All About Direct Connections

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A direct connection is one that you broker yourself, without endpoints having to connect to RealVNC’s cloud service.

You must know the IP address or hostname of the remote computer at the moment you want to connect, and you will likely need to reconfigure intermediate firewalls and routers in advance too.

By default, RealVNC Connect uses port 5900 TCP/UDP, so you must allow this port inbound to RealVNC Server and/or outbound from RealVNC Viewer. See the set up instructions below for a private network such as a LAN or VPN, or a public network such as the Internet.

Establishing a direct connection

To establish a direct connection:

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

  2. On the local computer or mobile device you want to control from, enter the IP address or hostname of the remote computer in the RealVNC Viewer search bar (you don’t need to sign in):

    Direct Connections 1.png

    You may also need to qualify the address with a port number if RealVNC Server is listening on a port other than the default 5900, for example 192.168.5.236:80 for port 5980 or 192.168.5.236::80 for port 80.

  3. Authenticate to RealVNC Server running on the remote computer. The password you enter depends upon which subscription you have. Find out what this is.

Enabling direct connectivity on a remote computer

You must enable direct connectivity on each remote computer you want to control. You can do this when you license RealVNC Server:

  • If you sign in to RealVNC Server at install-time using your RealVNC account credentials, simply follow the in-app instructions.
  • If you apply an offline license (either desk-side or remotely), direct connectivity is automatically enabled.

You can check whether direct connectivity is enabled for a computer by examining the RealVNC Server dialog and checking for IP addresses:

Direct Connections 2.png

Setting up a direct connection over a local network (LAN or VPN)

You will need:

  1. A remote computer to control:

    get-connected-local-1.png
  2. A local device to control from:

    get-connected-local-2.png
  3. Both connected to the same local network:

    get-connected-local-3.png

Now do this:

  1. Download RealVNC Server to the computer you want to control.
    get-connected-local-a.png
  2. Use RealVNC Server to look up the private (internal) IP address of the computer.
    get-connected-local-b.png
  3. Download RealVNC Viewer to the device you want to control from.
    get-connected-local-c.png

  4. Enter the private IP address in RealVNC Viewer to establish a direct connection.
    get-connected-local-d.png

  5. Enter the user name and password you typically use to log on to the RealVNC Server computer.
    get-connected-local-e.png

Setting up a direct connection over the Internet*

*to maximise security, RealVNC strongly recommends cloud connections be used for connecting from the Internet.

You will need, in addition to the above:

  1. Both devices connected to the Internet:

    get-connected-internet-1.png
  2. Make and model of your router:

    get-connected-internet-2.png

Now do this:

  1. Configure the RealVNC Server computer’s firewall to add an exception for VNC.

    get-connected-internet-a.png
  2. Configure the RealVNC Server computer’s router to forward port 5900.

    get-connected-internet-b.png
  3. Look up the RealVNC Server computer’s public (external) IP address.

    get-connected-internet-c.png
  4. Enter the public IP address in RealVNC Viewer to establish a direct connection.

    get-connected-internet-d.png
  5. Enter the user name and password you typically use to log on to the RealVNC Server computer.

    get-connected-internet-e.png
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