Leave Your Laptop At Home

Since I don’t have anything earth shattering to blog about this week I guess I’ll fall back to old reliable……iPad blogs! In particular because I’m sitting in an airport writing this blog from mine right now. Over the past few months I’ve been trying to take my laptop with me less and less to appointments. Let’s face it, it’s heavy, it boots up slower than I’d like most of the time, most of the time I can’t find open wireless to get online, and most importantly I usually don’t even end up using it.  Despite all of this I still would find myself hauling the stupid thing around with me all day like a security blanket. Well I finally took some time out of my day and solved my problem. 

The solution……..leave the laptop at home in my office and enable remote connectivity through my home router. Ok, so it’s not a cure for cancer but it definitely makes my life easier. Best of all it’s easy to setup and free. You’ll need a couple of things to get everything working. First, you’ll need a home router that allows you to do port forwarding. If your router was made in the past few years chances are your good to go. On Linksys routers you’ll find it under the Games and Application settings. From here just forward port 3389 through from the outside world to you laptop ip address. 

The second thing you’ll need to make all this work is a way to hit your home system from the Internet. If you have a static ip from your provider then this is not a problem, but for most of us we are dynamically assigned an ip address from our service provider. Of course the issue here is that you public ip address will change every so often. To get around this you’ll need to use a service that provides dynamic dns. Linksys has one you can subscribe to for around $25 per year or you can use a free service from dyndns.org.  Once your signed up and have your account credentials configured in your router you are off and running. Now when your ip address changes it is automatically updated to your new dyndns name. So now all you have to do is point you rdp client to your dns address, like pimpnet.dyndns.org or whatever you came up with. 

For me I just use my WYSE Pocket Cloud client on the iPad to connect either via wireless or cellular 3G and it works like a champ. Even with non-3G connectivity it is still quite usable. So now if I need to “get on my laptop” to access local files or download large files it just takes a second to connect from my iPad and its just like I’m sitting at my desk. So if you’re tired of dragging your bulky laptop around with you give this a try.  Works for me anyway. 

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