What Is TightVNC?
VNC (an abbreviation for Virtual Network Computing) is a great client/server software
package allowing remote network access to graphical desktops. With VNC, you can access your
machine from everywhere provided that your machine is connected to the Internet. VNC is free
(released under the GNU
General Public License) and it's available on most platforms.
Here you can find an enhanced version of VNC, called TightVNC, which includes a lot of
new features, improvements, optimizations and bugfixes over the original VNC version, see the
list of features below. Note that TightVNC is still free, cross-platform and compatible with
the standard VNC. Many users agree that TightVNC is the most advanced free remote desktop
package. And it's being actively developed so you can expect that TightVNC will become
TightVNC can be used to perform remote control and administration tasks in Windows, Unix and
mixed network environments. It can be very helpful in distance learning and remote customer
support. Finally, you can find a number of additional VNC-compatible utilities and packages
that can extend the areas where TightVNC can be helpful.
TightVNC is a project maintained by Constantin Kaplinsky. Many other individuals and
companies participate in development, testing and support.
How TightVNC Differs from Other VNC Products?
In short (more information is likely to appear here soon):
- We are trying to gather all the useful features, while keeping TightVNC free, stable and
protocol-compatible with other RFB-compliant VNC software.
Compatibility and Interoperability
TightVNC is fully compatible with the standard RFB protocol used in VNC, so you can use
TightVNC viewer with the standard VNC server and vice versa. But note that protocol
enhancements implemented in TightVNC will work only if these enhancements are supported on
both sides of the connection.
Here is a brief list of TightVNC features absent in the standard VNC.
- File transfers in versions for Windows. You can upload files from your local
machine to the TightVNC Server, and download files from the server to your computer.
- Support for video mirror driver (Windows 2000 and above). TightVNC Server can use
DFMirage mirror driver to detect screen updates and grab pixel data in a very efficient
way, saving processor cycles for other applications.
- Scaling of the remote desktop (viewer for Windows and Java viewer). You can view
the remote desktop in whole on a screen of smaller size, or you can zoom in the picture to
see the remote screen in more details.
- Efficient "Tight" encoding with optional JPEG compression. New Tight
encoding is optimized for slow and medium-speed connections and thus generates much less
traffic as compared to traditional VNC encodings. Unlike other encodings, Tight encoding is
configurable via compression levels and JPEG image quality setting.
- Enhanced Web browser access. TightVNC includes a greatly improved Java viewer
with full support for Tight encoding, 24-bit color mode, and more. The Java viewer applet
can be accessed via built-in HTTP server like in the standard VNC.
- Support for two passwords, full-control and read-only. The server allows or
disallows remote keyboard and mouse events depending on which password was used for
- Automatic SSH tunneling on Unix. The Unix version of TightVNC Viewer can
tunnel connections via SSH automatically using local SSH/OpenSSH client installation.
- And more. TightVNC includes a number of other improvements, performance
optimizations and bugfixes, see change logs for more