VNC, short for "Virtual Network Computing," is a graphical way of remotely controlling another computer. When you're connected to another computer with VNC, you see that computer's desktop as if you were right in front of it. You control that computer's mouse with your mouse, keyboard with your keyboard, and see exactly what's on the other computer's display on your monitor.
Because VNC is cross-platform, meaning it can be used on Windows, Mac and Linux computers, you can control a Windows PC from a Mac, Linux PC from a Windows PC and all other variations you can think of.
The controlled computer is called the Server and the controlling computer is called the Client.
Here is how it works.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Apple Macintosh Computer running Mac OSX
- Windows PC (2000, XP or Vista)
- TightVNC VNC Program
Click on the blue Apple logo on the top left of your screen and select "System Preferences."
Select "Sharing" in the Internet & Network section, the third down from the top.
Click on the check box next to "Apple Remote Desktop" to activate it. In Mac OSX Leopard, this will be "Remote Mangement."
Click the "Access Privileges" button to the right of the "Services" box. In Mac OS X Leopard, click on the "Computer Settings" button.
Check "VNC viewers may control screen with password" and enter a secure password. Strong, secure passwords are a combination of numbers and letters with the occasional symbol thrown in. Remember your password.
Type in your Mac password in the "Authentication" dialog box that pops up on your screen. This will allow System Preferences to set the password for VNC users.
Write down the IP address of the Server Mac, which is located under the "Services" box of the "Sharing" preferences window.
How to Set Up the Server
Download and install TightVNC. See Resources below to download.
Uncheck "TightVNC Server" and "Web pages and documentation" on the "Select Components" part of the TightVNC install. Leave "TightVNC Viewer" checked.
Run TightVNC after installation is complete.
Enter the Mac Server's IP Address and hit "OK"
Enter the Mac Server's password that you set up in Section 1. A window should pop up with the Mac desktop.
How to Set Up the Client and Control the Server
Tips and warnings
- Controlling a Mac from a Windows PC will be slow. Be Patient.
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