Now that you've successfully installed RealVNC, it's time to start using it. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let's take a quick look at how to run it, stop it, and other basics like that.
If you followed the install proceedure, you should have RealVNC running in your system tray in the lower right hand corner of your screen. You can tell it is running if you see an icon like this:
Since it's running, let's have some fun and start breaking things =) The first thing we're going to do it stop RealVNC. Click Start > Programs > RealVNC:
You should see flyouts like the screen shot above. Follow the flyouts and click Stop VNC Service. A black command screen briefly appears and disappears then the RealVNC icon in the lower right also disappears.
Service vs. User Mode
RealVNC lets you run it as a normal Windows program (user-mode) or as a Windows Service (service-mode). If you only need to use it occasionally and you know ahead of time that you will need to use it to remotely connect to your PC, then user-mode is fine for you. A good example of this would be if you need a computer techie guy to connect to your computer once in a while to do some maintenance or fix some things for you.
However, if you randomly need to remotely connect to your PC or you need to connect frequently or when you need to connect, you need to be able to connect reliably, then the service-mode is what you want. (Windows services offer a much greater level of reliability.) A good example of when you need it as a service is when you do a lot of work at home and need to connect from the office to get files or run special programs that you don't have at the office.
Services start with your computer, and you don't even need to login to start them. They are automatic. However, services must be registered, and you need to be an administrator to do this. On the RealVNC Service-Mode menu above, you can click the Unregister VNC Service so that the next time you start your computer, RealVNC does not start automatically. Conversely, click the Register VNC Service to have it automatically start when Windows starts.
User mode is just like normal Windows programs. If you don't know how normal average everyday boring Windows programs are started and stopped, and you are a Windows user... Please never have children.
Configuring RealVNC is really easy. The defaults are perfect for 99.9% of people out there, so I won't go into any deep detail beyond accessing configurations.
There are 2 ways to configure RealVNC:
- Right-click on the icon in the lower right corner and choose Options
- From the programs menu (either service or use mode) choose Configure VNC Service or Configure User-Mode Settings ,depending upon how you are running RealVNC.
#1 above shows the context menu from the service-mode. Notice that the Close VNC Server option is greyed out and you can't click it. When you are runnig RealVNC in user-mode, that option is not greyed out and you can close it normally.
The configuration dialog in service-mode looks like this:
Hmmmm... Familiar if you read the previous tutorial on installing RealVNC. Same things apply. The settings are good to go. You only need to make sure that a password is set.
So, now that you can start, stop, and access the configuration, it's time to use the viewer to connect to a remote computer.
From the Start > Programs menu or from those convenient shortcuts that are on your desktop and quicklauch bar, click the Run VNC Viewer.
The viewer prompts you to enter an address. This should either be an IP address like 192.168.0.16 or a domain name like RenegadeMinds.com =) (Don't even try it... VNC isn't running on this webserver...)
So, type in the IP address or domain name of the PC that you want to connect to then click OK.
If you don't know the IP address or the domain of the remote PC, don't worry for now. That's in the next tutorial (also see below). Even if you can't do the portion below, finish reading, go to the next tutorial, then come back here and pickup where you left off. I PROMISE... it will all be worth it in the end. You are going to LOVE having remote PC access like this.
Enter the password you chose before:
Then click OK.
TADA~! You're logged in to the remote PC!
Above, you can see that I've connected to a remote PC that is running RealVNC. The remote PC appears in the RealVNC viewer window. Since the screen resolution of the remote PC is quite high, I've scaled the ReaVNC viewer window down so that only part of the remote PC is visible. In the remote PC's system tray, you can see the RealVNC icon is now black, indicating that someone is currently connected.
Amongst the other icons, you'll also notice an icon with IP in a red circle and a line through it. That's for a program/service called NoIP, and the subject of our next tutorial where you'll learn how to find your IP address that you need to connect to, and you'll learn how to get rid of your IP address.