Remote Desktop --- outside LAN

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Guest, Sep 23, 2005.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Another in my ongoing mother's new pc questions:

    She uses comcast cable for her internet connection.
    I use verizon dsl.

    She has a new McAfee firewall. I have a router and
    use the Norton firewall.

    Can I use remote desktop from my machine to her
    desktop? If so, how do I do it?

    I have XP Pro, she has XP Home...

    Thanks in advance, especially if it is possible :)
    Guest, Sep 23, 2005
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  2. Guest

    PeterD Guest


    Technically yes, it might be able to be done. Practically? I'd say
    probably not. You'd have to have a fixed IP address (need not be
    static, but you need the IP addresses of both ends if possible). As
    well, you need to open ports in the firewalls for this. No problem
    there, but some ISPs (them thar cable guys...) have a second firewall
    between you and the internet and block these ports as well.

    I've done remote desktop over the Internet. It works, but required
    that I play with both firewalls, do some configuring of the computers
    to get it to work.

    But not all is lost! There is a product that does just what you want.
    I saw a demo just the other day! Alas, I can't recall the name...
    (groan) I'll email the person who showed it to me, and see if he has
    info. He does say it is the best solution he's come across so far.
    PeterD, Sep 23, 2005
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  3. Guest

    wayne Guest

    you can do netmeeting and share the desktop also WinVNC should work
    I would try netmeeting first you may find for the times you need to
    remote in it might be easier if possible to bypass the router and just
    make sure the firewall is set to prompt and say yes when things pop up.
    then you can do port forwarding for the ports that popped up on your

    wayne, Sep 23, 2005
  4. Guest

    Tom Scales Guest

    I'd suggest you look at

    I'd suggest XP's built in Remote Desktop (which I use flawlessly over the
    Internet), but it requires the machine to have XP Pro or XP MCE. She could
    take over you but you can't take over her.

    Tom Scales, Sep 23, 2005
  5. Guest

    James Guest

    Too pessimistic. It's a common problem and because of that it's been
    solved many times over. (or several other competing products) solves this issue.
    It requires some initial setup not especially more difficult than
    anything else required in this post. After the initial setup,
    it eliminates to iffy-ness of dhcp leased addresses.
    Fairly rare. I can't imagine any big players doing this and staying
    in business.
    Competing products:

    GoToMyPC and Timbuktu are probably the easiest to use. They use
    a third party brokerage (cough - I'm slaughtering jargon here)
    such that PC_A connects *outbound* to brokerage, PC_B connects
    *outbound* to brokerage. Brokerage tells each how to connect
    *outbound* to each other.

    It cut through my wife's workplace firewall with no issue. The
    negatice is that it cost big bucks. Timbuktu has (used to have)
    a free demo.

    VNC is a freebie. The controlled PC must be able to accept
    inbound connections, which means some firewall and address

    RDC is similar to VNC, but it's superior in nearly every aspect
    except cost.

    Finally, you can use cipe, vpn, or ssh tunneling to defeat a
    firewall. Very complicated setup in most cases. And it can
    get you fired from your job if you're purposefully circumventing
    their firewall against policy.
    James, Sep 23, 2005
  6. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Tom Scales writes:

    Tom> I'd suggest you look at
    Tom> I'd suggest XP's built in Remote Desktop (which I use flawlessly over the
    Tom> Internet), but it requires the machine to have XP Pro or XP MCE. She could
    Tom> take over you but you can't take over her.

    Thanks all, I will check out the realvnc site.

    I had hoped to use XPs, which I use on my home
    network and to get into my work PC over a VPN
    connection. I did not know about the XP Home
    Guest, Sep 23, 2005
  7. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Tom Scales writes:

    Tom> I'd suggest you look at

    I am trying to get through their documentation.

    She would be the server, would I use her private
    IP address?

    IOW, could I call her, have her run ipconfig and
    read me the number, then connect to that with the
    viewer software?

    IOW2, does their code take care of all the firewall/
    ip masking stuff that I do not understand well?

    Guest, Sep 23, 2005
  8. No, open port 5900 on her firewall and have it point to her machine.
    Now from your machine, point it to here IP:0. eg.
    No need, just set up persistant port forwarding on the router to her
    internal IP. Now all you need to do is point to her external IP.
    Actually, a better way (already mentioned in this thread) is to use a
    (free) service like Create a account with them and point
    some arbitrary address like to your mother's cable modem
    (she runs a program on the modem to update dyndns when her IP changes).
    Now just point VNC to

    The best route is to only open port 22 (SSH), and tunnel in there
    (she'll need a SSH daemon, like the one included in Cygwin). From there
    create a tunnel that forwards port 5900 to your machine. Then open vnc
    and point to your loopback address (
    Two things of note: VNC is very bandwith intensive so expect poor
    performance (you're limiting factor is her upload speed). Also note
    that the only thing encrypted in VNC is the initial password exchange,
    everything else can be intercepted (big problem on a cable modem); VNC
    over SSH would solve this problem.

    Personally, I'd look to something like GoToMyPC (already mentioned in
    thread, not free).
    Nicholas Andrade, Sep 23, 2005
  9. andrew, if all you are looking for is an occasional connection to mom's
    computer for support purposes then i suggest that you use the free service
    from it is very similar to but somewhat slower
    (which is also slower than window's built in remote desktop connection) yet
    it is completely useable and it is free. since your mom has xp home she can
    not host a remote desktop connection (only machine with windows xp pro can).
    vnc is nice but lacks security if not set up correctly so is more commonly
    used in conjunction with a vpn connection or simply on a local lan. with
    logmein you simply install the software on the target/host machine and when
    you want to connect to that machine you just point your internet explorer
    browser to the website and log in. since the software on the
    host computer calls out to logmein you do not need to worry about ip
    address' static or dynamic. good luck.
    Christopher Muto, Sep 26, 2005
  10. Guest

    ric Guest

    um, no.
    running RDP or terminal services naked over the internet is a Very Bad
    Idea: you *do not* want it's ports open as you *will* get hacked.
    either run VNC or similar (with strong password) or run RDP over a VPN
    connection - DO NOT just open up the RDP ports over the internet and
    hope for the best.

    over a LAN, RDP is your best bet assuming it's an all-windows network.
    ric, Sep 27, 2005
  11. Guest

    ric Guest

    much easier way - google for "reverse VNC". basically she initiates
    the VNC connection to your PC, hence needs zero knowledge of
    routers/port forwarding etc as it'll work without it as a persistent
    outgoing connection. All the port forwarding is done at your end. All
    she'll have to do is startup VNC and type in your dyndns machine name,
    and that's it - works a charm. this is great for non-techies.

    ric, Sep 27, 2005
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