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PC/Networking Experts - Help Please!

Discussion in 'Technology' started by SManZ, May 9, 2010.

  1. May 9, 2010 at 3:37 PM
    #1
    SManZ

    SManZ [OP] el tráfico más lento se queda derecha

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    I want to create a home PC/laptop setup over the next few months but I don't even know if what I am thinking of is possible.

    I want to buy a new high-end gaming desktop PC and a run of the mill laptop. What I want to do is to be able to turn on my desktop and use it via the laptop on the couch or whereever. The only thing that I would do this way is websurfing, chat, and email. So basically, I turn on the laptop and it connects to the desktop, and I use the laptop as a remote display and input device for the desktop.

    Is this even possible? I don't really care if I need a cable link to do this, though wireless would be preferred. If it can be done, what hardware/software would I need?

    -Thanks!
     
  2. May 9, 2010 at 3:37 PM
    #2
    tcBob

    tcBob Gringo Bandito Moderator

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    yeah no problem, it's built into Windows...it's called Remote Desktop
     
  3. May 9, 2010 at 3:39 PM
    #3
    tcBob

    tcBob Gringo Bandito Moderator

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    forgot to add, the desktop pc will need Windows Professional or higher, not home or home premium, in order to be a remote desktop host
     
  4. May 9, 2010 at 3:43 PM
    #4
    dogbite

    dogbite Well-Known Member

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    you're doing it the hard way by going through your desktop and it's likely you already have wireless capability in your internet modem/router as it is.

    If you don't have a wireless modem or router, then you can add a wireless router after your current cable/DSL company modem box. If you're still on dialup, then you should upgrade your service if possible to cable or DSL.

    You can still share a dialup connection too but you'll need to add a wireless card to your desktop PC. This is a trickier way to do things.

    Any new laptop will have wireless built in.
     
  5. May 9, 2010 at 3:43 PM
    #5
    richard4878

    richard4878 Active Member

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    Look up VNC. It is a free app that allows you to control all the machines on your network. You wont be able to play games as there is a graphical lag, but for surfing this would work fine. It will allow you to control your desktop through your existing wireless network.
     
  6. May 9, 2010 at 3:44 PM
    #6
    tcBob

    tcBob Gringo Bandito Moderator

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    I think he wants to use the apps on his desktop pc, just from the convenience of his laptop
     
  7. May 9, 2010 at 3:47 PM
    #7
    dogbite

    dogbite Well-Known Member

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    He said he wants to surf, email and chat.

    And even if he wants to use the apps, he still needs network connectivity which it sounds like he doesn't have.
     
  8. May 9, 2010 at 4:02 PM
    #8
    SManZ

    SManZ [OP] el tráfico más lento se queda derecha

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    Thanks for all the quick replies!

    tcBob is right - I want to use my desktop remotely via the laptop. Right now I'm running XP Home, but I will be getting Windows 7 with my next PC so I'll make note to look into the Professional edition. Is Home/Student edition ok for the laptop?

    I do have a wireless router right now. So I can use the wireless router and the Remote Desktop utility in Windows to do what I'm looking to do?

    Richard, I will look into VNC as well!

    -Thanks!
     
  9. May 9, 2010 at 4:05 PM
    #9
    tcBob

    tcBob Gringo Bandito Moderator

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    yeah any version will work for the laptop
     
  10. May 9, 2010 at 4:06 PM
    #10
    SManZ

    SManZ [OP] el tráfico más lento se queda derecha

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  11. May 9, 2010 at 4:38 PM
    #11
    dogbite

    dogbite Well-Known Member

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    Glad I was wrong.
     
  12. May 9, 2010 at 4:42 PM
    #12
    SManZ

    SManZ [OP] el tráfico más lento se queda derecha

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    ??? Am I missing something? If there is another/better way to do it I'm all ears!
     
  13. May 9, 2010 at 5:47 PM
    #13
    sp0di

    sp0di Active Member

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    another option for remote desktop is using a service like logmein.com - it's free and you can access the desktop from basically anywhere on the internet, provided you have the username/password for the service and the password to access the computer. Yea - it's pretty safe.

    I do something similar. I use to use a dell mini 9, however the keyboard drove me nuts. I recently replaced that with a iPad. There are 3 different apps you can use. There are several RDP clients for the iPad that you can use and a varity of prices. There are several VNC client applications you can use as well. Finally there is Iginition, which is an app from the logmein.com people.

    There is also the JooJoo which is an "internet tablet" which runs a custom version of linux. Like the iPad, browsing, Mail and Chat will all work. Remoting into a desktop may be a little different. I don't have any first hand experience with it.

    HP rumored to be bringing about a tablet (slate, pad.. whatever) in the near future. It will run WebOS, again rumored. Browsing, Mail and Chat will be similar, but not sure about remote desktop.

    As far as the network goes - almost any laptop/pad/slate/tablet on the market will have wireless. The pad/slate/tablet will most likely not have a wired connection on it. Wireless Access Points are pretty cheap and almost all of them have a built in router. If you ISP is providing you with some type of router, then you will want to put your Wireless router into "Bridged" mode - there is this thing called a double-nat - blah blah blah techobabble - blah. If you set it up that way, all will be happy in accessing your desktop not only from the LAN, but also when you are sitting in starbucks, sucking on the double latte. Okay, triple latte...

    Hope that helps a little.
     
  14. May 9, 2010 at 6:45 PM
    #14
    dogbite

    dogbite Well-Known Member

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    For what you said you wanted to do, surf, chat and email, going through your desktop just seems like added hassle. Just use the web directly on the notebook
     
  15. May 10, 2010 at 7:23 PM
    #15
    SManZ

    SManZ [OP] el tráfico más lento se queda derecha

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    You're right dogbite, it would be easier for me to do these things exclusively on the laptop but there are other things going on that I think would be easier if the desktop was the main machine.

    I have a slew of motorcycle repair manuals on my desktop that I would like to access. Most of my emails are responding to motorcycle service clients so accessing these manuals is important. I know I could just duplicate files on both machines but then I have to do that every time I get a new manual, which is quite often.

    Same thing when I surf and download files - I want them to go to just one spot. I don't want to have to remember which machine its on and then transfer it over when I need it on the other machine.
     
  16. May 10, 2010 at 7:32 PM
    #16
    Jigzor

    Jigzor Well-Known Member

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    Just run a network hard drive or make a little home server to log into when you need a manual.
     
  17. May 11, 2010 at 7:19 AM
    #17
    dogbite

    dogbite Well-Known Member

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    Maybe even go with some of the on-line storage solutions so you have the data available to you on the go. That way you're not tied to the desktop or LAN at all.
     
  18. May 11, 2010 at 1:33 PM
    #18
    Chickenmunga

    Chickenmunga Nuggety

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    Most of what you are looking to do is supported by applications that you already have.

    I'm going to propose four ways of achieving your needs:

    1. Remote Desktop: In your first post, you wanted to "control the desktop through the laptop".
    -In Windows XP or Windows 2000, you have the ability to use Remote Desktop, which comes installed already. There is a little bit of setup involved, but you can find instructions on the web.
    -In Windows 7, you need Pro or Ultimate to have Remote Desktop come installed, but it acts the same. If you don't want to pay for these versions, try searching for "free remote desktop" or "free VNC". Logmein free, tightVNC, etc., should all be pretty good or better.

    This option is best if you have a slow connection or if you are trying to do something that the requires heavy processing power that the laptop couldn't handle. This is also ideal if you are trying to reduce the cost of software you buy - for instance, buy MS Office for the Desktop, then remotely login. No need to buy/install stuff for the laptop.
    Downsides are that (depending on the remote desktop software) there might be limitations on the number of users that can be logged in at the same time, you can't transfer files between the two computers, and both computers need to be on.

    2. You mentioned you have "repair manuals on the desktop that you would like to access and download from the same spot". This can be handled by creating mapped network drives, which became available on Windows 95 and all versions since then (not sure if you could do that earlier, lol). This option would even allow you to share media to non-windows computers if you needed. Do a search for "map network drives".

    This situation is ideal if you want to access the files directly, or if you want to shove files from the laptop to the desktop. This is also great for mixed operating system environments, and should ALWAYS be a supported, free option.
    Downsides are that it's a bit hard to set up sometimes, both computers need to be on, and it can be bandwidth-intensive.

    3. You can buy a network storage device. This is basically a hard drive that is always plugged in that says, "hi, I have stuff to share"

    This is good because you only need to have this drive and one of the computers on at a time. However, this is very similar to option #2, and you have to pay for this device.

    4. You can create an FTP site or website to store and host your files.

    This is good for sharing material to your customers
    Downsides are that this is probably the slowest means for you to access material, and if you have a hosting solution, this also means ongoing costs.



    If you need, I can help you set up #1 or #2.
     
  19. May 20, 2010 at 1:27 PM
    #19
    techgeekwill

    techgeekwill Captain Funk

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    I agree with LogMeIn.com. It's free and it works greats anywhere.

    If you are at home, you could still use LogMeIn, or use Microsoft's remote desktop which works great on the same LAN.

    If you're a relative noob to computers, I'd just go with LogMeIn. It's effortless and browser based, you just need to install a client.
     
  20. May 20, 2010 at 1:30 PM
    #20
    Jreays

    Jreays Member

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    Logmein.com = Great!
     
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