How to Setup a Remote VNC Connection on Mac OSX

Published Wednesday, November 19, 2008 3:38 PM
     In this tutorial I'm going to show you how to setup a VNC connection between two computers so you can login to the host computer remotely. It's a great way to allow yourself access to a computer wherever you go.

      Before I start I feel that I have to explain some stuff first. There are two different ways you can make a VNC connection. #1.You can connect locally to a computer that's on the same network as you or #2 connect over the Internet. If you connect over the Internet the connection is a lot slower and it's harder to accomplish tasks because the refresh rate it slow. It's a lot faster to use a VNC connection locally.

    Having said that it's a lot cooler to be able to connect with your computer remotely and do things on it from somewhere else. So that's what I'm going to show you how to do.

Okay here we go! In order for you to successfully create a VNC connection to your Mac you need to do the fallowing to the Mac you want to connect to.

1.    Enable the screen sharing in the preferences menu.
2.    Configure your router to forward port 5900 to your Mac's IP address.

Enable Screen Sharing on your Mac

To enable screen sharing on your Mac go to

  • System preferences
  • Then click Sharing
  • Then check the "Screen Sharing" Box


After you do that click on the "computer settings" button and set a password for your VNC connection. Remember this your going to need it later.  

Configuring your router

Most routers offer some of the same options and features so what you're going to do is forward the VNC port to your computer. I am going to show you how to do it using a Linksys router.

#1 The first step is to figure out what your local ip address is. To do this go to
System Preferances>> Networks
Click on the connection that that has the green dot to the left of it. On the right where it says "Status" it gives you your IP address it will look something like 192.168.1.105 . Write it down somewhere.

#2 Now you need to log into your router's configuration. To do this you need to open your browser and type into the address bar 192.168.1.1, which is the default gateway of most routers. If its not the default gateway for your router go back to the System Preferances >> Networks dialog box and find where is says router: 192.168.X.X this is your address of the router. If you still can't connect to your router it might have the wireless management turned off. Which will prevent you from logging in if your connected via a wireless connection.

Anyways after you enter the routers IP address most likely 192.168.1.1 press enter and you should get a login box that pops up. The username is typically admin and for Linksys routers the default password is admin unless you changed it from the default.



After you login you should see something like this.



Find the application and gaming tab and click it. Now all you have to do is enter the information like this. The external and internal port number is 5900 because this is the port the VNC runs on and the ip address is the address the I asked you to write down earlier. Make sure you check the enable box as well.

 

 

After you enter the information click save settings.

Dynamic DNS

Okay sometimes depending on the ISP you need to setup a DDNS which stands for Dynamic Domain Name Server. You can do this by going Dyndns.com and signing up. Once you create an account login and select services then Dynamic DNS. From there you can create you DNS name. Once you have your DDNS you can put that information into the router .To do this you need to select that DDNS tab from the setup menu. See the second image.

You are all done configuring your Host computer for VNC and now for the client computer.

Setting up the client computer for VCN login.

To get your client computer ready to log into your Host computer all you need is a VNC program and two bits of information, the public IP of the Host computer and the password you made when you enabled the screen sharing. While you're still on the same network as your Host open a browser and go to whatsmyip.org and at the top it will show you your IP write this down.

You can download any VNC software you would like but I used Chicken of VNC and it works pretty good. http://sourceforge.net/projects/cotvnc/

After you install it on the client computer launch the application and the VNC login box should popup if it doesn't click connections >> open connection. Hit the plus button to add a new server. At this point you need your public IP address the second IP address you wrote down. Type your public IP address of the Host computer into the VNC program were it says " Host: ". When you're done with that enter the password that you setup earlier. Now click connect. If you did everything right it should slowly but surely show you the Host's Computer screen.  Pretty nifty huh.

 

Update

 

Okay so you can use the Chicken of VNC but it is slow and crappy. I don't know why I didn't use this before but Mac has a VNC program built in. The screen sharing application will allow you remote in will  works and is so much better. To use the screen sharing application all you have to do is go to the finder menu bar and select. Go >> Connect to Server . Or you could do what I would do and use the shortcut Command + K. Then all you have to do is enter the IP address or DNS of your remote computer and hit connect. Then enter your username and password that is used on the remote machine and screen sharing will startup for you. It works much better than chicken of VNC..

 

If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave a comment on the blog or shoot me an e-mail at willburns1 at gmail bot com

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