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Hi I was wondering what software I can use to access my and other machines remotely? I used ssh which is nice but i don't know how it would be like on windows. (I assume its the same idea but windows console instead of a bash terminal?)

Windows has a lot of applications that require GUI/MouseClicks. Actually I don't know a single ssh or vpn command line installer not that i'm complaining (but is helpful if you can mention some). I haven't use a VPN, is this taking control of a users screen/session? Or is it another instance/session as if you logged in as a different user on that box?

What solutions are at my disposal for windows? (7)

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3 Answers 3

VNC (requires an app installed on your computer) or RDP (built-in with Windows).

VMC works pretty well for support work. It allows you to "look over the shoulder" of someone and address issues, or you can use it to control your own systems. There are many flavors of VNC, from free to not free. And you can set the system up with high levels of flexibility. Definitely more of a power user system.

RDP (or RDC) is Microsoft's built-in remote desktop system. I do remote access from my iPad frequently for sys admin stuff, and RDP works very well for this. You have to turn it on on the host computer, and a compatible version has to be installed on the client to be able to reach out and connect. It has fewer settings than VNC.

For either solution, you'll need some way to get onto the same network as your host computer, either using port forwarding on a router or a VPN connection.

There are also hosted remote access systems, such as LogMeIn (really good), but these usually require subscriptions and can get expensive. The benefits of these are that you usually don't need a VPN and you don't need a client application installed to gain access to your host computer.

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Team Viewer is free for personal use. It has the ability to be stand alone rather than installed and can work from iDevices, OSX, Linux and so forth.

For a free product I find it works very well and the feature set is expansive.

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Just to be complete windows does have a remote shell much similar to SSH called WinRM (Windows Remote Management). However this is really for when you have a Server 2008 R2 "core" install, when the the windows desktop is not even installed on the server.

The standard method to do remote management, as per music2year suggests, is to VPN in to a protected network then over the VPN link use RDP to get your own session for a full desktop.

The reason you do a VPN first instead of just leaving RDP open to the internet is that RDP is a VERY popular target to attack and there have been some recent critical vulnerabilities in RDP that where found, so it is safer to put the RDP connection behind a VPN firewall first.

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