Remote access via internet to help distant friends ??

Discussion in 'Linux' started by smallhagrid, May 20, 2017.

  1. smallhagrid

    smallhagrid MDL Member

    Sep 14, 2013
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    My older friends who are moving far away soon have become Ubuntu Mate users and with very few exceptions it is going quite well for them.

    Once in a great while I know they will want some help - and hopping on a plane to go 1/2 way across the country to help them out for an hour or so simply ain't on the menu for me.

    In the past I have connected remotely with Linux boxes via keeping a dynamic DNS client updated for the server, using OpenVPN & VNC.
    Setting that up can be a real PITA though...and so I used Teamviewer for a while, until it demanded to be updated then refused to do the update on my old PC.

    One in-between solution seems to be X11VNC server, which is easy enough to set up for LAN usage - but I have yet to make it work over the internet - and its dev does not answer emails, sadly.

    Checked via general searches & at Alternativeto,net & all I found was either expensively limited payware or goofy freewares that don't do very much.

    The only solution I remain uncertain of right now is Vino, which may require some extra steps - but none of the pages I've read about it seem specific to using it via internet.

    If anyone here does this sort of remote connection to help others, please share pointers & info that might help me to get this solidly set up & working reliably ??

    Thanks for any helpful replies !!
     
  2. TT_ZX

    TT_ZX MDL Novice

    Aug 27, 2010
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    Have a look at AnyDesk.
     
  3. smallhagrid

    smallhagrid MDL Member

    Sep 14, 2013
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    Wow - thanks !!
    The check marks & X's don't look like that at all here.

    Actually I initially set him up with the DuckDNS auto-updating domain thinking that we'd use X11VNC, but it was not reliable enough either - and I simply cannot test/prove that anything works either by domain or internet IP until things are separated so I may just go for the suspenders & a belt option of setting up & then later long-distance testing all 4 options to see what will work for real every time.

    That does seem like another good option & I appreciate your assistance greatly !!
     
  4. smallhagrid

    smallhagrid MDL Member

    Sep 14, 2013
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    OK, finally everything aligned so that I could try Anydesk via LAN to start with and I must say I am impressed !!
    Not only is it blazingly fast in action (way better than any other I've tried), but it scales the screen far better as well.
    Next I need to verify that it works at a distance, which hopefully will be someplace near as good.
    Too bad it is so very expensive; of all the options this one IS worth paying for.
    Thanks for turning me onto it TT_ZX !!
     
  5. Tiger-1

    Tiger-1 MDL Guru

    Oct 18, 2014
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    yep I'm very happy with your sucess, someday I also can try this application good luck dude :)
     
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  6. neo-alchemist

    neo-alchemist MDL Novice

    May 23, 2017
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    Does anyone know a free and open source alternative? I'm using AnyDesk just fine, but with a little guilt for it being proprietary. Hard to trust. Also, it remains running in the background after you close it. I must close it through the task manager.

    I just faced one issue when uninstalling Office from a remote machine. The mouse cursor got blocked when the uninstall prompt appeared, with a small "block" icon along with it. The entire screen became unresponsive for me, but the person at the other end could use it and I would see his actions. It goes normal after closing and reopening the connection.
     
  7. TT_ZX

    TT_ZX MDL Novice

    Aug 27, 2010
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    I haven't found an open source alternative. If you set up port forwarding on the router at the server end before hand then there are a few options but this not that useful. The whole point is being able to access the server reliably regardless of how it is connected to the internet. You don't want a firewall getting in the way and it's not like you can setup port forwarding on a hotel access point or even a cell phone for that matter. This is a limitation of reaching a device on a Nat'ed network. The server has to make contact with the client either directly or via an intermediate server. I've haven't found an open source solution for this.

    NoMachine Anywhere is probably the best bet but is not available yet and it's not open source.
    While you can use NoMachine today to connect to your computers or your company's infrastructure, reaching out to your friends is still cumbersome, due to the way Internet works. NoMachine Anywhere is the next piece of the puzzle. NoMachine Anywhere is a free service, which will be available to everyone, enabling people to connect to each other's computer behind routers and firewalls, without the need for knowing their IP address. Unfortunately we are all busy improving the software, so that it works even better and is free of bugs, so this project is taking longer than we hoped. But we all know that it's an important piece, something that will make your life easier and make NoMachine useful to a much wider public.

    As far a hacking is concerned it's mostly social engineering. The hacker calls a random person and claims to be from Microsoft and says we have detected a problem on your computer. They then direct the unwitting punter to got to the TeamViewer website and download the remote access software. From that point the hacker can do what ever they like with the victims computer. Even most of the media are too ignorant to understand what is going on and TeamViewer gets a lot of bad press for being to blame.
     
  8. smallhagrid

    smallhagrid MDL Member

    Sep 14, 2013
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    Fortunately the folks I help out find that sort of phishing-via-phone amusing so they either just hang up or mess with the caller's head until THEY hang up !!

    As for NoMachine - if the day ever arrives that it can do what Anydesk does so well & easily - even with a reasonable price attached - that'll be great.

    It is just a shame that the Anydesk folks do not cater to users who fall into the gap between their free & paid levels.
    It works amazingly well.
    That company might make more sales if their pricing wasn't quite so sky-high.