Best way to connect to home computer/network through internet?

What is the most practical and secure way to connect to my home desktop/network through an internet connection?

I want to do this from a college computer or my own laptop so I can access my data at home while on campus.....
Update: i have a windows xp pro desktop......i'd like to access it using windows vista business laptop and eeepc (on linux).....especially the eeepc

ftp is nice but there are times when remotely running the applications would be nicer
2 answers 2