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Using Remote Desktop: Five quick tips

Get tips for using Remote Desktop to bridge the distance between yourself and the machines you're helping to remotely manage.

Are you far from the physical machines you're helping to manage? Here are five quick tips for using Remote Desktop to bridge that distance.

1: If the only way to connect to the remote server is through a local computer, don't make that computer an open door by allowing people to connect to the server without credentials -- and do not cache passwords if there's a chance that the console you'll be connecting from can be physically compromised (i.e., it's not behind a locked door).

2: Limit the needed connection bandwidth to the remote server. Even if you're on a high-speed network, the less bandwidth you use for the Remote Desktop connection, the better.

3: Plan for how many connections you'll be allowing at once, and restrict them. Most of the time you will never need to allow more than one person at a time to connect via Remote Desktop, so enforce that on the server side.

4: Consider alternate remote-connection protocol, such as VNC. Remote Desktop should do the job, but if you're connecting to the server from non-Windows clients, consider a remote control system that works across OS platforms. Note, technology like VNC has its own set of security protocols and network ports that typically have nothing to do with Windows, so you'll need to set it up carefully.

5: Consider setting up a remotely manageable reboot utility. A technician usually has to go into the network center and reboot himself. You can get around this with a utility that can perform a remote reboot without human intervention, such as RemBoot. As a VAR, this may be an additional service to add to your offerings.

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This was last published in April 2007

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