VNC vs. Microsoft NetMeeting's Shared Desktop

Andrew van der Stock ajv "at" greebo.net
Mon, 20 Aug 2001 01:55:36 +0000


Yan, that wasn't what the dude asked for. It's not MS FUD or a troll. The
question is simple and the answers are as varied as everyone on this list.
Being rude or disdainful of a person's platform is extremely
counterproductive and causes a ghetto gap between platforms, and will
further marginalise your choice of platform as a viable option once it is
equal to the incumbent in functionality and productiveness.

Why would Microsoft platform people be interested in adopting open source
products if the only experience they ever get is to have their head bitten
off for daring to politely ask about the features of the product you'd like
them to use? Please, as a open source person, I politely ask you to think
before you post. There is no cost in being polite, and much cost to
everyone's efforts here by being rude.

To better answer the orignal question:

VNC can issue a Control-Alt-Delete (Secure Alert Sequence on NT) - right
click the title bar and choose "Send Control-Alt-Delete".
http://www.uk.research.att.com/vnc/faq.html#q28

Documentation for WinVNC can be found here:
http://www.uk.research.att.com/vnc/winvnc.html
http://www.uk.research.att.com/vnc/winvncviewer.html

Is NetMeeting / Terminal Services more efficient than VNC?

Depends, but yes, usually. Read on for more information.

Normal VNC is slower than the sorta T.120 protocol mishmash that Netmeeting
uses for desktop sharing. Terminal Services uses a very similar protocol
called RDP which is also more efficient than standard VNC. As Microsoft has
better insights into how GDI works and optimize for that case at both ends,
both Netmeeting and TermSrv clients are more accurate, have fewer display
artifacts (read bugs - try using smooth scrolling in IE 5.5 or 6.0 without
the occasional full refresh in VNC and you know what I mean), can work
around user craziness (like the suppressing the backdrop), and can make
greater assumptions about the remote end of the connection; for example RDP
can encode a displayed string as a string and expect the remote end to have
the same truetype font and display it in exactly the same way. Sending the
string via RDP may save 50-60 kb in encoded tiles if VNC was in use.

RDP is also multi-streamed, allowing for multiple direction paths (ie disks,
serial ports, and so on are individual channels) and supports audio.

VNC is a simple protocol, and is very portable because its core design
values require so little on the client end. Therefore if portability and
heterogenous interoperability are key for you, then VNC is the right answer.
If you're using Microsoft Windows at both ends, I'm afraid the right answer
is likely to be NetMeeting or Terminal Services as they are clearly superior
at this time.

The strength of open source is that eventually, open source will add these
features and hopefully be on a par with TermSrv over time.

For more technical details on Terminal Services:
http://www.winntmag.com/Articles/Index.cfm?IssueID=54&ArticleID=3594

To configure Netmeeting to use a firewall (it is as bad as a previous posted
said):
http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q158/6/23.asp

Terminal Services uses a single TCP/IP port (tcp/3389).

hope this helps,
Andrew

----- Original Message -----
From: "Yan Seiner" <yan "at" cardinalengineering.com>
To: <vnc-list "at" uk.research.att.com>
Sent: Monday, August 20, 2001 9:15 AM
Subject: Re: VNC vs. Microsoft NetMeeting's Shared Desktop


> I've never run MS Net Meeting.  I try to stay away from MN apps for a
> lot of reasons.
>
> VNC is better because it runs on the platforms I need.  I run Win98SE in
[snip]
> VNC will run, with tightVNC it needs little bandwith to be practical, it
> can easily be run down a VPN connection, and it's as reliable as a rock.
>
> Frankly, this really sounds like more MS FUD or troll-bait.
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