Controlling WINDOWS based system using an Android device: A tutorial on configuring Microsoft Remote Desktop app
I have two computers in my home an old PC and a new PC, both are windows based systems. I use my new pc with great care and one should do, but I treat my old pc very bad. First of all the old pc is a pentium 3, 667 MHZ ( that is 0.667 GHZ) with 192 MB of DDR 1 ram and only 30 GB of hard disk, yes that’s very old, running Windows XP (another reason of hating it). So, I use this pc for testing and downloading purposes only. It’s always running usually for no specific reason :P .
Now, I don’t want to spend extra money on buying a keyboard, mouse and lcd/monitor to control/use this pc. What to do? How to control it?
Eureka: Remote Desktop VS KVM Switch
There are two solutions of the problem one is using KVM swtich and the other is Remote Dekstop. KVM switch is hardware based solution. KVM basically stands for Keyboard, Video, Mouse switch. There are a wide variety of KVM switches available in market. What I did was, I bought a D-link KVM switch, 2 to 1 KVM swtich to be precise, basically you can control 2 different PCs with one keyboard, mouse. My problem was solved temporarily but D-link is a pathetic company, one fine day the switch started malfunctioning and my 20$ were wasted. By the way, I have a very bad experience with D-link devices, prior to using the KVM switch I had used a D-link wireless router and same thing happened to it. I advise you to avoid using D-link devices as much as possible also, recently its been in the news that from security point of view D-link routers are not safe to use, as they have a back door in them.
After my KVM swtich broke down my old pc was finally at rest, maybe it was a good thing for my PC but not for me. I wanted to make it alive but this time I didn’t want to spend money. So, here is when comes Windows Remote Desktop feature comes.
Remote Desktop: A blessing
Ever thought of controlling a computer in your network (local area network : LAN) without sitting in front of it and without the need of any hardware ? Yes, remote desktop can do this. Windows based operating systems have a built in Remote desktop feature, you specify the IP address, username and password of the pc you want to control (In my case, its my old pc) and a screen pops up showing your other pc. That’s it, very simple and to the point. Following figure shows a remote desktop connection being established. Remote PC is running Windows 7 while host system is using Windows 8.
Controlling PC/LAPTOP with an android device
Recently, Microsoft has launched apps of Remote Desktop for both Android and iOS platform. Which means, now its not necessary for you to use a windows based system to control/monitor the remote computer. Lets jump to the configuration part.
Platform: Windows 8 (our remote pc, it will work on Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows Vista etc. too), HTC ONE V (the android device, my device is rooted but its not necessary at all)
Software: Microsoft Remote Desktop version 18.104.22.16815
Assumption: All systems must be residing in the same local area network.
8. To find the IP address, go to network and sharing center, I am using a wired connection so I will be choosing ‘Ethernet’ connection.
Ethernet status will show, click on details and note down the IP address i.e. “10.2.31.164“. I recommend you to hard code your IP address so that, each time your computer restarts, same IP address is assigned to it.
9. Now we need to install the app. I prefer to download the app from Play Store, but unfortunately at my place I can’t download it. Anyway, here is the link to play store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microsoft.rdc.android
12. Click “Install” and the APP will start installing itself.
13. Installation in progress.
14. Click launch and APP will be launched.
This is it, I hope this tutorial helps you. Your feedback is what I need. Thanks