Information Services Division


More about Desktop@UCL Anywhere

What is Desktop @ UCL Anywhere?

Desktop @ UCL Anywhere is a UCL service that allows remote access to UCL resources for staff and students. You will need a valid UCLID and password to access the system. It is the recommended method for remote access and replaces previous remote access solutions such as WTS, VPN and Remote PC. Originally built to provide access to around 800 concurrent users, the system has recently been upgraded to use all the latest levels of software and support 1,600 concurrent users. We are currently planning further capacity improvements that will take the number of supported concurrent users up to 4,000.

Desktop @ UCL Anywhere is based on technology provided by Citrix and is essentially a "farm" of centrally hosted servers that users can connect to as long as they can establish an internet connection. Once connected, users can make use of a wide range of applications and services that run on this central facility

Although it is primarily a remote access solution, there are a number of on campus machines that have been configured to automatically connect to Desktop @ UCL Anywhere. These tend to be older machines that previously ran WTS and are not powerful enough to run modern applications so are gradually being phased out. Because they are making use of the central farm of servers, the load on these old machines is reduced and they can still provide an acceptable computing experience until they are replaced. You may hear these referred to as "thin clients" or "managed machines"

What is Citrix?

Citrix is an American company that creates software for use on PCs and other devices to remotely connect to desktops, applications, and networks. Citrix offers a number of products related to desktop and application virtualization. These tools allow access to Windows desktops and applications independent of the machine they're actually on, from any device with any operating system

What is Citrix Receiver?

Citrix Receiver is the easy-to-install client software that provides access to the Desktop @ UCL Anywhere system. Once installed, you can use Citrix Receiver to access applications, desktops and data easily and securely from any device, including smartphones, tablets, PCs and Macs.

The latest version of Citrix Receiver is available from the web.

What is HTML5 in relation to Desktop @ UCL Anywhere?

In some cases, it is not practical to install Citrix Receiver on a remote device. For example, if you wish to access Desktop @ UCL Anywhere from an internet café, you may not have the rights to install software on the machine you are using. HTML5 access is available to connect to Desktop @ UCL Anywhere without having to install any client software - instead the session simply delivered in a browser window. An HTML5 session does not deliver the same functionality as a Citrix Receiver session but, for most use cases it is perfectly adequate.