Intranet, yes; Internet, no | Dynamic IP addresses and
accessing your computer over the Internet CORRECTED
SWillson "at" hotmail.com
Mon Sep 6 21:57:00 2004
Corrected version with grammar and language errors corrected.
Well, I figured out how to solve my problem. My thanks to people who
pointed me in the right direction. The solution is complicated. You have
to get many steps just right or it doesn't work. I thought I'd share what
worked for me in the hopes that it helps other newbies who had difficulty
finding easy to understand answers in one place.
The problem: RealVNC worked great on my local network. But that
192.168.1.100 number clearly wasn't the real Internet address for my
machine, so I couldn't access it from elsewhere over the Internet. I needed
to know my computer's "IP address". How was I to know the ever-changing,
"dynamic" IP address when I wasn't sitting at the computer? I can't be in
two places at once! The solution, as many pointed out, was to find a
company that would give me a permanent website name for my computer and
update the changing IP address automatically. The company I used was
I know there are others, but this is the one I happened to choose, and it
worked well for me.
I went to their website, registered, and created a website name for my
computer. You choose a name, followed by "myserver.org". For purposes of
this example, let's say the website name is
Note that you DON'T put in the "www" as you would for most websites, and you
MUST put in the "http://".
Great! Now I had a website name I could remember and that wouldn't change.
But it didn't know my ever-changing, real IP address. Fortunately, the
myserver.org download page has an application that automatically checks my
real IP address and updates my website with the current IP address. I
downloaded "myserver.org.2.0.zip", unzipped it and installed it on my
computer. I run it whenever I want to be able to reach my computer from a
So far, so good. I now had a (free!) permanent website address to put in my
browser address bar to access my computer from a remote location and the
software on my computer to keep the website address up to date with my
dynamic IP address.
Except that all I kept getting was the web page built into my router for
administration! I couldn't get past the router to my real computer! How to
get past the router? The best help I found on this problem was at the
This was a clear document and helped me a lot.
The problem was to get my router to recognize the "ports" that Real VNC
needed to access. I have a Linksys wireless router, model BEFW11S4. Here
are the steps I used. In my browser address bar I typed in the router
I clicked on the "Applications and Gaming" tab. There I found a table
entitled "Port Range". In the first empty box under "Start" I entered 5800.
In the first empty box under "End" I entered 5900. In the empty box for "IP
address", which is the local machine address -- NOT the Internet address --
I entered 100. (Your machine might be 101 or 102.) Then I clicked the
"Enable" box and saved the changes.
Now the router would let me get to my computer. I started the myserver.org
"Dynamic DNS App" software on my computer. I started RealVNC server.
Then I called a trusted friend and asked him to type the following in his
browser address bar:
Voila! It worked. He immediately took control of my browser and directed
me to a porno site filled with popups! Hey, that's what friends are for.
My thanks to RealVNC for making such useful and tight software available
free. Might I respectfully suggest that you folks consider re-writing your
documentation and include a fairly straightforward step-by-step for newbies?
I make no criticism particularly when so many people freely gave me their
time and expertise. But the documentation as written assumes a level of
knowledge that is quite high and that perhaps much time could be saved both
by new users of RealVNC and by the helpers in the postings area if the
documentation that was included with the software was more basic.
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Thanks, everyone, for your help on the automatic start up question. I now
have VNC server running on my computer and I can remote-access it from other
computers on my home network. However, I can't find my computer via the
Internet. The "Getting Started" document says:
"Each computer has a unique IP address and may also have a
name in the DNS. You will need to know the IP address or name
of the server when you connect a viewer to it. Sometimes the IP
address is fixed, and sometimes it is issued to you dynamically
by your ISP. If it is allocated dynamically, you might consider
using a third party DNS management service. Try typing
"dynamic dns management service" into a google."
This is an area in which I am quite ignorant, but I did read all of the VNC
documentation, searched past mail postings, and did some reading on the Web
before writing. And, as the documentation suggested, I googled the term
"dynamic dns management service" and read several of the pages and ads that
As near as I can tell, the problem is that I don't really know the correct
IP address to put in the Web browser's address bar as my ISP gives my
computer a dynamic IP address. However, I really don't know how to proceed.
Do I need to buy a domain name and then register with a DNS service provider
in order to have a fixed server name? If I do so, then what do I put in the