RDS stands for remote desktop services and is a way to connect to a Windows system remotely. The benefits of RDS is that you get full access to the machine but the only traffic that comes down your Internet link is the changes on the screen.

So what do you need to enable RDS? In most cases you need a destination machine that supports host RDS sessions. This typically is a Windows Server that can run multiple concurrent RDS sessions. The software to connect via RDS to such a server is already built into most Windows platforms. The other thing that you may required is some licenses if you are host RDS on a Windows Server.

The great things about an RDS server is that you can install one in a large data centre with big broadband pipes. You can then load it with common software like Microsoft Office and allow a number of remote users login to the system.

When a remote user accesses an RDS server they will typically be placed into a desktop that includes all the software they require. When they run this software they are actually running it on the RDS server rather than their local machine. They only traffic being send back to the client machine are the changes taking place on the screen.

In many ways RDS harkens back to the ‘good olde’ days of mainframes and ‘dumb’ terminals. In essence RDS provides better utilisation of the hardware resources of a business. It also provides improved management and control.

RDS is a core part of most Windows machines today, providing easy access to these machines from just about any other device. This allows you to easily take advantage of the power of a Windows PC without necessarily having to be in front of it.

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