What can be used instead of Remote desktop

J.R. Sitman
J.R. Sitman used Ask the Experts™
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I remote into our office using Remote Desktop.  I'm wondering if there is anything better because the connection is slow.  I'm not sure if the problem is RD, but I'd like to test another type and see.  I'm using a Windows 7 and connecting to Windows 2003 Servers.
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I use UltraVNC which you can find here http://www.uvnc.com/

It's just one of a number of flavors of VNC and it works great

Commented:
If security is a concern, then you might want a DSM plugin too, because UltraVNC does not encrypt communications.

http://home.comcast.net/~msrc4plugin/
I support UltraVNC as well. By default it's unecrypted, but can me made with DSM plugins. However, my experience with RDP (Remote Desktop) is very good, slow links it works betetr than VNC unless the link is VERY slow, then VNC is better since you can use it in 8-color and 2-color mode.

When you connect to your desktop at work with RDP, do you use a lower color and turn off themes, etc, in your RDC options ? In your RDC client If you set desktop to 256 color, turn off themes, sound, printer and drive mappings you may get excellent results...
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J.R. SitmanIT Director

Author

Commented:
To save me a lot of time can one of you help me configure VNC.  I can't find any instructions.  When I start it it asks for the VNC Server.  where do I get that.

Commented:
Try Teamviewer. It's a snap to install.
Server and viewer (client) are all part of the installer. Server handles the inbound connections.

I would  not be inclined to bother with the encryption module unless you really think there's a possibility of your traffic being watched. Most users would not even know how to go about that.

Really the only thing you need to supply is a password for inbound connections.

It's actually very easy to use... just a few minutes to get used to it.

Unfortunately, Teamviewer isn't free for commercial use and it is pretty expensive when you compare it to VNC which is free
J.R. SitmanIT Director

Author

Commented:
So should I have not installed Server?  Should I uninstall and start over?  See screen shot.
vnc.png
Nope, you're fine with installing server. The viewer connects to the server and lets you remote control the machine that the server is running on.

Your pic shows the viewer startup screen. In the VNC Server field, you put either the network name or the ip address of the machine that you are connecting to. You need to have the server installed on that machine first.

For example, if you have a server on your network at ip address 192.168.1.250 with a network name of fileserver, you can either put the 192.168.1.250 or the name fileserver into the field and click Connect. It will then ask you for the connection password which will be the password you supplied for the server when you ran the installer.

Just remember that you need to have at least the VNC server installed on any machine you wish to remote control. When you install the server you specify a password. When you want to remote control the machine, you start up the viewer, specify the machine that you are connecting to, click Connect and then specify the password you used when installing the server.





You need server on the computer that you will be accesing. And you need the viewer on the computer from where you want to access. It's best to install the server and register it as a service, that way it always starts upon boot.

What you have in your screenshot is the viewer application. In the field you need to type your server address (same as you would for RDC).

Note, also, that your company PC is probably behind a firewall. When you access it using RDP you need to have port 3389 opened, for VNC you need it port 5900.
By the way, I prolly should have said that if you have 100 workstations on your network and you want to be able to remote control them all, you install the server (and the viewer if you like - I generally do) on each of the machines.

I generally give them all the same password.

Even though the viewer is installed on all the machines, nobody can connect to other machines using the viewer unless they know the password

One other tip... if you need to do a CTRL-ALT-DEL on the remote machine, right-click the small icon in the extreme top left of the UltraVNC window and you'll get a menu... just select Send CTRL-ALT-DEL and that key sequence will be sent to the remote machine.
J.R. SitmanIT Director

Author

Commented:
OK. I got it now.  I'll have to install the server next time I'm at the location, because when I tried to install it using my RDP session it stated it can't be installed via RDP.  
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
VNC and numerous other products exist as has been stated.  But in my experience, nothing is as fast as Remote Desktop (Terminal Services).

In the screen shot you posted, you were running the VNC Viewer - you have to install the VNC SERVER on the system you want to connect to - then you use the viewer to connect to the the server's name or ip address (that's what goes in that box)

Other products exist, including DameWare, PC Anywhere, Timbuktu and many others.

If you are having performance issues, I suggest you modify your RDP settings (do you really need desktop backgroup and sound?) and look at why it's slow.
It's a great utility. I use it the whole time and I have been using it for years. Welcome onboard!
J.R. SitmanIT Director

Author

Commented:
I have DAMEWARE and it is by far the best software for the money I've ever owned.  However, it (as far as I know) only works inside my domain.  I can't use it to get to my domain from my house.  If I'm wrong let me know.

Commented:
not knowing your setup where your domain is located I could not say this with 100% certainty but it is unlikely that you could connect to your domain with any remote control software unless you have a VPN setup.  That being said I will agree with the other posters that RPD is prolly the best solution.  My only gripe with it is that if the Terminal Service Service goes south the only way to get it going again is to reboot the box.  There is no way to simply restart this service.
Remote Desktop is much faster than every version of VNC that I have ever seen.

DAMEWARE uses VNC.  There is no reason I can think of that would prevent you from accessing your machine remotely via DAMEWARE (you just need to set up the necessary port forwarding and/or firewall exceptions).



What kind of media are you trying to access remotely?

What speed is your Internet connection (upload and download) at home and at work?
J.R. SitmanIT Director

Author

Commented:
I access the servers from home and then when connected I use Dameware to access the workstations.  Ealier in this post it was suggested I change the setting in RD and even though I'm still testing it seems to have made a big difference in speed.  I'll award points soon.

Commented:
I just reread your initial question.  Are you connecting to your office via some sort of VPN?  If so depending on your internet connection speed at home you may in fact experience some slow down.  This would not be so much due to the RDP protocol rather it likely is because of the VPN.  VPN encryption tends to slow things down a bit and if you are using a slow connection everything will be slower.  What happens when you are onsite and try to connect to the servers via RDP, does it go faster?
To confirm:  You Remote Desktop into a server (connecting from home; to work) and then use DameWare on the server to access workstations?  So your DameWare session to the workstation is nested in the Remote Desktop session on the server?

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