Before accessing your work computer remotely, you will need to know your work computer's fully qualified domain name.

See the related answer for instructions on finding your fully qualified domain name. You should note this somewhere you can access it from home.

Remote access from a macOS computer to your macOS work computer

macOS Screen Sharing or other VNC clients (programs that allow you to access your desktop remotely) can be used, but most do not encrypt their communications. ITS suggests that you use the following secure channels if you plan to use Screen Sharing or other VNC clients:

UO-VPN + VNC, or
UO-VPN + SSH Tunnel + VNC

You can remotely access your macOS X work computer as follows:

  1. Enable these services on your work computer:
    • System Preferences > Sharing > Remote Login
    • System Preferences > Sharing > Remote Management
      • Make sure your user is listed in the Allow access for box on the right
  2. Switch off any sleep/hibernation settings.
  3. Establish a secure VPN connection using AnyConnect software installed on the remote computer.
  4. If you are using an SSH Tunnel, open the Terminal app on your remote Mac and connect the tunnel to your work computer:
  5. Use Screen Sharing to connect to your work computer by clicking on the "Go" menu in the Finder and selecting "Connect to Server" and enter the following address:
    • vnc://your fully qualified domain name
    • or, with an SSH tunnel: vnc://localhost:5900

Set up Screen Sharing and test that you have set everything up correctly well in advance of when you need to use it. There is usually no need for any complex configuration, but both your remote and work computers should have a reasonable level of security.

Installing and connecting to AnyConnect VPN

Remote access from a macOS computer to your Windows work computer

Firstly set up your work Windows computer to enable remote connections. You will need to be logged in as an administrator to change these settings, or ask your IT support staff to do it for you. Use the instructions for your work computer's Windows version in the article below:

Windows Remote Desktop setup

Installing and configuring the Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client

  1. On your remote macOS computer, go to vpn.staff.otago.ac.nz/
  2. Log in with your University staff username and password, then download the Cisco AnyConnect VPN client and follow the installation instructions.
  3. Open AnyConnect, type vpn.staff.otago.ac.nz into the connection box and click the Connect button.
  4. Enter your University staff username and password at the prompt and click Accept when prompted about the University's VPN Access policies.
  5. Click the Disconnect button.
  6. In the connection box use the drop-down menu to choose UO-VPN-STAFF.
  7. You will now be prompted to enter your password again, click OK and Accept for the policy again. This is to test the new VPN protocol.
  8. You can now click the Disconnect button.

Microsoft Remote Desktop 10

  1. Go to the Apple App Store and download the Microsoft Remote Desktop 10 application.
  2. Open the app and click on the plus sign in the menu bar to add the new remote desktop.
  3. In Connection name, give your work computer a name you will recognise.
  4. In PC name add the fully qualified domain name of your Windows work computer.
  5. Click Add.

You have now finished setting up your remote connection.

Remotely connecting to the University network

Connect with AnyConnect VPN, then click on your work computer's remote connection set up in Microsoft Remote Desktop 10. As the remote desktop connects you will be prompted for your staff username (use the format registry\abcde34p) and password. Click OK to all the other prompts and you will be connected to your Windows work desktop.

Remote access from a Windows computer to your macOS work computer

Unfortunately this is not currently supported.

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If you have any questions contact AskOtago:

Freephone 0800 80 80 98 (within New Zealand)
Tel +64 3 479 7000
Email askotago.it@otago.ac.nz

Last updated 29/10/2021 01.19 PM

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