Remote access Networking
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In computer networking, remote access technology allows a user to log in to a system as an authorized user without being physically present at its keyboard. Remote access is commonly used on corporate computer networks but can also be used on home networks.
The most sophisticated form of remote access enables users on one computer to see and interact with the actual desktop user interface of another computer.
Setting up remote desktop support involves configuring software on both the host (the local computer controlling the connection) and target (the remote computer being accessed). When connected, this software opens a window on the host system containing a view of the target's desktop.
Current versions of Microsoft Windows include Remote Desktop Connection software. However, this software package only supports target computers running Professional, Enterprise or Ultimate versions of the operating system, making it unsuitable for use with many home networks. For Mac OS X computers, the Apple Remote Desktop software package is designed for business networks and sold separately. For Linux, various remote desktop software programs exist.
Many remote desktop solutions are based on Virtual Network Computing technology. Software packages based on VNC work across multiple operating systems. The speed of VNC and any other remote desktop software varies, sometimes performing as effectively the same as the local computer but other times exhibiting sluggish responsiveness due to network latency.
Remote Access to Files
Basic remote network access allows files to be read from and written to the target, even without remote desktop capability in place. Virtual Private Network technology provides remote login and file access functionality across wide area networks. A VPN requires client software be present on host systems and VPN server technology installed on the target network.
As an alternative to VPNs, client/server software based on the secure shell SSH protocol can be also be used for remote file access. SSH provides a command line interface to the target system.
File sharing within a home or other local area network is generally not considered to be a remote access environment.