There’s a lot you can get done with your smartphone but there are times when you need to use only your Windows PC instead of the phone. You may need to run a program or access any important file. If you’re away from your computer, you can remotely access it via your Android phone. Yes, it’s now possible to control your PC with Android device.
With the help of this networking how-to, you can use your Android device to wake up an inactive PC while you’re away from your home so you can start a stream media to your smartphone or just poke around your PC while you’re out. Whether you want a media remote, a remote desktop client, or a way to stream media from your PC to your phone, this simple workaround will show you on how to get set up with a secure, usable connection on the desktop and connect with the best possible Android apps. Let’s dive into.
Control Your PC with Android Device
Before getting started, first of all, make sure that your PC and smartphone are connecting to the same router and you’ve assigned a static IP address for your computer on the network so that it gets assigned the same local IP address (192.168.x.x) every time it’s powered on.
Remember that every router is different so it’s not possible to give any suggestion for this. Just follow the basic process.
- First of all, search for the hard-wired MAC address for the connection you’re using on your system
On Windows, you’ll get information by opening a command prompt and typing ipconfig –all. On Linux or Mac OS X, you can open the Terminal section and enter ifconfig –a.
- Next, scroll down until you find your router’s IP configuration setting. The MAC address will be listed as a Physical Address entry that looks like a2:b9:34:54:cc:10
- Now, navigate to your router’s configuration page by opening a browser and typing 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1 into the address bar. In case that does not work, you can consult for common router addresses or check the manufacturer’s website
- Poke your way around the router configuration page until you find the static IP settings. Then, input the machine’s MAC address, its name, and the IP address you want it to have. Basically, 192.168.1.100 is the safest choice.
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Control Your PC with Android Device: Unified Remote
Unified Remote helps you control your PC with Android phone. All you need to do is just navigate to the Unified Remote website and grab their server application for your PC. After successful installation, you’ll need to create a password. If you’re asked to open Windows Firewall or any other available program, go ahead and click on Yes.
Once you’re done, install the Android app either from the Google Play Store or by navigating to the download link from the Unified Remote website, which also links to the Windows Phone app, if you want to.
Next, open the mobile app and in case you have the Unified Remote server running on your system, it’ll automatically configure itself. If that does not work, you’ll need to manually add your server by typing the IP address of your computer.
Once you’re connected, go to the Remote section of the app. You’ll get many options like “basic input” that enables you to use your smartphone’s touch screen as a mouse for PC, “media” offers play/volume/stop keys similar to the ones you might have found on your physical keyboard.
The only limitation of Unified Remote is that it’s useful only as a literal remote. You need to look directly at the system you’re controlling to see the effects of your faux-cursor or media keys.
Control Your PC with Android Device: VLC Remote ’n Stream
If you need an app that can act as both a media remote and a channel to stream media from your PC to your smartphone then go for VLC.
VLC is one of the best media players that allows you to play your videos with great ease. There are many settings options to tweak in VLC, but you need to enable the Web interface to start streaming your media to your phone. In order to control your PC with Android phone using VLC, first of all, download and install VLC media player. Once you’ve installed the app, open the Preferences option from the Tools drop-down menu and click on Main Interfaces. Next, check for the Web option and then, close the Preferences menu.
Now, it’s time to install the VLC Direct Pro Free Android app from the Play Store. By default, it will scan the VLC server on the network. In case the app cannot detect your PC, it will ask you to input an IP address as you did in the Unified Remote.
As soon as you’re connected, you’ll be welcomed with the app’s main interface. You’ll see the TARGET icon in the top-right corner of the app’s screen that refers to whether or not you are controlling media on your system or streaming it to your smartphone. You’ll also get the play/pause/stop controls along with the volume bar at the top-right side of your app’s screen and the list of files available to you are indicated by the four icons, which are horizontally arranged.
From left to right, the app represents local audio and video on your smartphone, media on your PC, and recent files from your PC. Once you play anything on your PC, you’ll get a progress bar on the bottom side of the app’s interface that can be used to back and forth through media. And that’s it!
Well, you should know that your smartphone may not have the ability to play all videos that your PC can. To play all your video files with the phone, you’ll need the beta VLC for Android app.
Last but not least, you can access the same VLC remote control interface from another PC on your network through a browser.
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Control Your PC with Android Device: VNC
VNC stands for Virtual Network Computing. It’s the best remote media sharing system and is an alternative to Unified Remote for when you want to move a cursor on the screen. Just grab the free version of the RealVNC client from the RealVNC website. Once you’ve installed it, create a strong password. You can set up a VNC server and use a free VNC client on your Android device so you can access your system from anywhere.
Ubuntu Linux users can install x11vnc from the Ubuntu Software Center. After this, you can open the Startup Applications menu and add this entry: x11vnc -forever -passwd xyzzy -rfbport 5900 -bg, where ‘xyzzy’ is your preferred password.
Now, you just need to get a VNC app for your smartphone. There are many Android VNC apps of varying quality. Here, we use Free bVNC. Once you’ve installed this app on your system, you need to enter your PC’s name, IP address with password and then hit Connect. You can then press the menu key and change the input mode to the simulated touchpad.
Control Your PC with Android Device: Wake-on-LAN
If you want to manage streaming media from your PC, but you’ve got it configured to sleep when idle and you’re either way from home or too lazy to go into the other room to wake it up, you can use a feature called Wake-on-LAN that helps the network card to stay awake while the rest of the system sleeps, and to switch the PC on when it gets a network message. It powers up your computer from anywhere.
In case you use a network card on the motherboard, just check your BIOS for Wake-on-LAN settings, or else check the Advanced Settings of network card inside Device Manager. On any network adapter except wireless USB adapters, you’ll find Wake-on-LAN support and then, turn it on. After this, grab the Wake On Lan Android app from the Play Store. At this time there’s nothing to run on your PC, but as a trade-off, you’ll need to manually enter both your machine’s MAC address and the IP address to configure Wake On LAN. Once you setup, sleep the machine and give it a shot.
That’s it! this was all about how to control your PC with Android device.