Remote Desktop Alternatives and Dynamic DNS

While Windows XP Professional users can take advantage of the fact that Remote Desktop is a built-in and easily configured feature, the fact that it isn’t included with other Microsoft operating systems may leave you feeling a little out in the cold. Not to worry, as alternatives do exist. If you’re looking for a free solution, take the time to investigate RealVNC, available at If you’re looking for something with support attached, you may want to take a closer look at GoToMyPC (, a subscription service that allows you to get to your PC from any web browser over a secure connection.

Get home with DynDNS

One of the biggest challenges involved with trying to access your home PC from the office or while on the road is remembering your IP address. Depending upon your ISP, you may have been allocated a fixed IP address that never changes, or one that changes regularly. Obviously changing IP addresses present an issue, since you’ll need to provide the correct address in order to connect to your XP system running Remote Desktop.

Thankfully there’s an easy solution at hand – dynamic DNS. Dynamic DNS is a service that allows you to map your current IP address to a free domain name like Then, you only need to remember that name rather than the address in use. Updates can be performed manually via the website, but a better bet is to download and install one of the many automatic updating tools listed on the site. Once installed, these utilities will automatically update your IP address with the servers whenever your IP address changes, and you’ll always be able to connect. Best of all, this service is free, and you have 45 potential domain names to choose from – good fun!

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.