I like the idea of being able to get access to my home computer while i’m away doing research. I recently found out about something called VNC (Virtual Network Computing), and it looks like it could be the ticket. The problem is, i’m having a little bit of trouble understanding exactly what i’ll need to do in order to get this up and running.
Obviously, i know that i need to download the VNC software (which i can do here). Then, as far as i can tell, i need to configure it so that my home computer acts as a server, and the road computer acts as a viewer. The first part, setting up my home computer as a server, seems relatively easy. The hard part is working out what i need to do in order to be able to get access to this server from on the road.
Before i go any further, it might be worth outlining the system that i’m running, in case that makes any difference:
Windows XP Home
Verizon 768k DSL
Linksys BEFW11S4 router (but i’m not using the wireless connection, only the wired ethernet connection)
Now, i understand that i need to be able to find my computer from on the road. Also, if i understand it correctly, in order to do this i need to be able to find my computer’s IP address. Well, the only IP address i know right now is the one for the router. My network is set up to find an IP address automatically, and my understanding is that this means that the IP address changes. So, i don’t know how to find my computer on the network.
Also, it’s not clear to me whether the “road” computer has to have the VNC viewer installed, or whether i can access my home computer straight through an internet browser. I’m sure that, when i was looking through the documentation online the other day, it had something about being able to do the latter via the VNC servers and a Java-enabled browser, but now i can’t find that stuff.
If there’s anyone out there willing to help a networking dummy get himself hooked up, i’d be most appreciative. I’ve read the VNC documentation, but i’m still a bit stumped about the above stuff.
Also, if anyone has any recommendations for other ways to start a network, i’d be happy to hear them.
(Mods: this seemed like a GQ topic; feel free to move it to IMHO if you think that’s more appropriate.)