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VNC Server

VNC, a technology for remote sharing, allows the desktop of one computer to be viewed and controlled on a separate computer using a network connection. This is a powerful technology for home and business computers alike because it allows users to access another desktop from another part of the world when traveling.

In the 1990s, VNC servers began as an open-source research project. From then, it has developed into one of the more mainstream solutions used for remotely controlling and providing remote support for computers.

The program works similar to the native remote desktop function built-in to newer versions of Windows® known as remote desktop protocol (RDP). Unlike that program, however, VNC allows the users on both ends of the connection to share the desktop.

Security Considerations when Using VNC

If, as an IT administrator, you need to enable remote access through VNC connections to computers both on and off of your LAN, then you must consider the security risks involved. Whether you need to establish connections to telecommuting and traveling employees or to provide technical support to employees at remote offices, you will need to take the proper precautions before actually making a remote connection.

Take some of the following considerations into mind before enabling a remote connection with our software:

  • When possible, use one-time passwords to make a connection
  • When possible, use the highest encryption level of AES as a means for connecting
  • Maintain a policy for secure passwords used for remote access, each one featuring ten or more characters with special symbols and standard alphanumeric characters
  • Ensure that everybody with access to the system knows to treat the program with the same security considerations
  • When possible, improve the way you manage the credentials by installing an authentication server
  • Install antispyware and antivirus software on all computers, especially those being used for remote connections. Make sure that all programs are fully up to date as well

When you take the necessary security precautions, you will find that the risks are no larger than they are when you normally use a computer.

Remote Support with VNC and DameWare®

VNC is a very important tool for help-desk technicians and system administrators. It can be used to remotely control servers or workstations. It works with Windows, Mac OS®, and Linux® operating systems making it a very versatile option for providing remote support.

Like VNC, Microsoft’s® RDP allows technicians to remotely control another computer. It does not, however, let the users share a desktop screen. Because of that limitation, RDP is really only useful for remotely controlling unattended computers. As such, it is not a complete remote support solution. It is also widely used by employees to make connections from their home computers to their work computers.

VNC, on the other hand, allows users on both ends of the connection to share a desktop screen. This is a very useful feature for help desk technicians and system administrators using this tool to provide remote support. Techs can watch exactly what an end-user is doing on their computer to cause or duplicate the problem they are having. It also lets end-users follow along as techs troubleshoot their computer problems. In instances where the problems turn out to be easy to resolve, end-users can learn from watching the tech and perhaps correct similar problems themselves in the future.

VNC server software, like RDP, has limitations in its usefulness as a remote support solution. VNC is strictly a remote control tool. It cannot be used to perform remote administration tasks or to wake or reboot computers that are in sleep mode or have crashed. VNC server software also does not have native chat clients built-in to allow instant communication between the tech and end-user. Neither does it have one-click screenshot capabilities.

VNC server software is an important enough tool that DameWare incorporated it into its Remote Support console. In fact, DameWare allows help desk techs or system administrators to remotely control computers using VNC, RDP, or its own built-in tool called Mini Remote Control Viewer. This offers techs a great deal of flexibility when connecting to computers. It also means that techs can remotely control Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux computers with one or more of the three connection tools right from one console.

In addition to its powerful remote control tools, DameWare Remote Support also has Windows remote administration features that allow techs to perform tasks on computers without having to make a full remote control session through a VNC server or otherwise. Techs can choose a computer from the software console and perform tasks such as restarting services or viewing event logs. It also allows techs to manage multiple Windows Active Directory® domains from the console.

VNC server software is an important tool for providing remote support, but it is not a complete remote support tool. DameWare builds on VNC’s features and provides a comprehensive remote support solution. Download a fully functional free trial of DameWare Remote Support today and begin supporting the computers on your network within minutes.

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