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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.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.