While we are used to have graphical output on monitor next to computer, nothing prevents from neatly packing that image and streaming it away by network. In the past numerous computers at home were uncommon but now remote screen access via LAN or Internet is more interesting to users.
TightVNC is handy app based on Virtual Network Computing protocol that allows remote access to PC screen and files.
What it does
VNC is based on client-server model.
- server runs on PC to check permission and give access to screen;
- client runs from anywhere to connect to server.
VNC is open source, cross-platform and extensible protocol so core functionality remains unchanged and apps from different developers are compatible. Running TightVNC server you are not limited to its client, I can connect to server even from my Nokia N810.
This distribution is optimized for low-bandwidth connections. If client connecting is not TightVNC one than default VNC connection settings are used.
Other than that is provides:
- multi-monitor support;
- file transfer;
- access without client (with Java-capable browser);
- reverse connection (server requests session from client).
How to use
Run server (WinVNC.exe) on PC you want to access. Password must be set, rest is fine-tuning.
Run client (vncviewer.exe), choose connection type and input IP or host name of computer running server.
Optionally you can enable browser access in server settings (Administration > HTTP server > Enable built-in HTTP server) and access from browser via http://computerIP:5800
TightVNC encrypts passwords but not rest of information. Do NOT use it over Internet for access to sensitive data without additional encryption layer – setting up which is usually more complex.
TightVNC is open source (GPL) and freeware app. I think it writes minor registry entries but works without installation and browser access option makes it more than portable. App hadn’t been updated in a long time but works perfectly fine and it’s not an issue.