Last week I told you about the benefits of VNC and being about to log into you machine remotely from anywhere in the world. In order to be able to have access to your home computer from anywhere, you have to configure you router’s firewall to allow access to the VNC server. The process of doing this is “Opening Ports”. You’ll need your computer’s IP(Internet Protocol) address, as well as your router’s IP address. I’m also assuming that you have a high-speed connection as well as a router with built-in firewall between your high-speed modem and your computer. The router I’ll be generally referencing is the Linksys, however the process is similar for any of the routers on the market. So let’s get started.
In order to gain access to your router’s administration panel, you’ll need it’s IP address. There are several default configurations out there. On Windows go to Start->Run and key in cmd then press “Enter” on your keyboard. This will open a command window. Type in ipconfig and press enter. You’ll get back several lines of information. The one we’re looking for is IP Address…..: followed by a string of numbers. The most common are 192.168.1.100 or 192.168.2.100. You may be different than the examples I’ve just given and that’s ok. Just jot this number down on a piece of paper. The other number we need is the one listed beside Default Gateway…:. This is the IP address of your router and using the IP examples above would most likely be something like 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.2.1. Again your’s may be different. Just jot it down with the other number.
Now that you have your Default Gateway’s or Router’s IP address, you can log into it and make the necessary changes. The first thing you want to do is open a browser, Internet Explore or Mozilla Firefox will do the job. In the address bar you will type in the numbers you wrote down for the Default Gateway. Then just press the “Enter” key on your keyboard. This will load the login page for your router. The default username and password for most Linksys routers on the market is username:admin password: , that is that the password is blank or sometimes just admin. In any case it is listed in your router’s setup instructions of the owner’s manual. While you’re there, it may be a good idea to change the admin’s password. Once you’re logged into the router you’ll see many options and things that you can configure. Look for an option similar to “Applications & Gaming”. Click it to enter those options. Once there you’re looking for “Port Range Forwarding”. Under the “Application” column enter VNC, then in the “Start” column enter 5900, this is port that VNC Server listens on. In the “End” column enter 5900 again. Now in the “IP Address” column enter the IP address of your computer, that’s the first IP address we wrote down earlier. The check the box in the “Enable” column. Now just click the “Save Changes” button at the bottom of the page. You’ve just opened a port on your router to allow Remote Access to your computer from anywhere using VNC. You should password protect the VNC server on you computer because at this point anyone could have access to your computer. Worth mentioning is that if you shut down the server, no one will be able to log into it even if the port is open. Next week I’ll show you how to find your external IP address, that’s the one that you ISP gives you. So that you can log into your computer from anywhere anytime.