As others have stated here, Windows 2000 Professional does not have
Terminal Services capabilities. So you will not be able to have
multiple users logging into your machine at once. You do, however,
have a few options if you want to remotely access your PC.
Before I begin, please note that all of these options (with the
exception of using Windows XP and 2000 server) have some security
disadvantages. They are limited to the logged in user, so I would
suggest creating a user account without administrative priviliges for
this application. With the exception of the Windows 2000 server
route, each of the software options listed below allows only one user
to access the machine. In addition, most of these solutions require
that the user be logged into the desktop machine.
Completely free of charge is VNC. VNC is an open source remote
display application that will accomplish what you're looking for. It
won't be as fast as going the Terminal Services route, but it will do
the trick. One advantage of VNC is that client applications are
available for a variety of platforms. It'll even install a tiny
webserver which serves up a Java client. You can find VNC here:
A second option is to use Microsoft Netmeeting's remote desktop
sharing feature. NetMeeting is included free of charge with your
Windows 2000 professional installation, and includes remote access
features. You can find more information (including installation
instructions) on this feature here:
You should also ensure you have the latest version installed on your
PC. The homepage for NetMeeting is here:
Note that NetMeeting is not easily routed through firewalls and
internet sharing devices, so it may require a bit of tweaking to get
working from remote locations. If your PC has a dedicated IP, it
shouldn't be a problem.
A third option is to use the ubiquitous PCAnywhere. Like our other
options it won't be as fast as terminal services, but it should fit
the bill nicely. It's a mature product designed for remote access,
and you should love all of the various options it provides. You can
find out more here:
Symantec used to offer a free 30 day demo, but now they will sell you
a '30 day license' for $20. The $20 will roll into your purchase of
the full licensed version. So much for free trials!
If you're into monthly or annual software subscriptions, GoToMyPC is
for you. Their personal plan runs at $179.40 per year, or $20 a
month. There are other options for multiple PC, corporate
For an indepedent review of GotToMyPC vs. PCAnywhere, you can read a
review of the two packages on PC Magazine's website here:
The last option I will suggest is moving the PC in question to
WindowsXP Professional. Note that the home version DOES NOT feature
terminal services capabilities, so you will need to purchse the
slightly more expensive professional edition. There's a great
'how-to' article on Microsoft's website that will help in getting this
What I like about the XP solution is its ability to accept your
various installed users, and is not limited to the currently active
desktop user. Like our other options listed above, you can only have
one user in at any given time.
If you're really serious about having a terminal server, and need
multiple people logged in at the same time, you have two options.
The first is to install Windows 2000 Server. It's pricey, but it will
accomplish the task of multiple remote users on one machine. You will
also need to purchase additional client access licenses for every
connecting machine running an operating system other than Windows 2000
or XP. In other words, in addition to purchasing the 2000 server
software, you also need to purchase a license for your windows 98
workstations that are calling in. Windows 2000 clients have a 'built
in license' and do not require additional license purchases.
Another product from Citrix will work with a Windows 2000 server to
provide a more rhobust terminal services solution. Since it requires
Windows 2000 server, this will likely start to eat up your IT budget,
but I figured it's worth knowing about :). Citrix makes a product
called Metaframe, which offers better performance and more features
over plain vanilla terminal services. There also client applications
available for many more platforms (Microsoft limites you to just
Windows and PocketPC clients).
You can find out more about Citrix here:
I did a search at Download.com for 'remote access' and found a number
Try searching similar keywords at other download websites such as
tucows.com, and other related download sites:
I hope that my answer has provided you with a good overview of your
available options. There are likely hundreds of other applications
that you may stumble upon that will also do the trick.
Best of luck!!