Setting up Remote Access on a Linksys router

When accessing your Desktop remotely over the Internet, it's best to have a Domain Name for your router.  Dynamic Domain Name System (DDNS) feature on a Linksys router is useful especially if the Internet IP address from your ISP is DHCP or dynamic.  To save you from the hassle of identifying the current IP address assigned by your ISP, you can sign up for free one (1) year DDNS service from TZO.

TZO is a premium service that enables you to configure the Dynamic DNS in your router’s web-based setup page. 

NOTE:  This feature is very useful if you want to remotely access your files and programs in a computer outside your network through the Remote Desktop Connection client software.

This article will show you how to sign up with your free trial of the TZO Dynamic DNS service and configure your Linksys router to gain remote access on a remote computer.

 
You need to perform the following steps:
 
i. Setting up the Remote Desktop on your host computer
ii. Setting up the client or remote computer
iii. Testing your Remote Desktop Connection using a test computer within your network (LAN)
iv. Testing your Remote Desktop Connection via the Internet using TZO
 
i. Setting up the Remote Desktop on your host computer
 
The host computer (ex. a computer from work) is the computer you will establish a remote access with outside your network.  To learn more on how to do this, check the Microsoft website.
 
ii. Setting up the client or remote computer
 
The client or remote computer (ex. a computer at home) is the computer you want to have remote access enabled within your network.
 
To set up the remote computer, you need to do the following steps:
 
a. Checking if the Remote Desktop Connection is installed
b. Setting up a static LAN IP address on your remote computer
c. Configuring port range forwarding in your router’s web-based setup page
d. Signing up to TZO.com and enabling Dynamic DNS
 
a. Checking if the Remote Desktop Connection is installed
  • Windows 10 – Click the Windows key then select Remote Desktop Connection.
  • Windows 8.1 – Right-click the Start button then click Search.  Enter “remote desktop connection” on the search field.  Click the Remote Desktop Connection icon.
  • Windows 8 – Press the Windows button from your keyboard then enter “remote desktop” and then click the Remote Desktop shortcut in the Apps section of the screen.
  • Windows 7 – Go to Start, enter “Remote Desktop Connection” in the Search field and click on Remote Desktop Connection in the list of results.
 NOTE:  In Windows 7, Remote Desktop Connection is installed by default.
  • Windows XP/Windows Vista – Go to Start > All Programs > Accessories > Remote Desktop Connection.
NOTE:  In Windows Vista, you may also enter “mstsc” in the Search field on the Start menu.  Remote Desktop Connection is installed by default.
 
b. Setting up a static LAN IP address on your remote computer
 
Set a static LAN IP address on your remote computer to enable the computer to have the same IP address every time it reboots so it wouldn’t be disconnected from your host computer.
 
To learn how to set a static IP on your computer, click here.
 
QUICK TIP:  A static LAN IP address is also called as fixed IP address.
 
c. Configuring port range forwarding in your router’s web-based setup page
 
Port range forwarding is done so the data for Internet applications can pass through the firewall of the router or gateway.  For instructions on how to configure the port range forwarding feature in your router’s web-based setup page, click here.
 
d. Signing up to TZO.com and enabling Dynamic DNS

After obtaining your TZO key from the email sent by TZO, follow the steps below:
 
NOTE:  For Linksys Smart Wi-Fi users, click here for instructions.
 
Step 1:
Access your router’s web-based setup page by clicking here.
 
NOTE:  If you’re using a Mac computer to access the web-based setup page, click here.
 
Step 2:
Under Setup, click DDNS and select TZO.com.
 
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Step 3: 
Enter your E-mail AddressTZO Key and Domain Name in their respective fields.
 
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Step 4: 
Click User-added image.
 
IMPORTANT:  The free TZO Dynamic DNS service you signed up for expires in one (1) year.  When upgrading to a paid TZO account, make sure to do so before it expires.  Also, provide the TZO ordering system with the same domain and email address so the credit can be applied.
 
iii. Testing your Remote Desktop Connection using a test computer within your network (LAN)
 
Test the Remote Desktop Connection within your LAN.  The test will ensure the remote computer is actually running and accepting connections from another computer on the same network.
 
Step 1:
On a test computer, click Start > Programs > Accessories > Remote Desktop Connection.
 
Step 2:
In the Computer field, enter the static LAN IP address you set on the remote computer.  Then, click Connect.
 
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Step 3:
Enter your router’s User name and Password then click OK.
 
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You should now be able to view the files, programs and settings that your remote computer contains.
 
Encountering problems with Remote Desktop Connection within your network (LAN)
 
If you cannot connect within the LAN connection, something went wrong with either your server setup or the test computer.  Verify both systems are online and can communicate with each other using another method such as network browsing using file explorer, and ping test.
 
Also, make sure the Remote Desktop Connection client software is enabled.  You may need to temporarily suspend or disable software firewall such as Symantec Internet security, or the Windows Firewall to see if those were the problem areas.  If so, contact the firewall vendor support for additional help.
 
iv. Testing your Remote Desktop Connection via the Internet using TZO
 
You need to go offsite to test the Remote Desktop Connection via the Internet using your TZO account.  You must go offsite.  You cannot test the whole setup within the same network or behind the same Internet connection.  For example, if the computer you want to control or access is at home, go to work to do the test or go to a friend's house and test it from there following the steps below:
 
Step 1: 
Click Start > Programs > Accessories > Communications > Remote Desktop Connection.
 
Step 2: 
Enter the TZO Domain Name in the Computer field and click Connect.
 
NOTE:  In this example, Name.LinksysNet.com is used.
 
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Encountering problems with the Remote Desktop Connection via the Internet
 
If you cannot connect at this point, make sure you successfully performed the LAN testing of Remote Desktop Connection.  Have someone at the remote location check that the host computer is power up and that you have the Windows Remote Desktop Connection client software enabled.  You should also check that you are using the correct TZO Domain Name and that you also check if the port is opened properly in the router.

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