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My home computer is networked with my laptop via remote desktop. Is there a maximum distance they can be physically separated?

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  • Yes - the strength of the signal
    – Dave
    Jul 23, 2015 at 9:58

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For a connection over the internet

Short answer: no

Long answer: The distance limit would simply be wherever there is internet service.

There are definitely places where you would not be able to connect (middle of Antarctica while riding a snow mobile, relaxing float through deep space, or any number of other, less extreme examples). However, anywhere on earth the limit is not so much the "distance" and very much the availability of internet access. You could be entirely across the earth, and, as long as both laptop and home computer are connected to the internet, you should be able to connect via remote desktop.

For a connection over a LAN

Short answer: yes. Probably around 35-100 meters between the device the transmitter being used.

Long answer: The distance limit would depend on how the computers are networked together.

According to this link, the max distance would be determined based on many factors, not the least of which being the 802.11 protocol being used. The link also lists the strengths of the transmitter and the obstructions between the transmitter and the computers as variables in the possible distances possible.

If you are using WiFi Direct, this excellent question and answers found on stack overflow indicates that the range would again depend on "line-of-site" and strength of the transmitters.

The above mentioned Q&A indicates that the MAX range for WiFi Direct would be about 200 meters (this would be outdoors with no obstructions and a strong transmitter) whereas a range from 35 meters to 100 meters is more likely to be what you actually experience. My research indicates that this is true for both WiFi direct AND going through a wireless router.

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