Free Computer Help.
Powered by Volunteers.

Remote Control Another PC Securely with VNC and Hamachi

by Oscar Sodani
February 17, 2006

Oscar Sodani is a founder of Help2Go and owner of Help2Go Networks, an IT consulting firm in the Washington D.C. area. Oscar holds the CISSP certification as well as industry certifications from Microsoft, Cisco and Novell.

VNC is a fantastic piece of free software that allows you to remote control another PC over the Internet. We've covered how to setup VNC before - but now we're going to show you how to set it up in such a way that ALL VNC traffic is encrypted and protected from hackers. To do this, we're going to use another great free software program: Hamachi.

Step 1: Download & Install Hamachi and VNC

The first step is to install Hamachi on both PCs (the PC that will be remote controlled, and the PC doing the controlling). Setup a network and ensure that there is connectivity between the two. We cover this in our guide to Hamachi.

VNC is available for most current operating systems, including Windows and Linux.

Perform the following instructions on the computer you want to control (the server):
Click here to go to the VNC download page. Choose the Free edition, fill out the form, and download the proper version.

On the download screen, make sure you download the latest version, and Windows users should make sure they download the executable version.

Once it is downloaded, double-click on the file -- this will install VNC on your computer.


Step 2: Start the Server

Now we'll make sure that VNC is resistered as a service on this pC, so it will start up automatically.
Click on Start, Programs, RealVNC, VNC Server (Service Mode), Register VNC Service.

Now, if you are running Windows XP or you have a firewall installed on this computer, perform this step:

Click on Start, Programs, RealVNC, VNC Server (User Mode), Run VNC Server. Notice that we chose the User-Mode option this time. This is to make sure that your firewall will allow VNC connections to be made. At this point, your firewall should ask you if you want VNC to have access to the Internet. Choose Unblock, or whatever option will allow Internet access.

You should also see the VNC icon running in your system tray. Right-click on that icon now and choose Close VNC Server now to shut down VNC.


Step 3: Configure VNC Server

Click on Start, Programs, RealVNC, VNC Server (Service Mode), Configure VNC Service.

The configuration utility will run, and a pop-up box will prompt you for some settings (Figure 1).

Choose VNC Password Authentication and click Configure to set a password. Anyone who will want to control your PC will need this password to connect.

Figure 1


Next, click on the Connections tab. Click the + sign in the bottom box and choose Edit.





Make sure the Allow option is checked, and enter the following in the text box:




Click OK. By entering in these numbers, you are ensuring that ONLY people that you have allowed on your Hamachi networks can try to remote control your computer (they'll still need to know the password).  

Click on OK again. Click on Start, Programs, RealVNC, VNC Server (Service Mode), Start VNC Service. VNC will now be running in the background (you may see a little VNC icon in your system tray, next to the clock).


Step 4: Your Hamachi IP Address

Now, you will need to know what your Hamachi IP address is. An IP address is a sequence of numbers that identifies your computer on the Internet. Hamachi gives you a special number that starts with 5, i.e. - your number is prominently displayed in the Hamachi window. Write it down.

Your computer is now ready to be controlled!


Step 5: Remote Controlling your Computer

These steps must be done on your client computer (that is, the computer that will do the controlling):

First, make sure that Hamachi is running and you have a valid connection with the first computer.

Next, you will need to download and install the VNC program again. Here is the download web page.

Once installed, click on Start, Programs, RealVNC, VNC Viewer, Run VNC Viewer.


A connection screen will immediately pop-up. Here's where we'll need the Hamachi IP address you wrote down in step 4.

In the connection details box, type in the Hamachi IP Address of the computer you want to control.


Click on OK -- a password box will soon pop-up. Type in the password you set in step 3. Wait a few seconds, and you should see the screen of your server computer! Go ahead -- try moving the mouse, opening some programs, even checking the company network. Everything you do is being echoed on the computer you are remote-controlling.

If you are having problems connecting, make sure that both your client and server computers are actively connected to the Internet and that your Hamachi connection is green. If you still have problems, try the Hamachi Support Forum.

Web Browser Control

Now for some real fun -- if you have a Java-capable web browser (i.e. Netscape or Internet Explorer), you can remote control your server using just your web browser! Here's how:

Open up your web browser.
In the Location field, type http:// followed by the IP address of your server, followed by a colon (:) followed by the number 5800. For instance, I would type in

You should then be prompted for your password -- type it in, and you will see your server's screen, right in the web browser!


Final Thoughts

VNC is a great program, but it is insecure. By using it in combination with Hamachi, we get all the great security features we need! 

Have a question? Need help? Get free, friendly person-to-person help with your computer questions or spyware questions in our help forums!

Creative Commons License

(C) 2008 Help2Go - Contact Us