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  • Licensing FAQ

Which components must I license?

VNC consists of two components: VNC Server for the computer you want to control, and VNC Viewer for the computer you want to exercise control from.

VNC Server requires a license key, and you cannot establish remote control without one. You can only install it as many times as you are licensed to do.

VNC Viewer does not require a license key, though you must still abide by the terms and conditions. You are free to download it to as many computers that you wish to exercise control from as you like.

Can I choose how to license VNC Server?

You can choose between the following types of license for VNC Server:

  • Enterprise is suitable for personal, medium or large-scale commercial use.
  • Personal is suitable for personal or small-scale commercial use.
  • Free is for individual private use.

You can compare the features provided by the different types of license here.

Can I try before I buy?

You can try the premium features of an Enterprise or a Personal license for thirty days without charge.

At the end of the trial, you have seven further days in which to either:

  • Purchase an Enterprise or a Personal license.
  • Downgrade to a Free license (and lose premium features).

The software guides you through this process. Note that after the seven day grace period, connections will be prohibited.

What does a license entitle me to?

A license entitles you to control a number of 'desktops'.

A desktop is typically the screen you see when you log in to a computer. Some platforms enable you to create virtual desktops, so you can provide multiple working areas, perhaps for different users. You must start VNC Server once for each desktop—actual or virtual—you wish to control.

When you purchase an Enterprise or a Personal license, the price is determined by the number of desktops you wish to control:

  • Under Windows, this equates to the number of computers, since only one desktop can run on a Windows computer at a time. You are licensed to install VNC on this many computers.
  • Under UNIX/Linux and Mac OS X, you are licensed to start VNC Server this many times in order to create a number of virtual desktops, across one or more computers.

Which platforms am I licensed to use?

License keys are not platform-specific, so if for example you purchase a license to control twenty desktops, you could:

  1. Install VNC on five Windows computers (5/20 desktops consumed); then
  2. Install VNC on a single Linux computer and start VNC Server five times (10/20 desktops consumed); then
  3. Install VNC on five Mac OS X computers and start VNC Server twice on each (all 20 desktops consumed).

For a Free license, or an Enterprise or Personal trial license, you are restricted to controlling a maximum of five desktops.

Note that for any type of license, under any platform, there is no restriction on the number of VNC Viewers that can connect.

Can I move a license between computers?

You can uninstall VNC on one computer and reallocate the license key to another computer at any time, providing you adhere to the licensing rules. There is no need to inform RealVNC.

License keys newly-issued since 5.0 are not platform-specific, so you can transfer a license key from (for example) a Windows computer to a Linux computer without issue.

How long is a license valid for?

If you purchase an Enterprise or a Personal license, the product will allow connections indefinitely. You are additionally entitled to support and upgrades for a period of one year. See how to renew support.

For an Enterprise or Personal trial license, the product will allow connections for thirty days. You are entitled to support and upgrades during this period.

For a Free license, the product will allow connections indefinitely. However, you are not entitled to support.

Why might I be asked to renew a license?

When you purchase an Enterprise or a Personal license, you are entitled to support for a period of one year from the date of issue of the license key. You are also entitled to receive all software upgrades released within this period.

You are reminded to renew your support and upgrades contract for a competitive fee prior to expiry. If you do so, you are sent a replacement license key, which you must apply if you wish to upgrade.

If you have multiple license keys and you are not sure which one you are being asked to renew, you can be sent a list of all your keys. Simply select Renew support and upgrades contract here, click the I've forgotten my license key button, and enter the email address originally used to purchase licenses.

How do I obtain a license?

If you have an accepted credit or debit card, you can purchase an Enterprise or a Personal license online from our website.

If you wish to pay by a different method, have a query about sales taxes, discounts, purchase orders, resellers, or reseller pricing, or simply want to discuss your requirements, contact our sales team.

To obtain a Free license, or an Enterprise or Personal trial license, you must use our website.

How do I apply a license key?

Follow the instructions in the Licensing VNC Server section of the appropriate installation instructions for the computer on which you are installing VNC.

Alternatively, various tools are available to help system administrators license VNC Server on multiple computers remotely.

What are the terms and conditions?

The terms and conditions can be found here (PDF).