There might be times when you need to access your Windows computer at home or the office, but all you have is your iOS device. Here we take a look at RDP Lite which provides access to your Windows PC.
Here is an excerpt from the Developer’s description:
“It enables you to have full, secure access to your work computer through Wi-Fi or the phones network (EDGE). Using your iPhone, you can connect to your Windows Computer and see the files, programs, and resources exactly as you would if you were sitting at your desk, just on a smaller screen.”
Setup Windows for Remote Desktop Connections
In Windows 7 or Vista make sure you’re allowing Remote Control of the machine…right-click Computer and select Properties.
Then under the Remote tab select the level of security for Remote connections.
In XP right-click My Computer and select the Remote tab. Then under Remote Desktop check Allow users to connect remotely to this computer.
If you don’t allow Remote Desktop you’ll get a connection error when trying to connect. Of course this error could be for other reasons like no Wi-Fi Connectivity or the machine you’re trying to connect to is turned off.
Install and Setup RDP Lite
Simply download and install RDP Lite from the App Store on your device or from the iTunes App Store.
After it’s installed, tap Menu then Edit Connections…
Now enter in the IP address of the machine you want to connect to. Notice it uses port 3389 by default so you might need to set that in Port Forwarding on your router.
If you have several machines on your network, then RDP settings will be saved for each of them in the Host List.
After connecting to one of your machines you’ll just need to log in just like RDP on the desktop. Tap on the keyboard icon to start the login.
Then type in your password and login.
Here is a look at it in Landscape View.
Now you can access anything on your desktop right from your iPhone or iPod Touch! You can move the screen around and make it larger for easy access to what you want on the desktop.
During the remote session, the machine you’re logged into will show the login screen.
Here we accessed the Control Panel and tapped on Date and Time.
Then we were able to adjust the Time and Time Zone on out Windows 7 machine. When you’re done doing what you need to do on the system, tap on the Menu icon at the bottom of the screen.
Then tap on Disconnect to close the session.
Or if you log into the machine you’re having a remote session with, you’ll see the following message telling you the session has been closed.
Here we did a remote session into an XP Pro machine. Click on the third button to zoom in and out of a specific view.
Connect to Windows Home Server
If you have WHS you’ll be pleased to find that you can remote into it as well.
Then you can open up the Windows Home Server console and manage the server.
There is a handy help section built in so if you’re having problems or need to know how to do a certain task you can pull it up for more information.
One caveat we ran into is sometimes the RDP Lite controls for Menu and Keyboard would disappear and it there wasn’t an easy way to get them back. We had to disconnect the remote connection and log back in to get them back. They also offer a Pro version which we didn’t try out, but it touts better keyboard controls, better mouse functions, and can handle 20 different Host configurations.
This can come in handy if someone on your network needs help with troubleshooting or if you want an easy way to access different machines on your network. If you need a way to remote into your computers from your iOS device from a Wi-Fi connection, RDP Lite does a pretty good job. We weren’t able to test it out on the iPhone over 3G, but according to the description you can do it. Then you can access your machine at work from where ever you have your iPhone.
If you’ve used the iPhone or iPad version of RDP Lite leave us a comment and let us know.
Programmer by day, geek by night, The Geek, also known as Lowell Heddings, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on Google+ if you'd like.
- Published 08/26/10