If you need to access Windows applications through your Mac, a remote desktop connection is the way to go. Here's how to set up and use the connection. Today's technology has come a long way in closing the divide between Windows and Mac applications, especially in the enterprise. However, a gap still exists for some and requires a bridge to move between computing environments.
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For Mac users, the stalwart tool has been the Microsoft Remote Desktop connection. Available now through the Mac App store, it allows users to remotely connect to a Windows desktop to access local files, applications, and network resources. Click the blue "App Store" icon in your dock. Or, you can download it from our sister site Download.
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Once you've accessed the Mac App Store, use the search bar at the top right of the screen to search for "Microsoft Remote Desktop. To begin the download, click the blue "Get" button. This app is free, so no price will be listed. Next, open the application by clicking through the grey "Launchpad" icon and clicking on the Remote Desktop app icon.
If you think you'll be frequently using this remote desktop connection, now would be a good time to set it in your dock.
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At this point you'll need to enable remote access on your target PC. For a Windows 8 machine, the fastest way to get this done is to search for "Allow remote access to your computer" and click on that when it comes up. You may need an administrator password to complete this step. Under the "System Properties" box you should see "Remote Desktop" and the button labeled "Allow remote connections to this computer" should be selected. Next, you'll need to select the users who will be able to be accessed through the remote desktop connection.
Now, search for "System" and click it when it appears. Turn off hibernation and sleep settings for the target PC, as you won't be able to access it remotely if it falls asleep. While still in "System," it's a good time to go ahead and get your full PC name if you don't already have it, as you'll need it to set up the connection. Click on "Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings" to find the full PC name and write it down.
Enabling a Windows 7 computer is a little different, but you can find out how to do that here. Head back to your Mac and click the "New" button at the top left of the Microsoft Remote Desktop screen. You'll be prompted to fill in quite a few fields. The first thing you'll need to input is the connection name.
This is simply what you want to call the connection and it has no real bearing on the connection itself. For example, you could call it "John's work computer," or "Jennifer's PC. Next, you'll need to input the PC name the one you wrote down from earlier , or the IP address so your Mac knows where to find your PC. The next line down allows you to configure a Gateway, which would let you connect to virtual desktops or session-based desktops that are on your company's network.
Check with your network administrator to see if there is a gateway you are to use.
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No worries, Royal TSX got you covered! Built-in credential management.
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Safe team-sharing features. Share a list of connections, without sharing your personal credentials. Command Tasks and Key Sequence Tasks make it easy to quickly automate repetitive tasks. Dynamic Folders allow you to dynamically import data from external sources.
Assign, reuse and link credential objects to connections and folders.
Connections can inherit credentials from the parent folder. Access credentials from other documents and external sources. Sensitive data in your document is encrypted and can also be password protected. Lock down shared documents and keep passwords confidential.
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The ability to assign credentials to connections by name allows you to share the document containing the connections without compromising your credentials. Streamline your workflow with Tasks. Use replacement tokens to access connection properties or credential information. Execute tasks in context of one or more connections.
Create your own tasks to open and close VPN connections automatically. Common and useful tasks, like ping and traceroute are built-in and can be executed as needed. Key sequence tasks are used to invoke keyboard input in one or more connections. Automate long, complex and repetitive tasks and execute them in one or more active connections. The Secure Gateway implementation is based on SSH tunnels port forwarding which is an industry standard for secure communication between systems. No hacky approach using external applications!
Tunneling support in Royal TSX is tightly integrated.
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A Secure Gateway component is included in Royal Server. Installation and configuration is done within minutes. Royal Server also offers centralised logging for tunneled connections. Dynamic Folder scripts can be executed manually or automatically when a document is loaded. Dynamic Credentials allow you to provide only metadata Name, etc. RoyalJSON is a unidirectional, human-read-and-writable data format for importing data from external sources.
It's easy to write and a powerful way to get data stored outside of Royal TSX into the app. You can assign a credential to connections by specifying the name of the credential. This allows you to share a document containing only connections while your personal credential is stored in a private document, protected by your password.
Royal TSX can handle documents opened by multiple users at the same time and allows you to synchronize document changes without the need for a SQL database back-end! Simply use a network share or cloud storage service such as Dropbox.
Documents created using these password management systems can be opened and the contained credentials can be used just like regular Royal TSX credentials. The navigation panel can be set to auto hide when available screen space is at a premium. Connection tabs can have custom colors and icons assigned to them.