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  1. #1
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Remote Control Software

    There have been other threads about these FREE remote control programs, but they're kind of old, so I thought I'd make this comment in a new thread.

    RealVNC
    UltraVnc
    TightVNC

    It so happens that I use the first of the three, RealVNC, both for remote assistance to my son's computer and my "old" computer which is now upstairs and used only in emergencies. The second and third on that list were mentioned (recommended?) by Joe Perez and Diegol respectively and I've never taken time to try either one since my need is minimal.

    What I wanted to mention is that on my old computer upstairs, if I jump on it by way of RealVNC and there happens to be a ZoneAlarm window open, ZA will not accept my mouse clicks from remote to dismiss the window, so I have to get up off my lazy butt and walk upstairs to clear the window. I guess that's pretty "smart" of ZA, essentially protecting the computer that way! It happened again recently when I installed the updated version of TrendMicro and sometime overnight, TrendMicro attempted to check for updated pattern files and ZA stopped it, for it (obviously) is a "new" (or updated) program in the eyes of ZA. I just had to walk up, "allow" the transmission and all is well again. It's interesting to me that ZA is smart enough to know that my mouse clicks are not coming from the machine in question.

  2. #2
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: Remote Control Software

    Hi Al,

    I was wondering if by chance your old computer or your son's might be running WinXP. If so, in addition to all the remote connection tools you've mentioned, you might try a Remote Desktop connection and see what happens. Apart from being an (apparently) unexplored alternative, RD is my favourite choice when it comes to remote connections.

    HTH
    <img src=/w3timages/blue3line.gif width=33% height=2>
    <img src=/S/flags/Argentina.gif border=0 alt=Argentina width=30 height=18> <big><font color=4682b4><font face="Comic Sans MS">Diegol</font face=comic></font color=4682b4> </big>

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Remote Control Software

    Well, not really. About four years ago, my "other" computer (now long gone) was running Win98SE and I gave remote desktop a try, didn't like the install problems I was having and stopped trying. Then, as I began to read the woes and complaints of many people, I decided to give up on RD. That's when I discovered Radmin - PC Remote Control Software (not free!) and used it until earlier this year when I switched to RealVNC.

    Since I made the above post, I've removed RealVNC and installed the TightVNC that you were looking at. It also cannot operate the remote screen when a ZoneAlarm window is open. Other than that problem, I like both RealVNC AND TightVNC. After installing, I briefly gave the file transfer a try, successfully, so my next step is to get it installed on my son's machine. That's where the file transfer will come in handy.

    One thing I haven't tried concerning the ZA screens is to change the "cursor handling" on the remote machine (see attachment). I left it with the default and haven't checked out yet what the other choice(s) might cause to happen.
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  4. #4
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: Remote Control Software

    Hi Al,

    To be honest I didn't have much time to play around with TVNC. A month and a half after having started using it I moved on to another job, and all I need here (mostly) is the MS Office suite. I have only one computer at home, so I think it will be a long time until I use it (or RD) again. Internal policies as regards authorized software are much stronger in my new job and discourage me to think I'd ever try to use TVNC there (besides I don't need it), but who knows! <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>
    <img src=/w3timages/blue3line.gif width=33% height=2>
    <img src=/S/flags/Argentina.gif border=0 alt=Argentina width=30 height=18> <big><font color=4682b4><font face="Comic Sans MS">Diegol</font face=comic></font color=4682b4> </big>

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Remote Control Software

    Good luck in the new job, Diegol, I wasn't aware of that change. I hope the future bodes well for you.

    For the interest of other readers, the above "cursor handling" adjustment didn't change the situation. Meanwhile, I found some mention in the Zone Alarm forum that this is a known "problem" for people. It seems that reverting back to the ZA 5.x versions will fix the problem, but I'm not willing to do that. I guess if the remote business were more critical to me, I'd be digging some more, but for now with my occasional need, I'll live with it.

  6. #6
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    Re: Remote Control Software

    Al,

    Did the ZA forum say it was a problem with UltraVNC also? That is what I'm using at work and I've not run into that particular issue (nor had anyone complain about it either). I don't have a setup that will let me test a similar situation as yours.

    Joe
    Joe

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Remote Control Software

    Well, I just tried to repeat finding the threads I read and all I found were some others. The ones I focused on were talking about PC Anywhere and RealVNC but it was pretty quickly evident that the "problem" is with ZA and doesn't seem to be correctable from the remote control software. Just now I found a few more threads where the remote control software was some other flavor, but the same problem. One thing I did read just now, and I'm not sure I fully understand the ramifications, is a guy who said the problem was fixed by opening ZA, selecting Overview and Preferences and turning OFF "protect ZA client." Not sure if that's a big security problem or not but I'm gonna try it locally to see if it helps.
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  8. #8
    4 Star Lounger
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    Re: Remote Control Software

    Which of the three programs would you recommend? (RealVNC, TightVNC, UltraVNC) I've been using Funk Proxy for many years but they sold the company a while back and haven't done much with the program since. I will have to upgrade it next year if I want to continue to use it with Vista. I use remote control to shadow desktops and give tech support here at work.
    Daisy

  9. #9
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Remote Control Software

    Please keep in mind that the scope of my use is limited to the computers "in the building" (which means the LAN) and only my son's computer across the internet. I'm not managing computers in a business environment. As you can find from The Lounge, I used RADMIN mainly for its file transfer capability.

    However, of the three we're now talking about here, I'm on TightVNC and so far, satisfied with its performance. It's fast enough for my needs and the file transfer is working OK. Since it's based on RealVNC, even its documentation refers you to the RealVNC docs for reference. I installed the TightVNC 1.3.8 Release Candidate beta and it's doing well for me. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend that you give it a try, but I would do so on a small scale first before possibly setting up your entire system, just to make sure YOU are satisfied with it.

    For Joe: I did try disabling that "protect the client" option and it solves my local problem with dismissing a ZoneAlarm window. NOW, I've got some ZA reading to do, in order to find out what that preference really means. I'm hoping it means to protect ZA from ME rather than bad guys coming in from outside. By that I mean, if it's meant to keep me from shutting down my protection, I can live with that.

  10. #10
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: Remote Control Software

    Hi Daisy

    Real VNC is my weapon of choice, only because I have it as standard for work and I have had no complaints. We have the older version and run it across the network for Win 98 (yes we have one or two left <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>) and Win 2K PC's. Although we can access Win XP machines a lot have a lock down to prevent VNC accessing them for security...therefore for the XP part of the domain we use Remote Administrator Consoles using SMS.msc

    I would check with your network administrator (unless that is you <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>) as to the set up on your XP machines.

    Caveats to be aware of in VNC work....after a while users get used to the IT bod asking them set up the remote control and type it in automatically when they speak to help desk, you cannot access it sometimes unless they have provided you with the correct computer name or IP address. We have that now displayed on the desktop. If you go for Real VNC see if you can get the full blooded version , I call it the Red and Green as you can then access the remote PC as an Administrator and rebbot whilst not losing connection, if you want that I can advise as we have written up some batch files that can dump files to execute as Admin <img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15>

    Manke sure you have a good network as VNC degrades with bad networks or PC with bad network cards. I have bumped up our laptops to 2 gb RAM to help us "push" the data. Make sure you have good graphic cards as the connections can be awful sometimes and there is a delay in the redraw on the screen and the mouse trails behind the cursor.

    If you are going to Vista I reckon there will be an specific SMS installation you can use. My tu' pence worth, really really useful when you are busy and do not have time to go to external sites or go to an office where there is someone you don't like <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>
    Jerry

  11. #11
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    Re: Remote Control Software

    Al,

    IIRC, the 'Protect the ZA client' is to keep some nefarious outside software from being able to disable ZA and take over. So, you could see why that would be problematic for Remote Control Software unless there is a way to configure ZA to accept the remote input from an IP address or machine name.

    Joe
    Joe

  12. #12
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    Re: Remote Control Software

    I use UltraVNC at work. It incorporates elements from Real & Tight and then adds on. I like it 'cause I can have sessions to multiple machines in the same VNC execution (i.e. a tabbed session interface). AFAIK, none of them are proven to work with Vista yet. I suspect they will all need updates soon.

    Joe
    Joe

  13. #13
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Remote Control Software

    Yeah Joe, I see. What's kinda corn-fusing is this, from the Help screens from ZA.
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  14. #14
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    Re: Remote Control Software

    Al, are you using the <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15> ZA? If so, perhaps one of the users of a paid version could chime in about configurability.

    Joe
    Joe

  15. #15
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Remote Control Software

    Yes, I use the free version, Joe. I went cruisin' again in the ZA forums. What makes THAT a time consuming trip is that there are lots of unanswered posts about the problem, so I have to cruise until I find one that has some replies.

    I did find this reference a few times, that seems to relate to the Pro or suite version:
    <hr>That is for the free version, for the pro and security suite version you need to give the program a super rating for trust level. <hr>
    On the other hand, I saw a few comments that the "super" rating doesn't fix it either. Keep in mind that some of the threads I've been reading over there are from earlier in the year and ZA has been updated a few times this year already.

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