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VNC internet connection.
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Aug 29, 2006, 03:03 AM
 
Hi,

Can someone walk me through how to set up a VNC connection via the net? I have Chicken of the VNC as client and OSXvnc as server installed on my Mac and so do my friend. I am trying to connect my Mac to her but I am not sure how to do this. I read something on the net about this but it's way over my head because there so many buzz words tat I have no clue what they mean.

Thanks in advance

MacPC
     
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Aug 30, 2006, 10:50 AM
 
Hi,

Here is a method for using VNC to control another Mac on the internet, via an SSH tunnel. The SSH tunnel provides encryption for the process so that data cannot be intercepted.

This assumes the remote computer is not behind a router, or else you will need another step to forward ports on the router.

You will need to know the remote Macs external ip address, so take note of it, and if it regularly changes you will need to purchase a service that informs you of its current ip address.

On the remote computer: set up a user account for yourself with a strong password. Make sure all accounts on the computer have strong passwords. Then turn on remote login in the sharing preferences. (while you're at it, I would suggest turning on the OS X firewall if its not on already--it should automatically keep open the port for remote login which you enabled.)

Also download and install OS X VNC on the remote computer: http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/16699

In the preferences in OS X VNC, set it to accept local connections only (this is an important precaution), and choose a password. You can set OS X VNC to start automatically at each startup.

OK, now on the local Mac, download and install Chicken of the VNC http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/14099

Using the terminal application on the local Mac you would enter:

ssh username@ipaddress -L5900:127.0.0.1:5900

(where username is your short username and ipaddress is the numerical ip address of the remote computer in the 12.34.56.78 format)

You will be prompted for your password after which point you have set up a secure ssh tunnel from your computer to the remote computer whereby traffic on your local port 5900 (the vnc port for the default monitor 0) is securely forwarded to the remote computer where the os x vnc server is listening.

Do NOT close the terminal window--it needs to stay open for the duration of your access. Now use Chicken of the VNC client on your local Mac using the host address 127.0.0.1 and the password you chose on the osx vnc server on the remote computer.

If you did all of this correctly you will be able to see the desktop of the remote computer and control it with your mouse and keyboard. Of course, this works best with broadband connections on each end.

Note that there is some risk in having remote access running on a computer which is constantly on the internet. Strong passwords help deter hackers, but there are also ways to change the port that SSH uses or to disable password authentication and use encryption keys instead. If you feel you need that level of security, ask in the UNIX forum for more specifics.

Enjoy,

rjt1000
     
MacPC  (op)
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Aug 31, 2006, 08:44 AM
 
Hi rit1000,

Thanks for the reply. Pradon my limited knowledge on networking, when you say external IP address, you mean the IP from the ISP, is that correct?

And yes, the other Mac is behing a router, so there will be extra steps involved? How do I go about doing that? I read it on the net somewhere that it has to do with the DMZ on the router or something like that, I didn't know there was a war going in the router.

Thanks again.

MacPC
     
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Aug 31, 2006, 10:42 AM
 
Hi,

The external IP address is the address your ISP assigns. You can find it by going to www.showmyip.com

The internal IP address is the address your router assigns. You can find it in the Network preference pane, by clicking on the TCP/IP tab.

If you are behind a router, you will need to set a manual internal IP address and forward port 22 in your router to that address.

Setting a manual internal IP address:

1. go to Network preferences in system preferences. Under the show: popup choose the adapter you are using to connect to the internet (e.g. airport). Then click on the TCP/IP tab.

2. Note the router address before changing anything.

3. Now change the Configure IPv4 popup to "manually"

4. For IP Address choose an address with the same first 3 numbers as the router address and a last number that will be unique. (e.g. if your router address is 10.0.1.1 you can choose 10.0.1.50 as the IP address)

5. Don't change the subnet mask or router address from the defaults set by the router.

6. For DNS server, enter the router address (in the example 10.0.1.1) or the DNS server provided by your ISP. (Using the router address for DNS server works with Airport extreme and some other router brands, but if your router doesn't like this, ask your ISP for its DNS server, or google public ones on the net)

7. Then click on apply now.

To forward router ports for port 22 (SSH): (this varies slightly depending on your router, but should be more or less the same)

1. Access your router the usual way (i.e. the web interface, or for airport, the airport admin utility)

2. Look for an option called port forwarding or port mapping.

3. For public port enter 22, for ip address enter the manual internal IP address for the machine you set above, for private port enter 22. (you are telling the router that whenever traffic comes in on port 22 (SSH) to send it to port 22 on the machine specified.)

4. Save or apply your settings.

Hope that helps,

rjt1000
( Last edited by rjt1000; Sep 2, 2006 at 02:01 PM. )
     
MacPC  (op)
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Sep 2, 2006, 06:30 PM
 
Hi rit1000,

Thanks again for such a detail reply. I will try it step by step. If I run into a brick wall like this guy here , I will probably bug you again. Hope you don't mind.

MacPC
     
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Sep 4, 2006, 11:18 AM
 
Hi MacPC,

If you follow step by step, it should work fine. One caution though, when entering terminal commands, be sure to be exact (e.g. spaces count). This is a neat tool for a number of applications: I use it all the time to log onto my elderly Mom's iBook and help her work out any problems she is having with it.

Good Luck,
rjt1000
     
   
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