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jgullo29 03-25-2008 08:46 PM

Remote control a PC from the Mac
Hey Guys,

I work remotely a lot and absolutely love it. My company gave me a dell to use but I finally made the switch to mac, and will never look back. Crap, didn't mean to rhyme there ha ha. Anyway, I don't want to lug around two laptops if I can just use my Mac to access my work Vista desktop.

Currently I connect to our VPN, then use the remote control feature from my XP latptop. I really prefer the remote login program in windows as opposed to The speed is substantially better.

So I have a few questions:

1.) How do I connect to my company's VPN from my mac?

2.) Is there a protocol, like windows remote login, that works the same? With good speeds? Also, being able to adjust the graphics and such for a faster connection is a must.

I have read about VNC, but it sounds like its going to be very sluggish and I can't afford that. I will be connecting to my work computer over cable or dsl.

So if anyone has any suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated!



Discerptor 03-25-2008 09:13 PM

I'm assuming you're using Leopard here. Tell me if I'm wrong so I can change the directions.

1. System Preferences > Network

Click the + button and select "VPN" from the dropdown menu. If you're as experienced with this as you say you are, then you should be able to figure out what to do with the options from here on out.

2. Microsoft has Remote Desktop Connection available for free download on their Mac site. Make sure to download the 2.0 Beta version since I assume you're using an Intel-based Mac. It's also just better in general than the non-beta. The interface works just like the Windows version.

On VNC, I don't find it particularly slow to be honest; Chicken of the VNC has actually worked faster for me than Microsoft's Remote Desktop Connection in my experience. Then again, the computer it was accessing was faster so... whatever. If speed is your real concern, you should be using ssh anyway. :P

Welcome to the boards, and enjoy your stay!

jgullo29 03-25-2008 09:34 PM

Hi Discerptor,

Thank you very much for the quick reply!

Yes, I am using Leopard and it's an Intel, just bought my first mac book a few days ago :D

I checked out the microsoft link you sent. I tried searching on google but never found this one. Perhaps, I'm a bit impatient. Thank you very much!

You had mentioned that "Chicken of the VNC" worked faster than microsoft's solution. This may be a silly question, but what is Chicken of the VNC?

Are you connecting from a Cable or DSL connection?

My computer at work is very fast, a brand new dell with the new Microsoft ME: Vista :(

I will also do some research on ssh (since I have no idea what that is).

Thanks again for all your help!


jgullo29 03-25-2008 10:27 PM

Hello again Discerptor,

I'm a bit confused. I looked up SSH,, and i'm not sure how to use it?

Does it encrypt my remote login? Or it is a remote login program itself?

This is really interesting....


mrplow 03-26-2008 03:32 AM


Originally Posted by jgullo29 (Post 621778)
I checked out the microsoft link you sent. I tried searching on google but never found this one. Perhaps, I'm a bit impatient. Thank you very much!


Here's a direct link to the Microsoft RDC for Mac beta 2

Discerptor 03-26-2008 05:11 AM

SSH is a protocol for remote login to computers that's built into UNIX-like operating systems. For any Linux/BSD/etc., typing


ssh username@ip_address
will allow you to remotely log into the target computer, assuming it's configured to allow such a connection and the ports aren't blocked by some firewall. It's entirely command-line interface, though, which is part of why it's the fastest thing you can go for. Of course, adding the -X option lets you use X display for programs that use it... as you can tell, it was very much made with UNIX/Linux/etc in mind, but I can only assume someone's made it work for Windows somehow since the operating system is so popular. Of course, just as nifty as ssh is scp, the secure copy protocol that lets you directly copy files to and from any two machines you can ssh into. It's a lot more convenient than email attachments.

As for Chicken of the VNC, that's just a Mac program with a nice GUI used to easily make connections using VNC. You can check it out here.

My connection currently is on a university campus, so it's faster than boradband solutions you'd be able to buy for the home I'm pretty sure. That said, most of my times using VNC have actually been over a wireless connection that's either 802.11b or 802.11g, so I don't think having an extraordinarily fast connection is exactly a prerequisite for it. It's not SEAMLESS, but it was certainly a lot faster than when I had to Remote Desktop into the Windows 2003 Server account to mess around with email settings recently... that was just painful. But the VNCing was done into an account on a Linux machine that was some kind of Xeon monster server with massive amounts of RAM, so it might not be a fair comparison.

I'm glad I could help! Feel free to ask about anything else OS X-related; you'll be as comfortable with it as you were with Windows in no time.

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