In this two-part post I will get a little bit geeky (but not too much). It’s about accessing your computer at home from all over the world. This can be very useful if you need access to an application that only runs on your desktop-machine or if you have to take a look at a file that you didn’t put to the cloud.
(This is an iPad-screenshot!)
For this to work you will need to ensure this preconditions:
– Your computer at home must be up and running, connected to the Internet and must run some kind of Server to connect to (like VNC).
– Your mobile device (may be your laptop, but could also be an iPad or iPhone) must also be connected to the Internet and run an appropriate Client (like Remoter).
– (if applicable) If you are using a router with your home network it must be set up to forward the Server-port to the computer the Server is running on.
These points are relatively easy to accomplish, since many of the Server-products come with simple install-routines and Clients are also kind of painless.
There’s only one little obstacle: How will you know the IP-address of your Internet-connection at home (you will need this to connect to your desktop-computer)?
You can find out your current IP-address on many websites (like http://www.mybrowserinfo.com/). But in most cases this will not help you in the long run – most Internet-providers will use “dynamic IPs” and thus will not guarantee to give you the same IP-address every time you connect (even if you have a permanent Internet-connection your provider may interrupt the connection from time to time…).
The solution for this problem is a thing called “Dynamic DNS” (DynDNS). This service – offered by different providers – will permanently map the particular IP-address of your Internet-connection at home to a (host-)name (like dyndns.yourname.com). This name can than be used on your mobile device to connect to your computer at home.
Known DynDNS-providers are:
dyn.com: They used to have a basic free plan to use their service, but they shut that one down 😦
no-ip.com: They still have a basic free plan, but every 30 days they nag you to log in and renew 😦
There’s good news if you have a domain with “Namecheap.com”: They have a free, not-nagging DynDNS-service for you to use 🙂
Even if you do not have a domain with them yet, their domain-prices start at 7.58$ per year, which is half of the price you pay for the cheapest paid DynDNS-plan at “no-ip.com” (plus you get your own domain…).
In part 2 of this post I will show how to set up a DynDNS-client to permanently update your DynDNS-address.
Remoter Pro (VNC, SSH & RDP) for iOS