When I do remote work from the home, which is nearly 99% of the time, I heavily utilize a remote desktop connection from my personal computer to the computer supplied by my employer. Today I realized that the poor response time I was experiencing was in fact not the work I was doing on those computers but in fact the remote desktop connection itself going over my wireless network.
Today I got an ingenious idea, actually something I’ve done before but forgotten, to create a connection between my personal computer and employer issued computer through a switch. The kicker here is that the switch can just sit in between the two computers without being connected to an network. My computers would use this switch for routing remote desktop connections and my wireless network for accessing the Net.
To do this I had a dug out a simple Linksys workgroup switch I had, an EZXS55W to be exact. I’ve provided a picture here but I’m sure you get the picture. I simply connected my two computers to the LAN ports with network cables and powered up the switch. DONE? Not so fast. There is some network configurations to take care of.
The example below is for Windows 7 but anyone with a little savvy can do this for any operating system.
The steps are:
1. Open up network connections, right click on the Local Area Connection that has been assigned to your computers port. Was pretty easy as you can see that it is the only one that makes sense for my setting, probably yours as well, one was wireless and the other was my Cisco VPN to corporate. Then click on the Properties option to bring up the Local Area Connection Properties dialog.
2. In the Local Area Connection Properties dialog, highlight the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and then click on the Properties tab to bring up the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) Properties dialog.
3. In the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) Properties dialog is where the fun begins. Nothing too difficult though, simply select the Use the following IP address radio button, enter an IP address that is not on your network, and fill in the Subnet mask. There is no Default gateway as these computers are not connected to a router. Now click OK.
4. Redo these steps for any computer you’d like to connect to the switch, ensuring that you use a different IP address in the same subnet.
As an example, for my two computers I had the following:
Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
5. You may or may not have to disable/enable these network connections or even power/power-off the switch to get everything to sync.
Also, rememer you will have to connect / browse / etc by IP address unless you decide to modify your host file. Enjoy! I am with new found connection speed. What once was at times >150ms is now <1ms, pure enjoyment!