Connecting to SQL Server 2005 from another computer at home

I have a computer (PC) in my home office and my laptop. I have installed SQL Server 2005 Developer edition on my work computer and created the main database that I’ll be using for development work. I’ve also got SQL Server installed on my laptop but I’ll be only using the SQL Server Management Studio on the laptop to keep things simple. I do not want multiple copies of the database everywhere as it would be hard to to keep them updated all the time. The idea behind this is that I will be programming from both my PC and laptop and will be accessing just the database on my PC. However I ran into problems when I tried connecting to SQL Server 2005 on my PC from my laptop. I just couldn’t see the database engine either in the local or network servers.

Here’s what you need to do if you’re having the same problem. First make sure that the instance of SQL Server that you’re trying to connect to has got remote connections enabled. Go into SQL Server Surface Area Configuration and click on ‘Remote Connections’ and make sure that you’ve selected ‘Local and remote connections’ and also TCP/IP or both TCP/IP and Named Pipes. If things don’t work out, then I suggest you disable Windows Firewall and test again. If that works, then you need to create an exception in your firewall to allow connections to SQL Sever Management Studio (SSMS) and open the port 1433 (or 1434).

If you still can’t find your database engine listed in the connection box, then type in the following:


We are explicitly telling SSMS that we’re connecting through TCP protocol and going through port 1433. I still can’t see the database engine on my PC listed on my laptop but when I type in the above name in the ‘Server Name’, it connects successfully. I’m also connecting through SQL Server Authentication rather than Windows Authentication to make things easy.

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