Connecting Remotely

Access your email, calendar, and files

From most computers that have an Internet connection:

  • Use Outlook Web Access from any browser. Internet Explorer will give you the best results.
  • Transfer files to and from your own computer using the Nebula Filesystem Web Access tool.

How to Connect to your Nebula computer using Remote Desktop Connection

If you have a good Internet connection and a fast computer, Remote Desktop Connection allows you to connect to a Windows computer, such as your Nebula computer, from another computer (Windows or Mac) and have access to the files, applications, devices, and networks of the computer being connected to. You can even transfer files between the two computers.

Because Nebula desktop computers are left on all the time, they are always available for you to Remote Connect to. You do need to have administrative permissions on the computer you're connecting to.

Getting the IP Address and Computer Name

To be able to connect to your Nebula computer with Remote Desktop, you need to know either the IP address or the name of the computer.

Note: IP addresses sometimes change, so it's usually more reliable to use the Full Computer Name.

Finding the Computer Name

  1. StepsActions
  2. It will look something like
    • XP: Click Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> System, then click on the "Computer Name" tab
    • Windows 7: Click Start -> right-click Computer -> click on Properties
    • Windows 8: Use the Windows key + I to display Control Panel -> hit Enter to open Control Panel -> click System and Security -> click System
  3. Note what is listed for the Full computer name

Finding the IP Address

  1. StepsActions
  2. If it's available, click on the Nebula Support Request icon.

    In the window that appears, find IP Address and note the four sets of numbers separated by periods.

  3. You can also use this web site:

Remote Desktop software

You will need Remote Desktop software on both the Nebula computer you want to connect to and the remote computer you want to connect from.

Most newer Windows computers already have Remote Desktop software installed. To check whether a Windows computer has the Remote Desktop program, click Start -> Programs -> Accessories and look for Remote Desktop Connection. If you do not see it, check the Accessories -> Communications folder. It is sometimes installed there.

Remote desktop software is available for other operating systems:

  • Remote Desktop Connection Client for Mac (Microsoft)
  • Unix client from the Rdesktop site

Running a Remote Session

To establish a Remote Connection session, use the following steps:

  1. StepsActions
  2. Establish a connection to the Internet.
  3. Start your remote desktop program
  4. In the "Computer:" field, type in either the IP address, or the name of the computer you want to connect to.
  5. Set the "Log into" field to Nebula2 .
  6. If you would like to be able to transfer files between your work and remote computers, click the Options button before you click Connect. On the Local Resources tab, click the "disk drives" box under the Local Devices section. Now when you connect, you will be able to copy files using the Copy and Paste commands.
  7. Click Connect, and you should get a login screen. Put in your regular Nebula login name and Nebula password, and hit Enter or click OK.

You will be able to print both to the printers installed on your remote system, and any printer that you have connected directly to your local machine. If you have trouble, click the Help button on the Remote Desktop Connection window, and scroll through the Index tab to "printing to your local printer from a remote session".

When you are finished, click Start in the Remote Desktop window. To log off the remote computer, click "Log off". To remain logged into the remote computer, click "Disconnect". Either action will disconnect you from the remote computer and close the Remote Desktop window. You can also use Alt-Ctrl-End to bring up the regular Windows Security screen for the remote computer, and log off from there.

Using Nebula Filesystem Web Access

The Nebula File System Web Access lets you reach your Nebula files from anywhere you can browse the Web.  Here are a few important facts:

  • The files are read-only.
  • You must download, or save, a copy to your computer to edit it. You cannot edit it in place.
  • When done, you will upload the file (save the new version back to your Nebula drives) using this Web Access. If you do not give it a different name, it will over-write the original file.

Here's how to use this function.

Saving Your Documents to Your Computer

  1. StepsActions
  2. Open this web page ( )
  3. Enter your UW NetID and your Nebula password and click "login:"
  4. After login, you will see a screen similar to Windows Explorer (see below). Click on the [+] next to "uw". You will see the same files that are shown when you double-click your I: drive


    • uw\groups is the same as your I:\groups drive
    • uw\homedir is the same as your H: drive

  5. On the left screen: keep clicking the + sign to move through the folder structure until you get display the folder you want. Then click on the folder name itself to display the contents of the folder on the right screen.


    • Each time you click on a new directory, the cursor jumps back to the top. For each desired location, click on "Add to favorites" at the top. This creates a "favorites" option at the top left, with a link to each favorite location.
  6. On the right screen find the file you want to download and ALT-Left-Click on it (hold down the ALT key and click the left mouse button) . A Download box will appear. The file will be placed in your default download directory.


    • Remember where you saved your file(s)!

Saving Your Documents Back to the File Server

Once you have finished editing and have saved the changes to the local version of the file, you will need to "upload" it back to the Nebula file system.


  • First, decide whether you want to overwrite the existing file on the server. If you do, keep the original name.
  • If you don't, rename your file by using the Save As command.
  1. StepsActions
  2. Close your document(s).
  3. Open the Nebula Web Access (
  4. Click through the folders list until you are displaying the desired location on the right-hand side.
  5. At the bottom, click on the first "Browse" button. In the File Upload box that appears, select the desired file and click "Open". This will enter the file name and location into the "Upload file" box. To upload another file, click the second "Browse" button (you can only upload 2 files at a time). Click "Upload" to start the uploading.

    If you are uploading a file with its original name to its original location, you will get a warning that the file already exists.

    When you want to overwrite an existing file, you must check the "overwrite file" box, next to the "Upload" button.

Suggested Best Practices

When using the I:\groups folders:

  • Remember that other people in your department have access to these files.
  • You are creating copies of files and editing the copy, so it's important to identify the copy
  • We recommend that you save your edited files with a new, useful name.
    Example: save "minutes071309.doc" as "minutes071309-rev1" or "minutes071309-yournetid"
  • Each department should develop its own standards for file naming. If several people are using this tool, there is a risk of multiple people creating variations of the original file, resulting in you having no "true" version.

When using the I:\homedir folder:

  • No one has access to these files but you so you don't have to worry about others editing files that you are working on.
  • You will save time later if you overwrite the older file with the newer one.
  • If you're uneasy about overwriting a file, save your new file with a new name.

This is a new tool within Nebula and we welcome your feedback. Please email us at

Last modified: January 24, 2014