iPhone VNC Viewers are iPhone network applications that allow you to login to your computer at home and view and control your home computer screen. You can then run or view any application on your computer as if you were setting in front of it. This can happen on your local wifi or anywhere in the world over 3G or EDGE networks.
What is VNC?
VNC stands for Virtual Network Computing, and is simply a way of controlling one computer from another computer over the internet.
Since the iPhone is always connected to the internet, it is a perfect device as a VNC client. You are able to login to your computer and start full iPhone remote control session from anywhere in the world.
VNC is open source, which means that it is free for download on almost every operating system including the iOS. Apple has VNC built in the Mac OSX, so there is no need to install it on the Mac. All you have to do is enable it from the Preferences --> Sharing menu.
In order for an iPhone VNC viewer to work, you must fist install a VNC server on the computer you want to control. RealVNC is one of the best VNC servers available for PC and you can download a free version from here.
Then, using a VNC viewer for the iPhone, you can then login to any of your computers online and control your screen right from your iPhone.
VNC became the standard for remote access although there are other different methods. For example, iPhone RDP clients use RDP or Remote Desktop Protocol while LogMeIn use RemotelyAnywhere technology.
iPhone VNC Clients for the iPhone:
There are many free VNC clients in the App Store. It is available for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. Open the app Store application on your iPhone and do a search for VNC and a big list will show up.
When you open any VNC viewer or client, you will be asked to enter your computer IP address. This is the IP address of the computer that has a VNC server installed and that you want to control with your VNC viewer.
Some VNC clients for the iPhone have the option of discovering local computers on your local network if those computers have a VNC server installed.
If you are connecting to your computer from outside your local wifi network, then you must set up port forwarding on your router to open port 5900.
Jaadu VNC is one of the best iPhone VNC client available in the App Store, and costs $24.99. Its multi touch features give quick and easy control over your mouse and computer screen. It even supports three finger actions. The picture below show Jaadu VNC displaying MacOX in full screen.
Other VNC viewers like Mocha VNC has a light free version and another $5.99 version. RealVNC has a VNC viewer for $9.99.
Advantages of VNC Viewers for the iPhone:
With Port forwarding enabled on your router, you can remotely control your computer no matter where you are with wifi, or 3G/EDGE networks.
Your computer session doesn't end by closing the iPhone VNC client. You can open the application at anytime and continue your work where you left your PC.
Access your computer email attachment files that are not supported by the iPhone.
Send files to yourself from your computer email application and then view them locally on your iPhone email app.
Running a VNC client on an iPhone 4 is impressive with the high resolution iPhone retina display.
Disadvantages of VNC Viewers for the iPhone:
As your computer resolution increases, the screen text becomes tiny, and you have to use the pinch in and out to zoom in and out more often to read. It is best to set your computer to lower resolutions. This is much improved with iPhone 4retina display. which is one of the most exiting iPhon 4 features.
High resolution computers can take up lots of memory on iPhone 3G VNC viewer, but not a problem on iPhone 3GS because viewing high resolution computers require more iPhone memory than lower resolution.
Your PC must be running all the time to be able to login with an iPhone VNC client.
To access your computer from outside your wifi network, you have to set up port forwarding on your router.
If your IP address is dynamic which is usually the case with most internet providers, then your IP address can unexpectedly change and you won't be able to connect until you find what it is. This could be disappointing if you are traveling.