VNC Guide - A Windows Remote Control Setup Guide

VNC VNC (Virtual Network Computing) - Free Remote Control software that you can use to see the desktop of a remote machine and control it with your local mouse and keyboard, just like you would do it sitting in the front of that computer.

Key Page Key

VNCServer = Server (The computer that you want to connect to)
VNCClient = Client (The computer that you are connecting from)

Notes - Some of the files require an archive utility to extract them. The following is recommended:

IZArc IZArc - Download - Home Page
A 100% Free archive utility that supports many archive formats including: 7-ZIP, ACE, RAR and ZIP.


VNC Distributions

These are the most popular VNC Distributions. However, this guide will only focus on the TightVNC version.

TightVNC TightVNC - Home Page - Download
TightVNC is an enhanced version of VNC, which includes a lot of new features, improvements, optimizations and bug fixes over the original VNC version. TightVNC is fully compatible with the standard RFB protocol used in VNC, so you can use TightVNC viewer with the standard VNC server and vice versa. But note that the enhancements implemented in TightVNC will work only if TightVNC is used on both sides of the connection.

Here is a brief list of TightVNC features absent in the standard VNC:

√ Viewer Toolbar - The enhanced Viewer Toolbar gives you quick access to features such as Connection options, Connection info, Full screen, Request screen refresh, Send Ctrl-Alt-Del, Send Ctrl-Esc, Transfer files and Disconnect.

TightVNC Viewer Toolbar

√ File Transfers - You can upload files from your local machine to the TightVNC server, and download files from the server to you computer.
√ Local Cursor Handling - Cursor movements do not generate screen updates any more, remote cursor movements are processed locally by the viewer, so you do not see slow remote cursor movements behind the local cursor.
√ Efficient Compression Algorithms - New Tight encoding is optimized for slow and medium-speed connections and thus generates much less traffic as compared to traditional VNC encodings. At the same time, TightVNC supports all the standard VNC encodings, so it can operate efficiently over fast networks, too. Thus, with TightVNC you can work remotely almost in real time in most network environments.
√ Configurable Compression Levels - You can choose any appropriate level of compromise between compression ratios and coding speed, depending on your connection speed and processor power.
√ Optional JPEG Compression - If you don't care too much about perfect image quality, you can use JPEG compression which will compress color-rich screen areas much more efficiently (the image quality level is configurable too).
√ Enhanced Web Browser Access - Includes a greatly improved Java viewer with full support for Tight encoding, local cursor feature, 24-bit color mode, and more. The Java viewer applet can be accessed via built-in HTTP server like in the standard VNC.
√ Support for Two Passwords (full-control and read-only) - The server allows or disallows remote keyboard and mouse events depending on which password was used for authentication.
√ Remote Upgrade - TightVNC servers can be upgraded remotely. This means that you can perform the TightVNC installation working in an active TightVNC session.

RealVNC RealVNC - Home Page - Download
RealVNC is the original VNC Distribution, staffed by the original team who created and developed it.

UltraVNC UltraVNC - Home Page - Download
UltraVNC is an enhanced version of VNC. New Features include: Video Driver, File Transfers, Auto Scaling, MS Logon Authentication, Encryption plugins, Text Chat, Dynamic Resolution Switching, Multiple Monitors Support and a Viewer Toolbar.


Step 1 - Installation

It is recommended to use the latest Development Version for optimal performance and the latest features.

VNCServer Server:

1. TightVNC TightVNC Self-installing package for Windows - Download

Instructions - Unzip and run. During the installation it is recommended to select "Register new TightVNC Server as a system service". Then reboot Windows. You will now see the TightVNC Server icon in the task bar.

Notes - Windows Defender will detect TightVNC as "Remote Control Software". After you install TightVNC, run a Windows Defender scan and when it is finished make sure to select "Review items detected by scanning". Under "Scan Results", "Action", select "Always allow".

2. TightVNC DFMirage Hook driver TightVNC DFMirage Hook driver - Download (Dramatically improves Server Performance, Recommended but not Required)

Instructions - Run the dfmirage.exe file. The driver will start working right after the installation, no reboot is needed.

VNCClient Client:

1. VNCViewer TightVNC Viewer executable - Download

Instructions - Unzip and create a shortcut for vncviewer.exe to your desktop. Right-click on vncviewer.exe, select "Send To", "Desktop (create shortcut)".


Step 2 - Configure

VNCServer Server:

WinVNC It is very important to set a password for the TightVNC Server. Right-click on the TightVNC Server icon in the taskbar, left-click on "Properties". Go to the "Server" tab, "Incoming connections" and check "Accept socket connections". In the "Primary Password" box type a password, then Apply and OK. Use eight character passwords for added security. A simple easy way to do this is to use two four letter words in combination. Any character after the first eight are ignored so do not bother making them longer.

TightVNC Server Properties

IP You will need the IP Address off the the TightVNC Server for a Client to connect to it. There are different ways to get this:

1. On the Server move the mouse over the TightVNC Server icon in the task bar and the IP Address will show up in a box.

2. On the Server go to the Website

3. On the Server use the Get IP Utility.


Step 3 - Connect

VNCClient Client:

VNCViewer To connect to the TightVNC Server you will need both the Server's IP Address and the TightVNC Server Password you created. On a LAN you can use the TightVNC Server's Computer Name instead of the IP Address. Launch the TightVNC Viewer from the desktop shortcut. Select the appropriate connection profile:

Low-bandwidth connection = Dial-up
Default connection options = Broadband (DSL, Cable)
High-speed network = LAN

Then type in the IP Address or Computer Name and click on "Connect"

TightVNC Connection

At the "Session Password" screen type in the Password and click "OK". You should now be connected and the Remote Desktop should appear in the Viewer Window. Once you are connected you will be able to use the Remote Desktop as your own. You will be able to do just about everything as if it was on the computer right in front of you except watch video, listen to audio or play games. How much control you have is based on the account level you are connected to. Administrator accounts give you full Administrator rights, Limited User accounts limit you to the same limited rights.

TightVNC Viewer


Step 4 - Firewall

TightVNC Server by default will not work with a Firewall unless you allow it access to the following Ports.

Ports Ports

TCP 5900 (VNC Viewer)
TCP 5800 (Java Viewer)

Notes - These Ports only need to be opened on the TightVNC Server computer. Port 5800 is used for the VNC HTTP Server so you can access the TightVNC Server with the built-in Java Viewer via a Web Browser. If you are only connecting with the standard TightVNC Viewer this port is not needed. You can disable the HTTP Server in the TightVNC Properties, "Administration Tab", "HTTP server", uncheck "Enable built-in HTTP server". Unlike the standard VNC, TightVNC allows you to choose arbitrary port numbers for TCP/IP connections. The TightVNC default Ports are still the same but if you decide to change these you will need to open the new ports instead of the defaults.

Firewall Windows XP Firewall - Home Page
Windows XP comes with a built-in Firewall and SP2 automatically enables it. You will need to add the TightVNC Server to the exceptions list on the Server PC to allow a TightVNC Client to access it. These instruction are for the Windows XP SP2 Firewall.

Instructions - Go to the "Start" Menu, "Control Panel", "Windows Firewall" icon. Under the "General" tab make sure "Don't allow exceptions" is unchecked. Then under the "Exceptions" tab select "Add Program...", from the Add a Program list select "Launch TightVNC Server" and OK. You should now see "Launch TightVNC Server" selected in the exceptions list.

TightVNC Exceptions

Router Routers - Port Forwarding
Most Routers come with a built-in Hardware Firewall that needs to allow access to the same Ports. Different Routers have different ways of enabling these Ports, commonly known as Port Forwarding. Use this link for assistance on how to forward these Ports. If your router is not listed here or you are unable to open the ports needed to get VNC working you will need to refer to your Router's documentation or contact the manufacturer of your Router for further assistance.


VNC Security

This is for Advanced Users Only

Although TightVNC encrypts VNC passwords sent over the net, the rest of the traffic is sent as is, unencrypted so using TightVNC over the Internet can be a security risk. To solve this problem, they plan to work on built-in encryption in future versions of TightVNC. In the mean time, if you need real security, use SSH tunneling for all TightVNC connections from untrusted networks. TightVNC features brute-force protection.

TightVNC SSH Tutorial

FreeSSHD FreeSSHD - Home Page - Download
FreeSSHD is a free implementation of an SSH server. It provides strong encryption and authentication over insecure networks like the Internet. Users can open remote console or even access their remote files thanks to built-in SFTP server.

PuTTY PuTTY - Home Page - Download
PuTTY is a free implementation of Telnet and SSH for Win32 and Unix platforms.


VNC Utilities

These are Utilities for Configuring, Managing and Deploying VNC.

Fastpush Fastpush - Home Page - Download
Fastpush is a Windows-specific script that can be used to remotely install WinVNC onto a large number of computers. These target computers must be running Windows NT, 2000 or XP, and you need admin rights to do this.

Get IP Get IP - Home Page - Download
Get IP is a small program which easily shows your hostname and all your local IP addresses. This information can then be copied to the clipboard for future use in any other application.

VNCon VNCon - Home Page - Download
VNCon is an easy to use remote administration tool which allows you to connect, view and take control of any computers running VNC on your network. The list of computers can be obtained using various methods, either probing your domain, scan a set of IP ranges, or entering each computers details manually.

VNC Manager VNC Manager - Home Page - Download
VNC Manager is a free VNC server TCP scanner. It's intended to automatically discover any host running VNC Server on a given TCP/IP network.

VNC Neighborhood VNC Neighborhood - Home Page - Download
VNC Neighborhood is a free VNC server TCP scanner. It uses Microsoft Windows Networking features to locate computers in Microsoft Windows domains and workgroups.

VNCPush VNCPush - Home Page - Download
VNCPush pushes the VNC Server application onto any remote host running a Windows NT/2000/XP operating system. In addition to pushing the VNC Server application to remote hosts, VNCPush includes the ability to remove or 'pull' VNC when it is no longer needed.

VNCRobot VNCRobot - Home Page - Download
VNCRobot is a tool based on a VNC client. VNCRobot provides its own proprietary scripting language and a set of useful features which enable you to program, verify and reproduce behavior of the remote computer and provide a comprehensive report on it, which makes it a powerful tool for automated testing of any software.

VNC UnCrash VNC UnCrash - Home Page - Download
VNC UnCrash is a program to automatically recover WinVNC incase it crashes.



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