Control my home Mac from Windows PC at work

Discussion in 'macOS' started by riverpoet, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. riverpoet macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2008
    Hi all,

    I'm new here and also new to Mac (iMac 2007). I'm slowly completing my move from Windows PC to OSX Leopard Mac and so far I was able to solve all the minor problems I've encountered (some of them by using virtual Windows XP inside Parallels - e-banking software and similar stuff that doesn't exist for OS X). But the first true problem also concerns perhaps the single most important thing to me as I use it every single day - the ability to control my home computer from my office.

    The office PC has Windows XP and till now I was simply connecting to my home PC via Remote Desktop (MS). Worked flawlessly, was encrypted, great piece of software.

    What I want is:

    - an encryped connection without manually creating a SSH tunnel
    - being able to log in to freshly rebooted Mac (=no user currently logged in)
    - being able to login when user is at "Login Screen" (=fast user switching like in XP)
    - what I'm doing when I'm connected remotely MUST NOT BE VISIBLE on iMac's screen

    I tried the built-in VNC and also Vine VNC and RealVNC Enterprise Server. The latter is the only one what is encrypted, but all of them show my remote session on iMac's screen, which is not acceptable. What I want the exact functionality of Microsoft's Remote Desktop, not more and not less. Is this possible?

  2. MurphyM macrumors 6502

    Dec 29, 2007
    Your requirements are totally reasonable. But I can't think of a solution that meets all of them.

    Depending on WHAT you're trying to do while connected an SSH session would be both secure and invisible to someone walking by. But you wouldn't have access to the gui.

    I picked (the free version) as my favorite product of last year. It's secure and gives you full access to the gui. Cross platform too. But people walking by would see what you were doing.

    You might look at the PAID versions of to see if any of them behave more like a true terminal session, like what you get with MS Remote Desktop.
  3. Chris204 macrumors regular

    Jan 9, 2008
  4. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    I would also recommend this, LogMeIn has been the most reliable solution I've found so far, and its damn easy to use...BUT I don't thing "-being able to log in to freshly rebooted Mac (=no user currently logged in)"
    is possible...
  5. alienx macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2007
    Hi, SSH is very secure and easy to do but considerer it even you say dont want it that way, I connect from home this way...

    If you have windows PC to make the direct connection you need CupSSH installed and forward the port.
    If you Use your Mac as the direct connection then you need to have SSH enable.
    Forward the appropriate port at the router to go the machine to connect.

    I use putty as my connection program from my work PC (XP) using SSH (very easy to configure) and just click on it to initiate the connection, then either I lunch "VNC" or "Netsupport Manager" to connect to my MAC machine (or Vista PC) at home.
  6. riverpoet thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2008
    Thanks for the suggestions, I'll check out

    In the meantime I've managed to find a partially acceptable solution:

    - I have an OpenVPN server running on my router with DD-WRT firmware, so I connect to my home network via VPN and that takes care of encryption issue

    - I use router's Wake On Lan interface to wake up the iMac from sleep

    - Vine Server can apparently show the login screen instead of my actual actions if I run it in "user" mode ("system" server turned off), but I have to do a fast user switch (click on username > Login Window) before I go to work.

    - I do most of the stuff regarding data access by RDC to the virtual Windows XP (which is a bit ironic), as it's waaaaaaaay faster. The way VNC works (basically it refreshes screen image) is totally inefficient compared to the way MS Remote Desktop works.

    Also, there are lots of problems with connecting to OSX vnc server from Windows VNC client. I couldn't get Ctrl to work, and Command key doesn't work, and also some key combinations, so I wasn't even able to type an e-mail address in Mail's To field... I could copy the @ from mail contents, but of course using the mouse to paste into To field doesn't work as well, so...

    If the client machine also had 1920x1200 resolution and both machines had FTTH connection, than VNC would probably be a usable alternative to RDC, but not with a 8/1 Mbit DSL.


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