7 Replies Latest reply: Feb 22, 2013 7:12 AM by Philip Philonenko
conwaycd Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I am having trouble connection remotely to my MacBook Pro via VNC on a Windows computer from outside my MacBook's home network. I have setup my MacBook for remote management (which activates the VNC server) with a VNC password. I have tried several Windows clients but have not been able to establish a connection. When I use Remotix on my iPhone to connect via VNC, it works fine. Any suggestions?


MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.1)
  • SwankPeRFection Level 4 Level 4 (1,435 points)

    If you're outside the network that the Mac is on, then there are certain ports that must be opened up on the router on that network and properly forwarded to the IP address of the mac.  The connection is then made to the public IP of the router on the WAN side and the router bridges this connection to your Mac on the inside of the NAT'd network.  This is all pretty involved... not difficult to set up, but involved for the novice user.

     

    Now, the reason Remotix works is because it's not a VNC client.  Remotix is a remote connection client that works by way of a 3rd party intermediary.  The way Remotix works is that you create an account with them and then add your Mac (or any other PC you want) to that portal and the host software that runs on the system you just loaded it on actually does the "tunneling" out of your private local network and registers with the Remotix servers and advertises the connection as available.  On the client side (i.e. your iPhone), you connect to that same Remotix account and see the Mac as available, so it lets you connect that way because that session/tunnel of the appropriate ports for that remote connection as been done from the inside-out of your network at home.

     

    Basically, without networking knowledge of how to open/forward TCP/UDP ports and still maintain proper security on a LAN/WAN, it's suggested you use these types of remote connection solutions.  Remotix, LogMeIn, SplashTop, etc.  The way they work does all the "behind the scenes" setup for you without the need to change anything on any network your host computer is on that you want to connect to.

  • conwaycd Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the quick response. I understand everything that you're saying (I think ). But on my Belkin router I have forwarded port 5900 TCP & UDP to my Mac LAN IP. And when I try to connect through various VNC Viewers (ie. Ultra VNC, TightVNC, etc) I am using the public IP address (WAN) followed by a :5900. This should work shouldn't it? Most people I have read about have the exact same setup and it seems to work for them. Regarding Remotix, I never set up an account or anything. With the iPhone app, I just enter the server (WAN address), the port is defaulted to 5900 and it connects using VNC. This is all very frustrating !

     

    I thought that maybe I am missing something in the Mac Firewall setup? But setting up the Sharing properties on the Mac is supposed to set the 5900 port to listen for connections.

  • conwaycd Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm basically just trying to establish a connection from my work computer which runs Windows 7.

  • SwankPeRFection Level 4 Level 4 (1,435 points)

    It's possible then that your work network might have a block on port 5900.  Is your iPhone on the private work WIFI when you're making the Remotix connection from it without issues?

     

    I would say this... if you're able to make the same VNC connections from other outside networks except your work one, then it's either that work PC or the work network.  It sounds to me like you've properly opened up the right ports on your home router to make this work.  BTW, I hope you're using a strong password for that VNC service... I've seen way too many systems hacked because of use of VNC with or without a password.  People usually tend to hit RDP/VNC type connections a lot when they see the ports are open on port scans of WAN addresses out there.  Just be safe.

  • conwaycd Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    When I make the connection from my iPhone I am just using the AT&T 3G network, no work network. But I think you're probably right, there must be a block at my work, either on the comp or the work network. I guess I will just have to try something else. It would be nice to use the Remotix at work since it's much more compatible with OS X but I can live without it.   Thanks for your help.

     

    PS - And if you know of anything I can try at work to get it working, please let me know !

  • SwankPeRFection Level 4 Level 4 (1,435 points)

    Well, one small test you can do (if you're allowed) is to plug your iPhone into your work PC.  When you do that and the appropriate drivers automatically load for it, the iPhone actually gets network connectivity from your work network (yes, an IP is assigned to it via DHCP), so the network traffic at that point on your iPhone should be going through your work network.  Try your Remotix connection that way and if it doesn't work, then you know it's your work network that's blocking that port traffic.

  • Philip Philonenko Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi there. I am the developer on Remotix and want to clarify some misunderstanding here. Remotix basically is the only VNC client with complete support of Apple Screen Sharing advanced features like Mac OS X login, multiple display selection, session select, adaptive Apple codec, encryption and other stuff. It does not currently use any intermediary, so direct (or router setup) connection is established to the Mac you're trying to control.

     

    Besides iOS, Droid & OS X, it's also available for Windows (google for Remotix for Windows), although currently in Beta, but for this reason - free to use and we'll be more than happy to get the feedback on it.

     

    In the meanwhile, we're working on the intermediary solution to ease the set up all that port forwarding/NAT stuff, but it's not here yet. I guess SwankPeRFection points to some other product.