If you have been experiencing any connection issues or sluggish performance please complete up to Step 3 and then reference the “If you are experiencing performance issues” appendix that follows after Step 5.

Step 1:

Log into your local machine that you will be connecting to the remote computer with. Before you connect to your remote machine there is certain information that you will need to gather for it. Open your internet browser and navigate to this page: http://myip.sas.rutgers.edu. Here you will find your IP Address listed as well as information regarding whether you are on a public or private network. (Figure 1) If you have a public IP address skip to Step 2, otherwise follow Step 1A.


Screenshot of "http://myip.sas.rutgers.edu"

Step 1A:

Since you are on a private network you will need to connect to the Rutgers University Virtual Private Network (VPN). Follow the steps listed to download and install the VPN client on your local machine from here:

Once you have successfully connected to the VPN proceed to Step 2.

Step 2:

Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Remote Desktop Connection. (Figure 2) If you found Remote Desktop Connection and launched it, continue to Step 3.

If you cannot find Remote Desktop Connection through this method, go to Step 2A.

Screenshot of desktop: Click start, all programs, accessories, and then Remote Desktop Connection


Step 2A:

Click Start, click on the search bar and type “Run” without the quotes, click Run to open the prompt (Figure 3). When it comes up type “mstsc.exe” without the quotes and click OK (Figure 4). This will launch Remote Desktop Connection.

Desktop screenshot: Search for "Run" (without the quotes) in the search bar


Desktop screenshot: Type in "mstsc.exe" (without quotes) and click OK

Step 3:

In the Computer field, type the host name or the IP address of the computer to which you want to connect (Figure 5).

If you were given a port number to enter along with the computer name/IP address then add a colon and the connection port number after the IP address. If you need to enter a port in the Computer field it will look similar to Figure 6 just without the placeholders.


Screenshot of Remote Desktop Connection window: Type the IP address into Computer field


Re,pte Desktop Connection window screenshot: Add colon after IP address then port number in the computer field.

Step 4:

Press Connect. At this point you will be presented with a login screen (Figure 7). This is where you are going to input your User Name and Password for the remote computer you are connecting to. Enter the correct information in these fields and click OK.


Login Screen screenshot: Enter your credentials and press OK

Step 5:

You will next be presented with a box that warns, “The identity of the remote computer cannot be verified. Do you want to connect anyway?” Press YES to this question. (Figure 8) You will now be successfully connected to the remote machine.

Verification Pop-up screenshot: Press "Yes" at the bottom on the window

Appendix 1:

If you are experiencing performance issues:

Complete the first steps in the instructions up to Step 3 and then press the Show Options button instead of Connect (Figure 9). This will drop down an extension of the window that will present more options. In the Performance tab you will select which connection speed you will connect to the remote computer with. Below you will find three options for connection speed and the separate experiences you will have when using these options (if you would like to get a firm understanding of your connection speeds open your web browser and navigate to http://www.speedtest.net and press Begin Test):


Remote Desktop Connection screenshot: Press "Show Options" on the left-hand corner of the window

Low-speed Broadband (56Kbp/s-2Mbp/s)


Remote Desktop Connection screenshot: Choose "Low-speed broadband" then press "Connect"


Use this setting if you are still using a dial-up modem or have limited Internet connectivity. Connecting with this option will severely limit the graphical abilities of the Remote Desktop Connection and will not look very similar to the Desktop you are used to, the experience will be close to what is shown in Figure 11.


Desktop screenshot: Example of what screen will look like with limited internet connectivity

High-speed Broadband (2Mbp/s-10Mbp/s)


Remote Desktop Connection screenshot: Choose "high-speed broadband" and click "Connect"


Use this setting if you are using a computer with a network with slower Internet speeds (Usually a wireless network or a wired network on a slower Internet connection.). Connecting with this option will limit the graphical abilities of the Remote Desktop Connection and will have minor things missing from the desktop to conserve resources. You will notice some small graphical changes. The experience will be close to what is shown in Figure 12 but you will notice better performance than with the Low-Speed Broadband setting.

LAN (>10Mbp/s)


Remote Desktop Connection screenshot: Choose "LAN" then click "connect"


Use this setting if you are connecting to the remote machine with a computer that has an always-on, fast Internet connection (usually a wired connection from a cable modem). Connecting with this option will be the closest to your normal Desktop experience that you can achieve. The experience will be similar to what is shown in Figure 14.


Desktop screenshot: Example of how desktop will look with high-speed connection


Once you have selected the proper Performance setting press the Connect button in the bottom right corner of the window and continue onto Step 4.