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How to use TightVNC

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Last Modified: 2013-11-21
I need a way to control a remote desktop to help out a friend and I found TightVNC.  I had him install the app and run the "server", then I installed the app on my machine and launched the "viewer".  When I lauched the viewer it asked me for "vnc server"...which I assume it wants to know which machine I want to connect to.  I had my friend mouse-over the VNC icon in his system tray, but it only shows him his LAN IP address of 192.168.0.3.   Obviously that isn't what I need to connect to his machine....now what?

A little help please!
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IT Consultancy
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Commented:
If he has a router which it sounds like he has then you will need to setup a port forward on the router so port 5800 and 5900 are forwarded through to his pC.  obviosuly that does leave you a bit open potentially on the internet unless you restrict it to certain IP addresses using a firewall if the router has one.  You then connect to the IP his router has - www.microshirt.com is a quick easy way to get that (from his machine of course)



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Steve KnightIT Consultancy
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Commented:
You are probably safer and better off using something like gotomypc or logmein.  I use the latter and can even control my pc from the mini-pda phone I am typing this on!

http://www.logemein.com

With this you just aply for free account on their website and install a small prog. on the remote computer then you can get to it from any browser...
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Top Expert 2013
Commented:
Have your friend, running the VNC server, go to http://www.whatismyip.com  this will display his current public IP. This is the IP to which you want to connect. You also need to set up his router to forward the VNC traffic to his computer 192.168.0.3 This is usually done by forwarding ports 5800 and 5900 for tight VNC. For more details on how to do that, click on the link for his router on the following page:
http://www.portforward.com/english/applications/port_forwarding/TVNC/TVNCindex.htm
Steve KnightIT Consultancy
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Commented:
Morning Rob,

The Logmein URL typo'd BTW:   http://www.logmein.com
Heres the direct link to the free product:

https://secure.logmein.com/go.asp?page=products_free
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Commented:
Hamachi works well for this, and typically requires no router or firewall adjustments.  Once you both sign on to hamachi, you just enter your friend's hamachi IP into VNC, and poof - it works.

Hope that helps...

Cheers,
-Jon
kadadi_vIT Admin
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Commented:
SO you have to make the settings at your friend side ...YOu installed the application TightVNC that is coorect

SO at friends system tell him that give the details means is he using the router...?
1. ISP details = Public IP address
2. GOTO   the ROuter interface using Internet Explorer( like =192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1) and login to router and there is option for port forwarding so in that settings open the port 5800 or 5900 and put the IP of friends system ( static IP = goto CMD prompt and type IPCONFIG )
3.for public IP =in IE type the URL =whatismyip.com then after these settings you can connect to that remote computer ( friends pc) means put  this public IP in vncviewer..

Good Luck...
Steve KnightIT Consultancy
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Commented:
kadadi_V: That just repeats what has already been said.  Wondered how long until someone mentioned hamachi, must have a go with that myself ;-)
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Top Expert 2013

Commented:
Sorry Steve looking at the follow up posts this morning I see I too am guilty of more or less duplicating your comments last night. I didn't refresh before posting or have a look afterwords.

mattbiel, one of the concerns with most VNC versions is the lack of encryption. The Captain's solution would add that security for you, and eliminate the need for port configuration. They were recently purchase by LogMeIn, so I wonder how much longer it will be free.

Personally I find VNC primarily a great tool for working on your local LAN with clients older than XP. Over the Internet Remote Desktop has added functionality and security, but the "sever" computer needs XPpro, or server 2000/2003. If that is not the case dragon-it' suggestion of LogMeIn is great as they offer a free version, with no port forwarding.

There is also Remote Assistance, built into XPpro and home. It requires not port configuration if you have a UPnP enabled router at the friend's house. Though it works well, I find very poor performance.

My 2¢ summary.
kadadi_vIT Admin
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Commented:
You can use also Remoteadministrato rapplication  version 2.1 . Install this radmin on both pc's and give the proper password to connect remote pc and at your friend's pc open the port 4899 forward to that machine IP Uisng r-admin you can also use the ftp to download / upalod the files on ur remote pc.
Steve KnightIT Consultancy
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Commented:
Rob, it is clear our posts just crossed in the ether...

Agreed VNC is great for some circumstances and relatively easy to push a remote install over a LAN etc. using PSEXEC.  I find RDP most usable over a WAN, followed by LogMeIn and then VNC, this is most easily judged over a slow connection such as over dialup, GPRS etc.  All of them work find over broadband or 3G/3.5G data connection.

Mattbiel, has any of this helped you yet!

Steve

Author

Commented:
Many thanks to all of you!  Steve, yes, these solutions have helped me out a LOT.  You guys just provided so much information that I wanted to try it all out before responding.  Turns out, all three solutions work for me (port forwarding in router and then using WAN IP, logmein, hamachi).  For the purpose of this task I used logmein, but it's great to learn about the other two ways to do it as well.  Hamachi is really a cool application, I can't believe I've never heard of it before.

Again, thank you all.
Matt
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Top Expert 2013

Commented:
Glad to hear you found some useful information here.
Thanks Matt.
Cheers !
--Rob
Steve KnightIT Consultancy
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Commented:
Thanks, glad it helped.  Steve
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Commented:
>Wondered how long until someone mentioned hamachi, must have a go with that myself ;-)

<Chuckle> hamachi does indeed work quite well in many situations.  However, before everyone starts thinking it's the next greatest thing since sliced bread, I should mention a couple of things:

Hamachi relies upon a deprecated RFC to do its firewall passthrough trickery (I don't have the RFC number immediately onhand, but it basically specifies a scheme for handling UDP through stateful firewalls (since UDP is stateless, most modern firewalls typically open an inbound UDP port associated with and outbound UDP connection - since this port is predictable (according to the deprecated RFC), hamachi negotiation servers are able to communicate with internal clients via UDP).  The bottom line is, the RFC is classified as deprecated and no one has any real obligation to keep doing things this way.

Also, hamachi assigns IPs within 5.0.0.0/8 - the company that makes hamachi has not actually been allocated 5.0.0.0/8 (5.0.0.0/8 is currently unallocated), so if the authoritative registries decide to allocate 5.0.0.0/8 (or some part of it) to someone else, things are going to go straight to hell...  Using unallocated IPs is not unheard of - some large companies use unallocated IPs internally (perhaps to avoid eventual collisions between RFC1918 space).  In any case, I'm watching this with some interest - usually, no one gets IP allocations without owning or administering constantly connected networks with a size of at least %50 of the allocation (IIRC).  This is obviously not the case with hamachi - in fact, they make a point of asserting that once the parameters for the connection are successfully negotiated, the hamachi servers are not involved, and are not used to forward any actual data (which from a security standpoint seems like a good thing).  So, they need IPs, but they don't actually administer the network - gonna be fun to see what ARIN (or any other allocating authorities) think about that.

Thanks for the assist.

Cheers,
-Jon
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Commented:
I forgot to mention - in additon to connecting single computers as peers, hamachi can also be used to connect two (or more) actual networks.  I think they make you pay for the windows version which does this, but the free linux version can do it with no problem (it's hard to prevent adding a few obvious routes on each end to make this happen in linux).

Cheers,
-Jon
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