to to your computer as you see it. With this an authorized person will be able to log into your computer and work on your computer like they were in front of it.Remote desktop generally works with a server/client relation, where your system act as the server to which the client (remote) connects.

Why do I need remote desktop?

Remote desktop is used for and array of various functions. IT people will use this functionality to gain access to a remote server, to do configurations, installations, and preform maintenance. Support people can quickly help you remotely to solve problems or/and even show you how to work with programs that you are having problems with. Remote desktop is a simple yet elegant solution to assist with various tasks.

What are the dangers of remote desktop?

Don't be fooled, remote desktop does have security complications. Should a person who is incompetent, malicious or whatever negative reason gain access to your connection, you could be compromised, even suffer damages. The same goes or viruses that could gain remote access to your system. For this reason, make sure the connecting party is trustworthy or you can have a point of responsibility to refer a matter to.

The remote desktop servers/clients do offer security mechanisms for authentication. Like any password, make sure you choose a strong password.

Choosing one...

There are some technical details and considerations surrounding remote desktop. As remote desktop does use ports on your system, the following must be taken into account.

  • Anti-virus / Firewall - Your application may block traffic on the remote desktop port, always check to see if access is allowed
  • Router / NAT / Rules - To gain access from the Internet to your computer may require configuration in your router to allow the external traffic to terminate locally.

Each remote desktop works differently, some like Teamviewer uses a clever way to bypass some of these limitations by utilizing port 80 which is generally open (source) . You will need to look into the options available and select the best solution for your environment.

Where do I get remote desktop?

Most operating systems do have a native server (Windows - RDP, Ubuntu - VNC). There is a large variety of applications available. a nice resource is and a detailed comparison is available at Depending on your operating system (e.g. Windows) you can choose a suitable solution.


This article is focusing on the concept and understanding of remote desktop. There are a large number of ways to enable and configure remote desktops, and for the unexperienced this may become very tricky without some other understating such a port forwarding when trying to make external connections.


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    • profile image

      sandeep yadav 5 years ago

      Very interesting!

    • profile image

      Gopi Chandran 5 years ago

      This content is very useful...........and interesting tooo,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,thanks for your effort

    • Dee42 profile image

      Dee42 6 years ago from Beautiful Arkansas

      Alright!! Cool hub and very interesting. I just love gadgets.

    • lost_and_unfound profile image

      lost_and_unfound 6 years ago from South Africa



      thanks, glad i could provide a good read


      thanks for the feedback, appreciate the comments

      "Computers today have a lot more protection in them" - True, computers do, people are still not applying basic security, numerous times the user themselves are at fault for breaches.

      "information is in mass abundance" - I try to keep some articles without "too much tech talk" and getting the concept across. Also to keep the OS/Software/Geeks trolls at bay. Will however site sources in future.

      I have edited the hub and made relevant changes.

    • profile image

      Jennifer Angel 6 years ago

      Good content, but you should not scare people. Computers today have a lot more protection in them, then you give credit here.

      How do you know teamviewer bypasses some of these issues? You speak as though you have the program but are not willing to share the bypasses available.

      General Technology information is in mass abundance, it would behoove you to be more in depth.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 6 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Very interesting!

      Gosh, the idea of someone having access to my machine just bothers me though.

      Since first getting a computer....I created and endured more problems than anyone else could have provided for me....I think it was a decent learning experience though.