Remote Access Computers

Williams College individuals can install and use almost all academic software and Microsoft Office directly on their own computers. Using software on your own computer is always the best choice for reliability and accessibility!

If it is not possible to install and run the required software on individually-owned computers, we have prepared a number of alternatives (in addition to the option documented below) for remote access to needed academic software. These resources are limited. Therefore, faculty should discuss all available options with iTech staff either by joining them in the iTech drop-in hours or by contacting [email protected] 

Students should contact a faculty member and ask them to contact iTech to gain access permission to use these computing resources remotely.

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For a reminder of what software is available on lab computers, please see our list of computer lab software.  Also note that the primary reasons for lab machine remote access would be for software you can’t download and license to your own computer, or for system resources your computer doesn’t have. The vast majority of academically needed software can be installed directly on your own computer.

Use lab computers only when you absolutely need to and can not install the needed applications on your own computers. Please use this limited resource as you would any other Willams College resource. Misuse of these computers will be grounds for revocation of access privileges which will likely result in not being able to complete required course assignments!

Accessing Lab Computers Remotely using a Web Browser: (This method eases access and resolves some graphics issues)

  • Ensure that you have been granted access to these resources.  See above information on requesting access.
  • Install (if you haven’t already) and log into the Williams network with the Cisco Anyconnect secure mobility client (VPN)
  • To connect to a Windows lab computer for windows only software like ArcGIS, EViews, WinRats, etc:
  • To connect to a Mac Lab computer:
  • Note: Students in specific courses may be granted access to additional remote access computers that have been set aside for work in those specific courses.  Please use the computers that have been set aside for course work as those may have specialized software installed for your course needs.
  • In all cases, choose a computer from the list and click on the “Connect” link next to the computer you wish to use.
  • In the login request, enter your username as just UnixID without the @williams.edu at the end or ad_williams\ at the beginning.  See this screen shot:

 

 


    • If you have not been granted access your connection to these lab computers will be denied!
    • For both the remote macs and windows, click through any warning messages you may see to complete the login. When connecting to windows lab computers, you will eventually see a normal windows desktop.  However, when connecting to a mac lab computer, you will see a mac login screen where you have to enter your normal mac login (just UnixID) and password once more to get logged int the remote computer.
    • Note that these computers are set to automatically log off idle sessions. (no mouse or keyboard)
    • Please be sure to save all your work to your Google Drive FREQUENTLY. Your network connection may break at any time and you may not have access to the same computer next time!
    • Please be sure to LOG OUT of the remote computer all the way!  If you do not log all the way out, just with any on-campus use of lab computers, someone else may be able to access your email and important files! Also, only logging out fully allows the computer to be shown as “available” on the website so that others may use it.

If you have any issues, questions, or suggestions about this remote access, please email [email protected]
 


Accessing Lab Computers Remotely using the manual method:

      • Install (if you haven’t already) and log into the Williams network with the Cisco Anyconnect secure mobility client (VPN)
      • Mac users needing to access a windows lab —  install Microsoft Remote Desktop from the Apple App Store. (As with all apps from the Apple store, you will need to login with your own Apple ID to download this free application.)
      • Mac and windows users needing to access a mac lab  —  install Real VNC viewer. (Do not install RealVNC server on your computer.  This is already installed on the target lab computers!)
      • Open the website: http://keyserver.williams.edu/frame-core/maps/std/a66904b9a541e6a42c5024887d3aaac5?mapped=1. Look for the an address which appears as a number like: 137.165.xx.xxx for an available computer. These addresses are in the right hand column of the page. Both Mac and Windows computers are listed on this web site so make sure you choose an address for the type of computer you need to access. Keep in mind that this website is only viewable if you are logged into the Williams network using the VPN software mentioned above and only shows addresses for “available” computers.  If you are not logged into VPN or if there are no available computers you won’t see any addresses on this website.
    • To remotely access a Windows Lab computer:  Open Remote Desktop (“Microsoft Remote Desktop” on Macs or just “Remote Desktop” on windows), create a new connection using the the address of an available computer from the website above. You want to use the address as in “137.165.2x.xx”.

To log into a remote Windows lab computer, enter your username as:  ad_williams\UnixID as in this example:        

 

 

    • To remotely access a Mac Lab computer:  Open the Real VNC client and create a new connection using the the address of an available computer from the website above. You want to use the address as in “137.165.2x.xx”.

To log into a remote Mac lab computer, You first have to authenticate to the VNC Server. Enter your username as:  ad_williams\UnixID as in this example:

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    • Once connected, at the mac’s  login window enter just your usual username (UnixID) and password.