Virtual Network Computing (VNC)

Follow these steps to control your computer from a mobile device via Virtual Network Computing. Virtual Network Computing is a graphical desktop sharing system. It uses Remote Frame Butter Protocol to control another computer remotely. Even if you choose not to download the above apps, reading this article is still valuable as it provides an explanation of the difference between RDP and VNC.

Virtual Network Computing (VNC) and Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) share the same functions and purposes of controlling a desktop computer from a remote device (usually for administration purposes). RDP technologies are created by Microsoft, while VNC technologies were originally developed by Olivetti Research Laboratory in the UK. There are several other technologies for remote desktop computing, which you can read about here: It should be noted that when an RDP client is connected to a desktop computer, the desktop computer screen (monitor) becomes black. In other words, RDP does not support parallel control of the same computer. Alternatively, when a VNC client is connected to a desktop computer, the client device and the desktop computer will see the same display on the screen and the desktop computer is not necessarily aware of the fact that some client computer is connected to it unless the client tries to move the mouse around or open some applications. In other words, a VNC client can run in a stealth mode. The stealth mode property of VNC computing is often used by hackers to observe the activity of a desktop computer by installing the VNC server on a hacked computer.

To set up your own VNC, complete the following steps:

  1. Download and install the corresponding Real VNC server from Servers are available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and other platforms. Alternatively, you may choose other VNC servers listed in Note that in order for you to use VNC techniques, you need to set a username and password for your desktop computer. You also need to find the IP address of your desktop computer. For Microsoft based Windows computers, you can find the IP address by the following procedures: from Start choose “run” and type “cmd” in the run windows. When the terminal windows shows up, type “ipconfig” and you will find your IP address. In MacOS or Linux machines, you need to open an “xterm” terminal window, and then type “ifconfig” to the IP address.
  2. Open the VNC app you chose to download.
  3. It should be fairly straightforward to configure the app to connect to your Windows or Mac computer. All you need to do is input the IP address (the server address), username, and password in the app client, and then click “Connect.”
  4. When you are connected to your desktop computer from the mobile device, try to use your desktop computer from the mobile device. For example, you can open the Internet Explorer browser to surf the web or edit a Microsoft Word document on your mobile device.

Source: Saylor Academy
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Last modified: Friday, August 28, 2020, 10:45 PM