Introduction to Remote Settings

Remote settings includes configuration of Remote Assistance and Remote Desktop, you can access a computer running Windows with another computer that is connected to the same network or over the Internet just as if you were sitting in front of the server. You will be able to use your mouse and keyboard to access the desktop, taskbar, and Start menu. You will be able to run programs and access all of the configuration tools.
Remote Assistance is designed for support personnel to connect to an active login session to assist or troubleshoot a problem. Unlike Remote Desktop, Remote Assistance allows the user to interact with the current session including seeing the same computer screen. If you decide to share control of your computer with your remote user, you both will be able to control the mouse cursor.
To keep the system secure and to make sure you want the option available, you must first install Remote Assistant as a feature. It must also be enabled in the Remote tab of the System properties dialog box. Next, you will have to invite the person using email or an instant message. You can also reuse an invitation that you sent before. After the person accepts the invitation, a two-way encrypted connection will be created.
To start a Remote Assistance session and to create an invitation, open the Start Menu, click All Programs, Select Maintenance, and click Windows Remote Assistance. See Figure below.

Remote Settings 1

Figure: Windows Remote Assistance

As with most enterprise versions of Windows including Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2, you can remotely connect to a server using Remote Assistance and Remote Desktop.

Before you can use Remote Assistance with Windows Server 2008 R2, you must first install the Remote Assistance feature.

Before you can use Remote Desktop, you must first enable it using System Properties.
In addition, by default, administrators and users are members of the Remote Desktop users group and have access to Remote Desktop.

Remote Desktop allows a user running the Remote Desktop program to access a server remotely. By default, Windows Server 2008 R2 supports two remote desktop connections (three if you also count the console mode, which is the active connection as if you were actually sitting in front of the server keyboard and monitor). Unlike Remote Assistance, Remote Desktop is installed but must be enabled before you connect to the server. To enable Remote Desktop, open the System Properties and select one of the following settings:

  • Allow connections from computer running any version of Remote Desktop (less secure).
  • Allow connections running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication (more secure).

Network Level Authentication is an authentication method that completes user authentication before you establish a full Remote Desktop connection and the logon screen appears. The Allow connections running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication (more secure) option is available to the Remote Desktop program that is included with Windows 7 or you may download a newer version of Remote Desktop from Microsoft. To determine if your version of Remote Desktop supports Network Level Authentication, start a Remote Desktop Connection (under Accessories), click the icon in the upper-left corner of the Remote Desktop Connection dialog box, and then click About. If it supports Network Level Authentication, it will say “Network Level Authentication supported. By default, administrators and users are members of the Remote Desktop Users.  Therefore, for someone to connect to a computer running Remote Desktop, you should add his or her user account to one of these groups.