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reverse vnc connectionVirtual Network Computing (VNC) is useful, but less so if you want to help a friend with something. If they need your help to begin with they probably can’t set up their router’s port forwarding to give you access. Gitso allows for reverse VNC connections, meaning your port settings need to be set instead of your friend’s. Combine this brilliant idea with a program that works on Linux, Mac and Windows machines and you can support your friends in three simple steps.

When it comes to remote connections, VNC is many people’s protocol of choice. With native support built into Mac OS X and most versions of Linux, and a plethora of applications available for Windows and (seemingly) every other system on earth, it’s hard to match VNC for versatility.


But getting a VNC connection working when there are routers and port settings involved can be tricky, particularly if you need to access the computer of someone not savvy enough to make the necessary changes to their firewall and port settings. This explains the popularity of services like LogMeIn LogMeIn - Access your PC Remotely LogMeIn - Access your PC Remotely Read More .

If you want a simple way to help your friends with their computer problems, but don’t want to depend on a proprietary service to do so, Gitso is what you’re looking for. Download Gitso if you want, and keep reading to find out how to use it.

The Basics

This program has two main functions: getting help and helping others. The person helping should probably start the program first, and doing so is simple enough. Here’s what it looks like when I start the program in Ubuntu:

reverse vnc connection

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Giving help was as simple as clicking the “Give Support” button, then pressing start. The message “Server Running” means I’m ready to accept connections. Now comes the tricky part. I need my friend, who needs help, to connect to me. For this to happen he or she first needs to download Gitso, or I could simply email the program in order to simplify things. Once Gitso is working it will look like this:

vnc connection

My friend needs to type my IP address, which I’ll gladly provide over the phone. Once this is entered I will be connected to their computer:

reverse vnc connection

So the person receiving support only needs to do three things: download the program, run the program and type an IP address. It’s a little complicated, but far less than talking your friend through configuring their port settings.

Port Settings

Oh yeah, port settings. Using this service on a local network is simple, but if you want to make use of Gitso via your Internet connection you’re going to need to configure your port settings properly. Log into your router’s administrator and make sure port 5500 is forwarding to the computer you’ll be helping people from. For best results give your computer a static IP.

Conclusion

Still have questions about setting up a reverse VNC connection with this program? You can find more information at Gitso’s how-to page, or ask about any troubles you might have in the comments below. Also feel free to share any links to remote support software you find that’s easier to use than this is.

  1. kafeine
    February 18, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    +1 @Ross Patterson.

    VNC do the same. You do not configure your friend's router to TCP 5900 for VNC his computer....but you configure your own Router to TCP 5500...
    Then your friend just has to : Add new client to your ip/domain name...

  2. kafeine
    February 18, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    +1 @Ross Patterson.

    VNC do the same. You do not configure your friend's router to TCP 5900 for VNC his computer....but you configure your own Router to TCP 5500...
    Then your friend just has to : Add new client to your ip/domain name...

  3. Ross Patterson
    February 18, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Why not just have the "need help" person install VNC and connect back to the "give help" person's listening VNC viewer? On Windows, that's as easy as right clicking on the VNC tray icon, choosing "Add New Client", and supplying the IP/hostname - not much different from Gitso.

    • jhpot
      February 24, 2011 at 5:01 pm

      I've tried this a number of times and never really got it working, but I'm glad to hear there are other solutions out there.

  4. Justin
    February 18, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    This is very promising. As the official computer nerd/geek of the family, I am often called to help but to try to explain port forwarding to my grandfather is no easy task. However, I can certainly set it up on my end!

  5. skforussia.ru
    February 18, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Very impressive stuff. thanks for sharing

  6. Jack Cola
    February 18, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    This is why I like Crossloop - no need to set port configs as it runs through port 80! Just give someone the access code, and you have a remote session.

    But I don't think its free anymore, there model is completely different now to when I last used it.

    • Aibek
      February 24, 2011 at 1:03 pm

      I used to be a CrossLoop fan for a while. Lately I tried to help out my friend in Japan and found it rather slow. Tried twice.

  7. Jack Cola
    February 18, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    This is why I like Crossloop - no need to set port configs as it runs through port 80! Just give someone the access code, and you have a remote session.

    But I don't think its free anymore, there model is completely different now to when I last used it.

  8. Ewleonardspock
    February 18, 2011 at 2:04 am

    There is another program called TeamViewer. I use it for remote desktop because it is incredibly easy to use and it doesn't require admin privileges to run. It also doesn't require any configuration and has the option to connect via a browser. It also supports Windows, Mac, and Ubuntu flawlessly. I haven't tested any Linux distributions other than Ubuntu but I believe it does support some others.

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