I need to access my desktop via local LAN using a windows tablet or laptop, what software do you recommend? Desktop has Windows Home. Main usage is: accessing large PDFs / possible gaming.

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    Do you just want to access the files, as if they were on another drive (e.g `P:`)? Of do you want to see the desktop's screen from the tablet or laptop and be able to use the remote keyboard * mouse to access it? – Mawg says reinstate Monica Nov 5 '20 at 21:27
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    @MawgsaysreinstateMonica - A very good question, though I might assume from the remote-desktop tag that the querent wants to be able to use the remote keyboard and mouse to work on it like it was in front of him (e.g., RDP-, Dameware-, or VNC-style) – Jeff Zeitlin Nov 5 '20 at 22:20
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    You say "from a tablet"... in addition to the question @MawgsaysreinstateMonica asks, what sort of tablet are you using? iPad, Android, Surface, ...? – Jeff Zeitlin Nov 5 '20 at 22:22
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    If you go for Windows Remote Desktop, I think cannot use login-free access. WIndows forces you to disable this feature. You must create a user and a passwort, for the login-screen. Otherwise, everyone in your network would have free access to your computer. But I'm not sure if that's the case for your version of Windows Home. – knb Nov 6 '20 at 9:04
  • I chose to go with the old WorkGroups and had to chose a password for my server, but I only needed too set my laptop up once to access the drives remotely Good point, though (upvote). – Mawg says reinstate Monica Nov 7 '20 at 7:59

If you want a slick and professional app, look into TeamViewer, which is available for Windows, Linux, Max, Android, iOs, Chrome OS and Raspberry Pi, which ought to cover all possibilities.

It is free for non-commercial use.

TeamViewer will let you have remote access from one device to another and will let you use the keyboard/mouse/touch controls of the controlling device to control the controlled device.

If you do not like the idea of your data going through a corporation's servers, then consider some form of Virtual Network COmputing (VNC) to get a direct connection, instead of sandwiching TeamViewer's server between your devices.

Wikipedia has a comparison of remote desktop software.

Speaking form personal experience, I have been happy for decades with TightVNC, which I use provately and have also used in systems which I have sold to industry.

There is a server version for Windows, Linux & Mac, so that will cover your desktop with the PDF files, they also have a viewer for Android & iOs.

That should be enough for you, and involves no 3rd party server, which might access your data, but feel free to look at other VNCs.

All of the above solutions have built-in file transfer software, to allow you copy some of those PDFs after viewing them in-situ.

But, even those might be overkill. Windows has the built-in ability to access a directory on a remote PC with a driver letter.

Thus, my home server had a directory d:\backups, which appears to my laptop as b:.

That is probably the simplest solution, and would work for " accessing large PDFs", but probably not "possible gaming" - depending on what you mean by that. If you just want to run an executable from the desktop on a laptop, then, yes, this will work. If you have a login for an internet game on the desktop, then you may not be able to launch it and control it from an Android tablet.

If interested, DuckDuckGo for Windows HomeGroup and/or Windows WorkGroup.

Since those are part of the o/s, you should ask further questions on SuperUser.

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