All About Cloud Connections

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What is a cloud connection?

A cloud connection is one that is brokered by RealVNC’s cloud service. Cloud connections are extremely secure, convenient and reliable. Both the remote computer you want to control and the device you want to control from must be connected to the Internet.

Once brokered, where possible, our cloud service then negotiates a peer-to-peer session between two endpoints, so session data is transmitted directly between them; this is likely to be more performant. However, intermediate network hardware may mean this is not possible, so the cloud service automatically falls back to a relay session if necessary, to ensure the cloud connection succeeds. Note that session data relayed via our cloud service is encrypted end-to-end, so cannot be deciphered by RealVNC, nor anyone else.

*If you need to comply with a particular regulatory compliance regime that disqualifies session data being routed via our servers, you can disable relayed cloud connections. Note, however, this does mean these connections will fail.

To establish a cloud connection:

  1. On the remote computer you want to control, make sure cloud connectivity is enabled.

  2. On the computer or mobile device you want to control from, sign in to RealVNC Viewer using your RealVNC account credentials (email address and password). The remote computer will automatically appear as part of your team; click or tap to connect:

  3. Authenticate to RealVNC Server running on the remote computer, by providing valid credentials. Find out what these are.

Enabling cloud connectivity on a remote computer

For some subscriptions, cloud is the only connectivity option so it is automatically enabled and cannot be disabled.

If you have a subscription that includes direct connectivity, you have more flexibility. You can establish a cloud connection to a particular computer, a direct connection, or both. Read our guide to cloud versus direct for more information.

To enable cloud connectivity, sign in to RealVNC Server at install-time using your RealVNC account credentials (email address and password), simply follow the in-app instructions.

You can check whether cloud connectivity is enabled for a particular computer by signing in to your RealVNC account and seeing whether it appears for your team on the Computers page:

cloud-connectivity-check-team-online.png

Adding a computer to a team at the command line (requires a subscription including mass deployment)

RealVNC Server can be enabled for cloud connectivity in bulk by using a cloud connectivity token. Optionally, you can join one or more existing computer groups (to restrict discovery) and specify a friendly name at the same time.

For more information on using cloud connectivity tokens see Using Cloud connectivity tokens.

Disabling cloud connectivity

You can disable cloud connectivity for a remote computer, but note that RealVNC Viewer users will never be able to automatically discover and establish cloud connections to it. Only direct connections will be possible.

Disabling cloud connections but retaining auto-relicensing

You can disable cloud connections but, providing the computer remains connected to the Internet, leave the computer in communication with RealVNC’s cloud service. This means the cloud service will automatically apply your new offline license each time you renew, saving you having to apply it manually.

To do this, turn off Allow cloud connections in the RealVNC Server Options dialog:

cloud-connectivity-disable-via-vncserver-options.png

Alternatively, set the underlying AllowCloudRfb parameter.

Disabling all communication with RealVNC’s cloud service

You can remove the computer from the team altogether, so that it never ‘phones home’ to RealVNC’s cloud service, and can be disconnected from the Internet. Note this means you will need to manually apply your new offline license each time you renew.

To do this, sign in to your RealVNC account, navigate to the Computers page and choose Remove from team:

cloud-connectivity-remove-team-online.png

Removing a computer from a team at the command line

Windows:

"C:\Program Files\RealVNC\VNC Server\vncserver.exe" -service -leavecloud

macOS:

sudo /Library/vnc/vncserver -service -leavecloud

Linux:

sudo vncserver-x11 -service -leavecloud
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