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Setting Up Your Client

Now, on your client machine, you'll need to install a VNC client. As you saw earlier, the server and client can be downloaded as one install. However, the RealVNC web site allows you to download the viewer alone (see Figure 13). The size of the viewers is particularly remarkable. For the Windows platform, the client is only 150K and can be run as an executable directly from a removable device, such as a USB key.

Figure 13

Figure 13 Downloading the VNC Free Edition View for Windows from the RealVNC web site

The VNC viewer for Windows consists of one executable file. It does not require an installation process, as the server side did. After launching the VNC viewer, you will be presented with a "Connection Details" window as shown in Figure 14. Go ahead and specify the IP address of your VNC server. If you are trying to access your box over the internet, this IP address will be that of your WAN IP address. As stated earlier, I am assuming that you have routed port 5900 to the LAN IP of your VNC server.

In the Figure 14, I am connecting to LAN IP address

Figure 14

Figure 14 Providing Connection Details about Your VNC Server

When you click OK, you will be asked to provide the password you specified when you setup your VNC server earlier (see Figure 15 for an example).

Figure 15

Figure 15 Providing Your VNC Password

At this point, you should be able to use the machine that you set up the VNC server software on through the VNC viewer, just as if you were in front of the computer. Performance will depend on your connection speed. If you are working in a high speed LAN, you'll find that the interaction is quite impressive.

Using Your Internet Browser as a VNC Viewer

Given that you are running a Java-compatible browser (for example, Microsoft Internet Explorer or Firefox), you can interact with your VNC server through your browser. This is a particularly powerful tool, since you are not required to install a client. Rather, a Java applet is invoked through your browser to access your VNC server. For you to be able to access your VNC server through a browser over the internet, you have to have ports 5800 and 5900 of your hardware router pointing to the IP address of your VNC server machine.

From your browser, open the following URL: http://<your vnc server ip address>:5800. In this URL, "Your vnc server ip address" needs to be replaced by either your LAN (if connecting in your LAN) or WAN IP address (if you are accessing your VNC server over the net).

After opening this page, as shown in Figure 16, you should see a page asking you to enter your password.

Figure 16x

Figure 16 Using VNC Through Your Internet Browser

After entering your password, you will be able to access the computer that you placed the VNC server software on through your browser. It is important to note that this browser-based approach is pretty slow compared to the standard VNC viewer approach. However, it is pretty convenient when you need to get to your box quickly and don't have the option to download the VNC client.

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