Remote access to Lab computers

We have recently introduced a method of connecting to physical computers within the University using Microsoft Remote Desktop. This means that you are able to use one of the University computers remotely and be able to use any of the software installed on that particular computer or via AppsAnywhere. There are approximately 450 computers available for use.

Quick steps

If you are familiar with connecting to lab computers, follow the quick steps below to connect to a lab computer.

Instructions for use

You need to connect to the VPN to remotely access a University PC.

Guidance notes

When using a computer remotely:

  • You will need to be connected to the VPN.
  • You are only able to connect to PCs that are available. The status of a computer will become unavailable as soon as the computer has been logged into.
  • You will need to have a reliable internet connection.
  • You have to log into the computer with your University account.
  • Some software is only available in some locations.
  • Standard software such as Microsoft Office and web browsers is available on all computers.
  • The resolution of the monitor may be different to what you are using to connect with.
  • Computer connections are reserved for 3 minutes, if you do not connect during this time, the connection file will time-out and you may need to select a different computer to connect to.
  • If your session is inactive for 30 minutes you will be disconnected.
  • You can reuse an RDP connection if the computer remains available. Please check before attempting to reuse a connection.
Connect to a remote computer on Windows
  1. Connect to the VPN.
  2. Visit the Remote Access page from your web browser.
  3. Each location name corresponds to the building and room number the areas is in, e.g. RB-1-03-REMOTE would be Richmond Building, room 1.03, please see the Key to look up building names. The availability of the area is shown by percentage and visually on the progress bar. When the bar is full there are no computers currently available. Find an available computer
  4. Click the external link icon to the right of the area you would like to connect to, this will automatically choose an available computer. Find an available computer
  5. A Connect dialog window will appear, click Download to download the connection file. Download the connection file
  6. A connect.rdp file will download. Click on the connect.rdp file to start the connection. Run the RDP file
  7. A Remote Desktop Connection dialog box will appear. Select Connect. Connect to the computer
  8. Enter uni\username e.g. uni\up874068 Enter your username and password
  9. A Remote Desktop Connection dialog box will display with details of the Certificate of the computer you are connecting to. Select Yes to continue. Accept the certificate
  10. The computer will log in. The computer will log in
  11. To log off, click the Start button and select the Log off tile in the Start menu. You will be signed out of the computer and it will become available for another user. Log off
  12. If you wish to connect to a specific computer, you can choose the list option to the left of the location, then connect to a specific computer by choosing the Connect option next to the computer. You can use the filter at the top to only show available computers.
Connect to a remote computer on macOS
  1. Visit the App store and sign in if you are not signed in already. Search for Microsoft Remote Desktop, click the cloud icon to download the app. Install the app
  2. Open the application once the download has completed. The app will install to your Applications directory.
  3. Request to the microphone and camera will be required. Click Continue.
  4. A dialog box will appear requesting access to your microphone. Select OK to continue.
  5. A second dialog box will appear requesting access to your camera. Select OK to continue.
  6. Connect to the VPN.
  7. Visit the Remote Access page from your web browser.
  8. Each location name corresponds to the building and room number the areas is in, e.g. RB-1-03-REMOTE would be Richmond Building, room 1.03, please see the Key to look up building names. The availability of the area is shown by percentage and visually on the progress bar. When the bar is full there are no computers currently available. Find an available computer
  9. Click the external link icon to the right of the location you would like to connect to, this will automatically choose an available computer. Find an available computer
  10. If you are prompted to allow downloads from keyserver.port.ac.uk click Allow Allow downloads
  11. A Connect dialog window will appear, click Download to download the connection file. Download the connection file
  12. From the Dock, click the downloaded connect.rdp file. You can find the downloaded connect.rdp file your Downloads directory if you cannot find it in your Dock. Launch the download
  13. Enter uni\username e.g. uni\up874068 Login to the computer
  14. A dialog box will display with details of the Certificate of the computer you are connecting to. Select Continue. Accept the certificate
  15. The computer will log in. The PC is opened
  16. To log off, click the Start button and select the Log off tile in the Start menu. You will be signed out of the computer and it will become available for another user. Log off
  17. If you wish to connect to a specific computer, you can choose the list option to the left of the location, then connect to a specific computer by choosing the Connect option next to the computer. You can use the filter at the top to only show available computers.
Connect to a remote computer on Chrome OS

This method requires access to the Android Play Store. You can find out if your Chromebook supports Android apps by clicking here.

  1. If you already have the Chrome OS Webstore version of Global Protect, please uninstall it by right-clicking or alt-clicking the application and selecting Uninstall.
  2. Open the Play Store from your applications. Playstore Icon
  3. Search for Microsoft Remote Desktop, click Install to install the app. Install RDP
  4. Connect to the VPN.
  5. Visit the Remote Access page from your web browser.
  6. Each location name corresponds to the building and room number the areas is in, e.g. AG-0-01 would be Anglesea Building, room 0.01, please see the Key to look up building names. The availability of the area is shown by percentage and visually on the progress bar. When the bar is full there are no computers currently available. Find an available computer
  7. Click the external link icon to the right of the area you would like to connect to, this will automatically choose an available computer. Find an available computer
  8. A Connect dialog window will appear, click Download to download the connection file. Download the connection file
  9. A connect.rdp file will download. Locate this file in your Downloads directory and select OPEN from the menu at the top, from the drop down menu click RD Client. Open the RDP file
  10. Optional step: You may wish to change the default program used to open .rdp files by choosing the Change default... option from the menu in your Downloads folder. Select RD Client from the options provided. Now you can double click any .rdp files and they will be opened in the RD Client by default. Change defaul options Choose RD CLient
  11. When using for the first time, you may see a dialog box will ask you to accept agreements. Select Accept. Accept agreements
  12. Enter uni\username e.g. uni\up874068 Login to the computer
  13. A Remote Desktop Connection dialog box will display with details of the Certificate of the computer you are connecting to. Select Continue/span>. Accept the certificate
  14. The computer will log in. The computer will log in
  15. To log off, click the Start button and select the Log off tile in the Start menu. You will be signed out of the computer and it will become available for another user. Log off
  16. If you wish to connect to a specific computer, you can choose the list option to the left of the location, then connect to a specific computer by choosing the Connect option next to the computer. You can use the filter at the top to only show available computers.
Connect to a remote computer on iOS 13 or iPadOS 13

Microsoft Remote Desktop requires iOS 13 or iPadOS 13 to work.

  1. Visit the App store and sign in if you are not signed in already. Download Microsoft Remote Desktop app from the App Store.
  2. Open the Microsoft Remote Desktop app. It is called RD Client on the home screen.
  3. Request to the microphone, bluetooth and camera will be required. Click Continue on each prompt that appears.
  4. Using your device, connect to the VPN.
  5. Visit the Remote Access page from your web browser.
  6. Each location name corresponds to the building and room number the areas is in, e.g. AG-0-01 would be Richmond Building, room 0.01, please see the Key to look up building names. The availability of the area is shown by percentage and visually on the progress bar. When the bar is full there are no computers currently available. Find an available computer
  7. Click the external link icon to the right of the location you would like to connect to, this will automatically choose an available computer. Find an available computer
  8. Click the Download button to download the connection file.
  9. Confirm you would like to download the connexion file but choosing Download. Confirm download of the connection file
  10. Open your Files app, locate the connect file and tap to open. The file should open in Microsoft Remote Desktop connection. The connection file
  11. Enter your University username e.g. up874068 and password. The computer will log in. Find an available computer
  12. To log off, click the Start button and select the Log off tile in the Start menu. You will be signed out of the computer and it will become available for another user. Log off
  13. If you wish to connect to a specific computer, you can choose the list option to the left of the location, then connect to a specific computer by choosing the Connect option next to the computer. You can use the filter at the top to only show available computers.

Building key

Each location has a name that corresponds to the building it is located in, see the following for the building acronyms.

Acronym Building
AG Anglesea
BK Buckingham
EL Eldon
KH King Henry
PK Park
PO Portland
RB Richmond
SA St. Andrew's Court
UL University Library
ULC University Learning Centre

Specialist rooms and applications

The table below shows any specialist labs or areas that contain applications that are only available in restricted locations.

Location name Location Specialism
BK-0-07 Buckingham 0.07 Visual studio
BK-0-19 Bucking 0.19 High-spec lab
EL-1-125A Eldon 1.125A Gaming lab
EL-1-125D Eldon 1.125D Gaming lab
EL-1-81 Eldon 1.81 AVID Video Editing
EL-1-128 Eldon 1.128 AVID Video Editing
EL-2-230h Eldon 2.230H AVID Video Editing
EL-2-231 Eldon 2.231 AVID Video Editing
UL-OA-1 University Library OA 1 ArcGIS Desktop, Visual Studio
UL-OA-2 University Library OA 2 ArcGIS Desktop, Visual Studio
UL-OA-3 University Library OA 3 ArcGIS Desktop, Visual Studio
PO 1.19 Portland 1.19 ArcGIS Desktop, Visual Studio
PO 1.33 Portland 1.33 ArcGIS Desktop, Visual Studio
PO 2.49 Portland 2.49 Post Grad Hi Spec

For help regarding this article contact IT Support.