Remote Desktop between PC and MAC behind firewall/NAT

I am very familiar with products to connect PC to PC when one or both machines are behind a firewall/router/NAT, such as Teledesktop, and even MSN Messenger.

However, I have a friend who is using Mac OSX Tiger and needs my technical assistance when he travells internationally.  Can anyone advise of a Mac solution to connect between PC and MAC that would reverse connect to bypass firewall issues?  I assume it would use VNC protocols.

Thanks for your help in advance.
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Eoin OSullivanConsultantCommented:
The FREE LogMeIn service puts a client application on the Mac that allows remote login through firewalls (it uses ssh and few other bits)

While travelling in China recently I was able to remote login to my Mac in several web-cafes and read/send emails, and perform other tasks without problems.  Really convenient, VERY easy to set up and FREE

Have a look.
If you firewall support VPNsm there may be a solution for you here:
It's a VPN IPSec solution for Mac, there's even a demo where you can try it free. Hope that helps.
i highly recommend Timbuktu. It's not free, but it has the most history out of all the VNC apps, and their support is top-ntch. Not to mention, it;s the easieest VNC setup I've ever done...

Plus, it's completely integrated with Skype. All you need to do is setup Skype on your client and server systems and Skype/Timbuktu will handle all the traffic. It will even tunnel through firewalls. AUTOMATICALLY. All you do is open your Timbuktu software and click the Skype will import all your Skype contacts and allow you to place calls to any of them.. The ones with Timbuktu active, will automatically setup a VNC session...provided your server accepts/you have priveleges. Too easy.


Connections through Skype/any extranet, run at typical VNC speeds... Howeever, if your server/client are on the same intranet, the session will be almost as fast as if you were using physically accessing the machine. (I used to use it to run my desktop PC from my Powerbook. I could do complex auto-rotoscoping with specialized, Windows-only software on my underpowered, unsupported Mac laptop....from my sofa.).

NOTE: This software is VERY stable. I rarely, if ever, have issues with it...  You can even create a session prior to a Windows user logging into their computer. (The only real issue I have ever had with the program was because a Windows user was already logged into their system when I tried to create a session...the innability to connect was probably due to Windows' inherit instabilities...and it's failure to load the drivers due to those instabilities. After a fresh reboot, the problem cleared itself up.....You get the was Windows' fault, not Timbuktu's.)
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Mac OS X Tiger has Remote Desktop (agent) built right in. Remote Desktop Agent can allow VNC connections. Have your friend goto System Preferences -> Sharing -> Apple Remote Desktop and turn it on. He may need to configure some other options within the same preference pane to allow Guest access and VNC. Once thats setup, you can start controlling his computer
mikebollingerAuthor Commented:
The main issue to this problem is connecting to the Mac from behind public firewalls that I don't have the ability to configure for VNC.

The LogMeIn solution is the one I think will solve this, but I am having a problem when I connect to the Mac from my PC, the area of the screen that displays the Mac desktop is all black.  I am remotely moving the mouse and the keyboard is working remotely, but a black display.
Eoin OSullivanConsultantCommented:
This can sometime happen .. the display never refreshes properly.

Try a few things

In the options.. try changing the number of colours and toggling between scale to fit and actual size.

Also I sometimes use the Java plugin rather than the ActiveX one.  Before you open the Remote Desktop look at the preferences for the connection.

Also compare Internet Explorer and Firefox (my preference) for perrformance
You need to open ports on the router. OR install a 3rd party VNC Viewer on the Mac like Chicken of the VNC or something.
mikebollingerAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your help eoinosullivan,

Do I understand it correctly that you use the name username and password to have all the computers in the same list to remote access?  So someone that I want to assist remotely logs into and enters the username and password I used to set up and then click on Add Computer to add them to the computer list?  

Is the email invite only a feature of the Pro version?  
Eoin OSullivanConsultantCommented:
Yes and Yes ..

If you are clever .. you get a 30 day demo of the Pro version for yourself and your clients .. use the invite function to get everyone on board .. then when it reverts to the standard version .. all the users will already be on your Control Panel.
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