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Beginners Guides: Remote Access to Computers

Beginners Guides: Remote Access to Computers - PCSTATS
Abstract: There are any number of reasons why setting up your computer for remote access is a good idea, and PCstats is going to show you how to do it.
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Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Apr 11 2007   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS n/a

Installing and running VNC server

VNC is a no-frills remote desktop software package. There is no way to transfer files remotely using VNC, though you can still copy and paste text from documents across the link. Included in the latest version is a simple web server that allows computers to connect to the VNC server machine using only a web browser, removing the necessity to install the VNC viewer on the client machine.

Download the latest version of VNC (server and viewer) from www.realvnc.com if you would like to install it on your computer and follow along with the next few step. Once installed, to run the VNC server go to start/programs/realVNC and select 'run VNC server.' You will be prompted to enter a session password which anyone attempting to connect to the server must enter.

With VNC server now running, double click the VNC icon on the taskbar to get the options menu.

From here we can specify the type of connections to accept; socket (via the VNC viewer) or Java (via a web browser). You can also specify whether or not the remote viewer can control the session with their mouse and keyboard, or only watch the screen using the 'disable remote mouse and keyboard' checkbox. This feature can come in handy if you wish to demonstrate something to a remote user, and also gives VNC some great classroom applications for demonstrating software procedures.

You can disable the mouse and keyboard on the local (server) box while the VNC server is active if you wish to make sure that no-one can interfere with your remote session. Combine this with the option to lock, or log off the system when the VNC client disconnects for greater local security.

Connecting to a VNC server consists of two easy steps. Using the VNC client, run the client software and enter the IP address of your VNC server computer (note: to find the external IP address of your home system, go to start/run and type 'cmd' to bring up the command prompt, then type 'ipconfig'). You will be prompted for the password once the connection is made.

VNC will open up a window containing your remote desktop, which you can now control as if you were sitting at that computer yourself. Some software will not work, or will not work well over this type of link however. Any 3D game or application is likely to fail, as are movies. The general rule of thumb is that any software which requires specific use of a 3D accelerator video card, or rapid refreshing of the desktop will either not work or be unusable.

To connect with a standard InternetExplorer browser via Java, bring up your browser and type 'http://(VNCserverIPaddress):5800'. This string will tell the browser to attempt to connect to port 5800 (VNC's default port) on the server. This should bring up a password prompt, which once entered will bring the remote desktop up in the browser. Performance is notably worse in the Java mode, but it has a few convenient extras such as the ability to view the contents of the clipboard via a button at the top of the screen.

Given that it is completely free, VNC offers an extremely valuable service. One can easily access and control any computer on a network or over the Internet. If you are accessing another computer in a local network (LAN), you can substitute the computer name for the IP address. Also, if you are using DSL, or some other non-static IP internet service you can still use VNC by creating an account with one of the many free dynamic DNS providers such as www.no-ip.com and entering the URL that they provide you instead of an IP address. Keep the security limitations in mind though. VNC is not recommended for business use without additional security measures such as a VPN.

Next, how to set up a remote desktop with WindowsXP Professional.

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS n/a
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: Remote Access to Computers
 Pg 2.  — Installing and running VNC server
 Pg 3.  XP Professional remote desktop how to
 Pg 4.  Setting up to use Remote Desktop
 Pg 5.  Running XP Remote desktop
 Pg 6.  Remote desktop continued

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