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Published on 08.19.08 by Brent Trahan

How to Use Remote Technologies Included in Vista

Learn about Remote Desktop and Remote Assistance in Windows Vista and how to use them.

Windows Vista includes two programs that allow you to remote to a computer from another computer. When you remote to a computer, you view, and interact with in most cases, with a computer in a different location as the computer you’re using.


Let’s say Jim works in an office and is out of town for a week. Jim’s boss calls asking for a report ASAP. There’s no way Jim can go to his office and send the report to his boss because he’s thousands of miles away on vacation.

Jim remotes to his office computer from his laptop at his hotel using Remote Desktop and e-mails the report to his boss from his office computer.

Remote Desktop

The most common remote software used in Windows Vista is Remote Desktop. Remote desktop allows you to remote to a computer and interact with its desktop. Remote Desktop is mostly used in internal networks, but it can be used over the internet if your internet connection has a static IP address.

For security reasons Remote Desktop is turned off by default. Before you can use Remote Desktop you need to enable it.

Once Remote Desktop is enabled on the remote computer you can remote to it from your computer.

Remote Assistance

Remote Assistance uses the same technology as Remote Desktop but makes it easier to establish remote connections across the internet and easier to use by non tech savvy people. Remote Assistance is meant to be used by people who need computer help.

By default Remote Assistance is enabled in Windows, but you can check to make sure it’s enabled on your computer.

A person in need of help can request remote assistance from someone.

When the person receives the help request they can connect to the person’s computer remotely with Remote Assistance.

Still need help? Ask your computer question now.

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