VNC vs Remote Desktop

VNC Virtual Network Computing and Remote Desktop are data sharing systems that allow users to access their desktops and remotely control their computer from another location.  Essentially they do the same thing by relaying graphical information and transmitting keyboard and mouse events from one computer to another.  However, there are some differences between the protocols of how these systems operate and the functions they are able to perform.

The Remote Desktop system sends the remote access computer instructions on how to draw the screen, in order for the user to view data as it would appear on the main computer.   For this reason, Remote Desktop systems are often faster than VNC systems, which essentially send a picture of the desktop across the server.  .

In addition to being faster, Remote Desktop systems are better able to understand the data that is being received by the  remote access computer.  Therefore, some smaller operations can be performed without having to wait for additional data to transfer between the communicating computers.  For example, you will likely be able to move the mouse and change views in a window without having to send a signal to the host computer and wait for it to acknowledge and calculate changes, before you get a response.

The Remote Desktop server is conveniently built into most versions of Windows.  Each time a connection between computers is made, the protocol for Remote Desktop is to open a new session, instead of working on the existing one.  However, there is a limit to the number of people who can access a computer remotely or have an open session at the same time.  Therefore, using Remote Desktop may even log the user at the physical location off of their computer,  interrupting their current session.

On the other hand, a VNC system allows more connections for access by  multiple users and the transmitting of data from multiple monitors.  These connections are made with the current session, instead of starting a new one each time, but all users see the same thing.  Unlike Remote Desktop, VNC is not currently built into Windows.  However, it is free for most operating systems, and has the added ability of being able to transfer data between different operating systems.  Although, it may typically be slower than Remote Desktop, these advantages make VNC a better choice for certain operational needs.  In addition, since VNC is based on transferring images and operates within the current session, it shows the remote user exactly what the main monitor would display.

Neither Remote Desktop nor VNC are 100% secure.  There are always risks involved when transferring data over a network.  However, both programs offer some features for protection including data encryption, password security, IP filtering, and an audit log.  VNC is often said to be less secure because it only encrypts passwords and allows for more user connections.  However, it’s protocol requires user acknowledgment at the hosting computer.  Plus, there are numerous plug-ins that can be purchased for VNC to increase the user’s level of safety.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.