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Security How To

Remote Desktop Connectivity Using TightVNC

The network shares example is just one of the many uses of the SSL Explorer package. In this section, I will describe a method for providing complete remote access to your Windows desktop using an open source package called TightVNC, coupled with the tunneling connectivity of SSL Explorer.

Many of you might ask: "Why do I need TightVNC? It looks like SSL Explorer already supports RDP through an included extension." Well, the short answer is that RDP is indeed supported and TightVNC is not absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, if RDP were the only remote desktop method available, many individuals would be left out in the cold. The most common example is that Windows XP Home does not include RDP support.

Also, whereas RDP is a proprietary protocol, VNC is very much a cross platform protocol. This means that with a Windows TightVNC extension installed on your SSL Explorer box, you could access not only your Windows desktop but your Linux desktop and any other desktop for which you had a VNC server running. Another reason, VNC is open source so it is free and you can modify it if you so choose. SSL Explorer also comes with extensions that support many commercial desktop environments such as the Citrix ICA client extension for those who have Citrix servers.

There will three steps to setting up the TightVNC example:

  1. Upload the custom TightVNC extension to the SSL Explorer install via the "Extension Manager".
  2. Install the TightVNC application on the PC that you want to be able to access remotely.
  3. Create the application shortcut, which will tell SSL Explorer how to connect to your PC.

Setup Step 1

First download the custom TightVNC extension. Extensions are packaged zipfiles that include specialized XML that tells the SSL Explorer Java VPN client what to do in order to utilize a specific service.

Next, we will need to click on the Extension Manager link underneath the Configuration menu (Figure 8).

Figure 27: Extension Store screen

Figure 8: Extension Store screen (click image to enlarge)

In the upper right hand corner of the screen in Figure 8, we want to select the Upload Extension link. This will change the screen to the one shown in (Figure 9).

Figure 28: Extension upload screen

Figure 9: Extension upload screen (click image to enlarge)

Select the Browse button to select the location of the downloaded TightVNC extension on your local PC. Then select the Upload button to load the extension into the SSL Explorer installation.


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