|Remote Access Options|
Being able to remotely access a Macintosh running Helix is useful in a number of situations. Among them:
There are a number of software tools available to allow remote access:
This article discusses the basic requirements for setting up remote access. For information on setting up a Helix Server for remote access by Helix Clients, see this technote.
|iChat Screen Sharing||
If you have Mac OS X 10.5 or later on your computers, you have a powerful remote access option built right into the system: iChat screen sharing.
Because it is part of OS X, configuration is as simple as getting an iChat account (if you ever bought anything from Apple’s web store, iTunes store, App store, etc., you already have one) and typing that into the iChat setup screen. If you don’t have an iChat account, there’s a button in iChat to get one for free. Learn more about iChat by clicking here.
iChat screen sharing is the preferred method of QSA ToolWorks for conducting remote technical support. To arrange your first screen sharing session, contact us by phone. After that, all you need to do is open iChat and connect.
For your own support tasks, it is worthwhile noting that iChat screen sharing can also connect to Macs running OS X 10.4, even though iChat does not have that capability in Tiger. To enable this in OS X 10.4, open System Preferences -> Sharing -> Services and turn Apple Remote Desktop on. While you are in the Sharing panel, click the Edit button and set the Local Hostname to something short. (When done, the “Computers on your local network can access your computer at: …” line confirms that you have set it correctly.) Then, on a machine running OS X 10.5 or 10.6, navigate to /System/Library/CoreServices/ and drag the Screen Sharing icon to your Dock. (Or make an alias wherever you prefer.) When you launch the Screen Sharing application, a Connect to Server dialog opens; type in the name you gave to your Tiger machine (with or without the .local ending) and click Connect. Enter a username/password that has permission to use that machine and you are in.
You can also connect through the Finder by choosing Connect to Server from the Go menu. In the Server Address field type vnc:// followed by the name you gave your Tiger machine. You can also create clickable shortcuts via your web browser (tested in Safari) by typing vnc:// (followed by the name you gave your Tiger machine) into the address field and then clicking on the proxy icon (to the left of the address) and dragging it to the desktop. (Or the bookmarks bar or anywhere else you want.)
If the machine has a public IP Address, you can also use this to connect via the internet, assuming you do not have firewalls in place blocking this type of traffic.
Timbuktu is commercial software that requires each user have it installed on their computer. It is priced at about $100/user, with discounts available for larger purchases. You can purchase it directly from Netopia.
Once Timbuktu is installed on the target computer, configuring it for remote access requires that you:
Once the remote computer is configured, all that is needed is to give the person using Timbuktu the public IP Address they need to reach your router.
You can also configure Timbuktu to register itself for external access via a free Netopia service. Look in the Timbuktu Preferences for this option. (Note: the option asks for an email address, but you can give it a fake address and it will work fine.)
If you have Timbuktu we can provide advanced Helix technical support by connecting directly to your desktop. You must contact us first via phone or email to arrange a TB2 session.
|Apple Remote Desktop||
Apple Remote Desktop (ARD) is comprised of two parts: a Client, which is built into Mac OS X, and a Controller, which is commercial software that must be purchased separately. You can purchase it directly from Apple. (You can also support QSA ToolWorks by purchasing it here.)
Configuring the target computer requires that you:
Once the remote computer is configured, all that is needed is to give the person using ARD the public IP Address they need to reach your router.