DirectAccess is here! But what does that mean? Well, have you ever forgot a file or needed to access your work computer at home or abroad? Have you ever wished you could access your M-Drive off campus? DirectAccess can do all of this and a lot more, and the best part is, no installation necessary.
That’s right, this is more of an announcement than an installation guide. There shouldn’t be anything you need to do to get it working. The purpose of this article is to describe what you can do with it.
So here is the catch, DirectAccess only works with Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 BYU laptops. If you have a Windows 7 laptop this may be your reason to get a free Operating System upgrade. Our Computer Support Technicians would be happy to upgrade your laptop’s Operating System just give them a call at 2-7178.
If you have Windows 8.1 or 10 then you should be good to go! To check your direct access connection open “windows settings” by clicking on the windows key and then on settings. (The next three sets of pictures will have what you would see for Windows 10 on the left and Windows 8.1 on the right)
Click on Network
You should have an option called “DirectAccess,” click on it.
*Note* If you have a windows 10/8.1 and do not see DirectAccess listed here, call 2-7178 and ask to have your laptop added to the DirectAccess laptop group.
When you are at home or anywhere with an internet connection you will see “connected” as the status of a successful DirectAccess connection. When you are on campus it will most likely say something along the lines of “Connected locally or through VPN.” Those are the two correct status’s. If you have an error here, feel free to call or email us and let us know the error.
Just as a note, the walkthrough we just went through was a way for you to see that DirectAccess is connected, it is not a necessary step to connect to DirectAccess. I repeat, DirectAccess is an always on, no installation needed technology. Unlike a VPN you do not have to sign on every time you want to connect to BYU’s network, it will just always be connected.
Now that we know that Direct Access is working, let’s look at what you can do with it!
This is a screen shot of the M drive on a computer using DirectAccess, your folder should still be there and you should still be able to access all of your files even when you are off campus. (This is significant because before DirectAccess you could only get to your files while you were at work)
Remote desktop is a built in Windows application that lets you view and use your work desktop computer from your laptop. With DirectAccess this application will now let you remote in from anywhere.
To use Remote desktop, open the windows application. If you just search Remote Desktop it will come up, or you can manually search for it.
The application will open and look like this, it will ask for a computer name. If you know what your computers name is go ahead and enter it and skip the next step. If you do not know your computers name there are a few ways to find it.
One of the easiest ways to find it is to use the windows search and type “Computer Name,” you can also press the Windows key and “Pause” on your keyboard together and System Information will pop up with your computer name. Or you can get there manually by going to control panel -> Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\System.
Your computer name will be where I highlighted mine out with blue. Use this name back in the Remote Desktop app. Then click “Connect.”
Enter your username and password. (You may need to put “byu\ “ before your username) and press ok. Your computer should connect and you are good to go! If you had any problems connecting to your computer and you are sure you have entered the correct computer name give us a call. We may need to enable remote access for your computer.
I have heard that you are able to access library resources as you could from on campus as well and a few other things. Experiment with programs or features that would work for you on campus and see if they work when you are away!