Hi:

My counterparts at Kansas State introduced me to Ultra VNC  and I have been using it for over three years now.  It has saved many trips to the remote field offices.  Here is how I have set it up:
I install VNC Server on every system before I deliver it to the client.   All of our remote offices are behind NAT'ed routers.  When someone needs me to take a look at their system, I have them open a VPN session to UVM, I do the same.  I have them start the Ultr@VNC Server.  I start Ult@VNC on my system in "Listening Mode".  I give them my current VPN IP address and they add me as a new client.  I can then see and work on their desktop.

The "Pros" to this are 1) they have to add my IP address for every session, so they are less worried that "Big Brother" is spying on them.  .It works fast over a wired connection (there is a 10 - 20 second lag time if running over a wireless network).  2) Using VPN gets around firewalls and router issues. 3) You can't beat the price... free.

The "Cons" are 1) it does not support "reboots".  If you need to reboot, a new connection must be established. 2) You can not print to a LAN printer. (Network Services does not allow this option in VPN)

I will have to give VNC SC a try.  Thanks for the info Tyler.


John








Tyler Whitney wrote:
[log in to unmask]" type="cite">Hello IT-DISCUSSERS:

I just wanted to send a brief line to notify everyone of my success with using a specific product, that I thought would be beneficial to everything if I shared.

Some or most of you may know of an open source VNC program called Ultra VNC. In addition to this, some may know of another called Ultra VNC SC (standing for single click). What this product allows one to do is remotely connect to a support technician using an executable that is customized to directly connect to that technician, with all the specifications built into the executable. Rather than the traditional VNC options, the user doesn't have a VNC server installed and running on their computer all the time, this poses a security risk, not to mention most clients are not comfortable knowing us techie's can log into their computer at will at any moment. What Single Click allows us to do is the user runs a one-time only temporary VNC server that initiates the connection itself to a Listening VNC Viewer. So when the user opens the executable, it can be preconfigured to have any number of techs built in, it will open with all my customizable logos and text, and it will give the option of what tech I want to connect to. I then would initiate the connection, if the Tech's listening vnc client wasn't running, it would not be able to connect... but if I were on a phone with a client I would have then run this executable, and then I would run my client, and the connection would be there. The actual SC client will run and try to connect to the listening client on the tech's side for five minutes, if it doesn't receive a response back at that point it will cancel and completely stop running and remove itself.

I've found this to be very useful, and the we the Tech Team here in Residential Life have adopted it for use for client support. http://reslife.uvm.edu/techconnect will download an exe that contains all or preconfigurations if you're interested in seeing the software. You will not be able to connect because none of us have our listening clients running, but if we did it would state "USERNAME has initiated a support connection, accept?" and you click yes or no. Simple as that, and then you have VNC control over the client computer, which is way easier than Remote Desktop because:

1) no messing with IP or hard steps for the client
2) the client can SEE what you're doing, so you can show them how something is done, and use it for training
3) no logging in, the client initiates the connection to the tech, the tech accepts or denies, the tech doesnt have to run the client unless they are on the phone and are instructing someone to initiate the connection
4) its safer because there is no server running 24/7 (or when the computer is on) on the clients machine
5) Its open source!

I recommend everyone check it out. I just thought finding such a unique and useful use of a product should be shared with the rest of the IT Community, for the benefit of everyone.

Good afternoon!

Tyler


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John Cooley
Information Technology Professional
University of Vermont Extension
(802) 299-2420