Accessing your work computer from home is more complicated than accessing your home computer from any other computer. Most companies have security measures in place to prevent anyone from accessing the company network from outside. If you want to access your company's network, you'll need to request remote access permission from it using a program called a VPN or virtual private network.
Part 1 of 2: install the VPN on the office computer
Step 1. Request remote access to your computer
Many companies ask for permission to access the VPN. Call the IT department or visit their site to request access.
- Depending on the nature of your job and your company's Internet use policy, this department may be able to help you immediately.
- If he asks your supervisor for permission, you should contact him and ask him to do the process on your behalf.
- You are probably going to have to provide a username and password to access it.
Step 2. Install the VPN software on your computer
You must install it on the work computer to be able to access it from the home computer. Go to your company's IT department site to download the software and follow the instructions. There are usually instructions that walk you through the installation steps.
- The installation instructions might be different if you have a Mac or a computer with Windows. Make sure you read the full instructions depending on your operating system.
- If the IT department does not confirm the computer you will be working on, the technician might give you instructions to set up the computer yourself.
- Call or email the help desk if you have trouble during installation or configuration.
Step 3. Connect to the VPN
Once installed, you will have to activate the VPN. On a PC, click To start up → Programs and find the name of the software. Double-click on its name to open it. You may be asked to enter your username and password. The procedure will be different depending on the company regulations.
- If you are using a Mac, you need to go to the folder Applications and click on the VPN software you just installed.
- It should automatically connect after installing it. Read the instruction manual or contact your IT department.
Step 4. Activate Remote Desktop on the work computer
It allows you to connect to it. For Windows users, click To start up → Control panel → System → Remote office. Check the box that indicates Allow users to remotely connect to this computer.
- Write down the full name of the desktop computer. You will need it later to connect to it. The computer name should be listed below the box you just checked.
- If you have a Mac, you can go to the App Store and download Microsoft Remote Desktop.
Step 5. Leave the office computer on when you leave
You must leave it connected to the network to be able to access it remotely. Launch the VPN program on this computer if necessary. It depends on the configuration set up by the IT department.
Step 6. Check the installation conditions on your home computer
Before you can install VPN software on your computer, you need to make sure that it supports it. Conditions will vary depending on the company. Typically, you are going to need an up-to-date operating system and some amount of RAM (and hard drive memory). These conditions will also be different for Mac users and Windows computer users.
- You should find this information on the IT department's website.
- If you have any questions about this, you should ask them directly.
Step 7. Download the VPN client to your home computer
Open the VPN client on the home computer just like you did on the work one. The installation steps should also be guided. Make sure you follow them.
- If you have any problems, the IT department might ask you to bring in the computer to install and configure the software.
- If it doesn't install it for you, technicians might give you the software to take home with installation and setup instructions.
- Call or email the help desk if you have any problems during installation or configuration.
Step 8. Launch the VPN client on the home computer
On a PC, click To start up → Programs and find the name of the software. Double-click on its name to open it. You may need to enter your username and password at this time.
- If you are using a Mac, go to the folder Applications and click on the VPN software you want to install.
Step 9. Access the remote desktop from home
You should now have access to the remote desktop from the home computer to connect to the office computer. If you are using Windows, click To start up → Accessories → Communications → Remote office. Once you have opened the remote desktop, type the name of the desktop computer and confirm by clicking To log in. You should now be logged into the work computer and you can work from home.
- You must be connected to the VPN before you can connect to the remote desktop.
- If you are using a Mac, click Microsoft Remote Desktop.
- If you have trouble finding the office computer on the network, contact the IT department.
Step 10. Observe the differences in speed
Be aware that the home computer may be slower than the office computer. The VPN connection speed depends on the internet connection speed at home. The larger it is, the faster the connection will be. Remember that the information you send and receive is encrypted. The encryption process could also slow down data transfer.
Step 11. Do not use the VPN for personal matters
Your business can see what you are doing when you use it. It's best to avoid viewing personal things while you're on the VPN. You wouldn't want to get into trouble at work. Just minimize the remote desktop window if you want to see something personal.
Part 2 of 2: Get remote access without going through the IT department
Step 1. Try a service like Chrome Remote Desktop
If your company does not have an IT department or VPM, you can securely access and share information between multiple computers. Chrome Remote Desktop is a free app that you can use whether you have a Windows computer or a Mac. If you are not already using Google Chrome, you will need to download it before you can use this application.
Step 2. Install Chrome Remote Desktop on the computers to be connected
Go to the Chrome Web Store to download the app. Click the blue button + Add to Chrome at the top right of the window. Click on Add.
Step 3. Authorize Chrome Remote Desktop
The first time you launch the app, you will be asked to authorize it. This allows it to access your email address, other computers with Chrome Remote Desktop, and send or receive messages so that the computers can communicate with each other.
You shouldn't have to authorize the app every time
Step 4. Enable remote access
Create a Google account if you don't already have one. Open a new tab in Google Chrome, click Applications below the search bar and open the Chrome Remote Desktop search bar. In the field My computers, click on To start up → Enable remote connections. You will then need to install Chrome Remote Host Service.
- If you are using Windows, enter the PIN code (which you choose) and click Yes to install the service. It should then download and launch automatically. Once installed, you need to confirm your Google account and re-enter the PIN code. The activated computer should now appear in the list under My computers. You will need administrator privileges to install the service on the computer.
- If you're using a Mac, Chrome will start downloading the.dmg file. Click on Save, then on chrome remote desktop.dmg in the download bar. Use Finder to find it and double click on the file. Follow the instructions to complete the installation, then go back to Chrome and select OK. Enter your PIN and confirm. A System Preferences dialog should appear and you should confirm your account and PIN. When you are done, a message should appear letting you know that remote connections have been enabled. Click on OK and the computer should now appear in the list of available computers.
Step 5. Access your computer
It must be on and connected to the internet to work. Open a tab in Google Chrome, click Applications and open the Chrome Remote Desktop app. Select To start up in the field My computers and choose the computer you want to access. Enter the PIN code to access it and click on To log in.
- To end the session, place the mouse in the top middle of the page, click on the drop-down menu and select Disconnect.
Step 6. Share your computer with someone else
You can share it with a co-worker or friend who has the Chrome Remote Desktop app installed on their computer. Open it on the computer in question, click Remote help and confirm by pressing the button To share. You will receive a unique access code that you can share with the other person. When she enters the code, she will be able to see your computer screen.
- This access code can only be used for one session.
- Click on Stop sharing or press Ctrl + Alt + Esc (on Mac: Opt + Ctrl + Esc) to end the session.
- Pay attention to who you are sharing the connection with. They will have access to your files, emails and applications on your computer.