5000+ Great Articles

How to Tunnel VNC over SSH

If you are connecting to a remote desktop using the virtual network computing (VNC) protocol, your connection may be insecure. Some VNC clients, such as the popular TightVNC, do not encrypt your connection after the initial login phase. To work around the problem, you can tunnel the VNC connection through a Secure Shell (SSH) tunnel.

The SSH tunnel not only provides a completely secure connection for VNC, but also allows VNC connections when the typical VNC port (port 5901) is blocked. Some corporate networks will block public ports such as port 5901 for added security, so tunneling VNC over SSH will get you around this issue.

PuTTY Setup

Windows 10 does have a built-in SSH client thanks to Windows PowerShell, but this is only a recent development. If you want to learn how to tunnel VNC over SSH, it is recommended to use PuTTY to connect to your SSH server.

PuTTY offers a graphical user interface that can be easily configured so that you can tunnel other software, such as your VNC viewer, over the connection. For this to work, you will need a suitable SSH server installed on the remote desktop PC or the server that you want to connect to via VNC.

Now that the SSH tunnel to the remote desktop server is active, you can establish a VNC connection. You can use any VNC client of your choice, but this guide will show you how to connect using TightVNC, the popular and free VNC client for Windows and Linux.

You can minimize PuTTY while the connection is active.

– /

Connect using TightVNC

If your SSH connection is active, connecting with TightVNC is pretty easy. This assumes that your VNC server is running on your remote PC or server.

If your SSH connection is working properly, TightVNC should load a VNC Remote Desktop window, ready to use.

SSH Customers with Tunneling Support

Although TightVNC is a popular Windows client for VNC connections, it does not support SSH tunneling within the client itself, which requires the use of PuTTY to establish the connection.

However, other VNC clients include SSH tunneling inside the client itself. One example is SSVNC, which, although basic, will tunnel through SSH before establishing a VNC connection. SSVNC is supported by Windows and Linux operating systems.

Once the SSH tunnel is active, your VNC connection will start and your VNC client window should appear where you can start using your remote desktop.

Although VNC connections are not encrypted by default, Microsoft’s own Remote Desktop Protocol is encrypted. If you are using Windows and plan to connect to a remote Windows PC or server, you can connect using the Remote Desktop Connection tool.

Exit mobile version